Gary Clark Jr. has shared a powerful music video for "This Land," the title track of his upcoming album. Watch it above on YouTube.
At nearly seven minutes, and with a dynamic arrangement that begins with elements of electronic and hip hop, this is a far departure for Clark, who over the course of his career has pushed the boundaries of his songwriting from blues-rock to a more R&B style on his previous LP, 2015's The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.
Clark shared a comment about the message of the song with Rolling Stone:
I think it’s only right at this point in time, if you have a microphone louder than others, to speak out about that anger... I haven’t been through shit compared to my people. But if I can do anything with my opportunity, and say thank you to Dr. Martin Luther King for sacrificing your life so that I can have a microphone … that’s the least I can do.
On "This Land," Clark incorporates slick production that builds a base for his vigorous guitar riffs. He pulls no punches with his lyrics as he addresses racism he faced growing up in Texas with the blistering chorus, "Nigga run, nigga run / Go back where you come from." At the six-minute mark, the song completely switches gears back to a classic acoustic blues.
Directed by Savanah Leaf, the music video was filmed in the area of Gary's Texas home. We see the guitar slinger performing the track with young children playing in a field. Symbols of racism such as the Confederate flag, nooses, and shackles are shown burning in a fire towards the end — before we see Gary performing guitar on a porch as one of the young children looks on.
This Land is scheduled for release on March 1, 2019. Pick it up on Amazon.
Gary will head out on a North American tour beginning in March. For concert tickets and more, check out Gary Clark Jr.'s Zumic artist page.