Jay Z’s Tidal and Harry Belafonte’s social justice organization, Sankofa, have partnered to produce a new visual EP entitled, “17,” which follows a 17-year-old black male, and chronicles his experience with racial bias and police violence. Jay Z’s streaming music and entertainment platform, TIDAL, has partnered with Harry Belafonte’s social justice organization, Sankofa.org in hopes that the film will continue to raise awareness about police brutality.
Released exclusively on Tidal last Friday, February 17, the film features music by Ty Dolla $ign, Mali Music, Raphael Saadiq and Elijah Blake, and was inspired by the victims of racial bias and instances of lethal police violence, including the death of Trayvon Martin who was fatally shot by then-Florida neighborhood watch coordinator, George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012.
The short film that accompanies the EP was conceptualized and directed by the filmmaking team of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, who previously made a short public service announcement about police brutality for Belafonte’s Sankofa.
“What happened to Trayvon was in a gated community in Florida,” the filmmaker told Newsweek, noting that this isn’t just a problem affecting inner-city youths. That sentiment is reflected in 17, which was filmed in Florida and depicts a suburban neighborhood. “You’ve got these kids from middle-class backgrounds that are still seen through the prism of racial bias and often, that costs them their lives.” Peep the teaser and let us know what you think in the comments.