T.I.’s ‘Warzone’ makes a statement

Nisha Gandhi

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In light of recent events and incidents involving police shootings and more specifically, white officers killing people of color, many artists are producing work related to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. T.I. is one of those artists.

In his recently released video for the song “Warzone”, T.I. made a very powerful statement through the cinematography and lyrics of this music video.

In the video itself, the main character is a white male who appears to be in his teens walking around a park with a toy gun. He’s pointing it around and looks like he’s just playing around. Then, all of a sudden, a police car pulls up, a black officer gets out, holds up a gun to the kid and then, without giving much time for the kid to put his toy gun down, the officer shoots and kills him.

This part of the video is very powerful as it mirrors the exact situation that has happened to many colored people over the last few years. It shows how much of an impact that split-second decision can really have on a person’s life. 

Another really important aspect of not just the video but also the song itself is the repetition of the words “Hands up, don’t shoot”. This phrase is very important and I’m really glad that T.I. brought it into his lyrics. According to videos taken by witnesses to police shootings, there have been many incidents where a person of color had his hands up and was clearly not able to pull the trigger, but was still shot and killed by an officer who claimed the person was a threat.

T.I.’s decision to portray these important themes through both his music and the cinematography of his music video is monumental to the progress of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. As an artist with a following that includes virtually every age, by using his music to make a statement, he is ensuring that this statement reaches as many people as possible.