Vic Mensa, Wyclef Jean and Chance the Rapper have teamed up on a fundraiser for death row inmate, Julius Jones called 'SHELTER'. According to Cece Jones-Davis of the Julius Jones Coalition, Jones "has lived on death row for almost 20 years, and is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. He is allowed one hour of sunlight a day, and three showers a week".
Cece goes on to say, "At the time of the crime for which he was convicted, Julius was a 19-year-old student athlete with a promising future, attending the University of Oklahoma on an academic scholarship. It is clear that Julius’ lawyer did not adequately defend him, and that explicit racial bias played a significant role in the process."
The plight of Julius Jones was brought to the fore by Viola Davis in her docuseries 'The Last Defence' that closely examined and exposed the flaws in Julius’ case. All donations raised through the fundraiser single 'SHELTER' "will go directly to his cause".
MENSA took to Twitter, announcing his new single by saying, "This is one of my favorite records I’ve ever done. Thank y’all for blessing it" with Wyclef Jean following suit in agreement, "Man, I can honestly say the same. One of my favorites. A song for the times".
It certainly is a song, and video, for our times taking in themes based around racial inequality, incarceration, the impact of the CoVID19 pandemic, and especially how it has disproportionately affected the Black community, health workers without adequate PPE and Police brutality. The hard hitting song coupled with the equally harrowing Andre Muir directed video make for a strong combination. Seeing the streets literally littered with Black bodies drives home the message in no uncertain terms.
MENSA is also one of many artists who have asked the Biden administration to look into racial injustice within the Democrats first 100 days in office.
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