This song should never had been written. These words never should be sung or repeated. Normally to start out a music review means the song really stinks or the artist really should choose another career path. These words are about the now, the year 2020 and a song that is so critical to the times, the hour we are witnessing not only as a country, but as the human race. I’m talking about the new song “Police Brutality” by rapper Darrell Kelley.
Kelley, who is based in Boston, Mass., has released this watershed-level of a song in response to the recent murder of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis on May 25th. At the time of this review, an arrest has been made with charges against the white officer accused of his death; the white officer’s court date has not been set. Charges and arrests have also been filed against three additional former Minneapolis police officers. In what is now a viral video, Floyd can be seen and heard pleading for his life and saying “I can’t breathe”.
In a brave and sincere showing, Kelley puts to song these exact words and raps his interpretation of the events that transpired during Floyd’s death. Tragic as it is, and as upsetting as it can be, these words need to heard and repeated. Kelley raps “I can’t breathe, you’re killing me…the racist copy wouldn’t release his knee…another black man is dead because of police brutality…my heart bleads, why does the black man have to die?” Throughout the song Kelley relies on an evenly matched beat to his rhythm, his beat is steady, but not too forceful to take the spotlight over his lyrics. At different times during the track, he has a backing vocals repeating “we want justice” so much so, that by the end of the song, the words are a layer above the music bed, over him. It’s as if the song were the start of the protest and by the end of the last chant of “we want justice”, Kelley has reached the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This song has that tone to it, it’s bigger than all of us, and larger than any one artist. Kelley’s piece in the grand puzzle is small, but mighty.
Like a true artist, Kelley has captured not only the pulse of the music community, but the mindset of an entire generation. It’s not the first time, either. More recently, Kelley released singles like “The Coronavirus” and “Ahmaud” (a song honoring the memory and the equally tragic killing of Georgia’s Ahmaud Arbery). Kelley also released the charged song “Because Of You” calling out the National Rifle Association for not doing more to prevent mass shooting deaths. Kelley shows his true artistic viewpoints in tackling critical subjects like these.
by Bethany Page
The music of DARRELL KELLEY has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com