Last month Pharoahe Monch premiered his anti-police brutality anthem “Clap”, to a sold out crowd at the Jazz Cafe in London. “Clap (One Day)” is the new single from his upcoming album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), to be released through W.A.R. Media and Duck Down in February 2011. This never seen before footage features Pharoahe’s passionate and intricate delivery, alongside vocalists Showtyme and Mela Machinko, and DJ Boogie Blind.
Pharoahe explains the inspiration for the song; “Instead of protect and serve, police often escalate situations, as with the cases of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, or Aiyana Stanley Jones, and hundreds more who fell victim to police violence. I wrote this song to express my frustration, as well as raise the question of how our communities can create safety and prevent violence, with out relying on police.”
The release of this footage coincides with the October 22nd- National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. This year is the 15th annual October 22nd, organized by communities around the country who commit to participating in local actions and events against police brutality, and work towards building community safety alternatives. People who want to stand in solidarity with October 22nd can wear all black, in memory of thousands of lives stolen by law enforcement killings.
Despite the song title’s multiple meanings, “Clap (One Day)” does not advocate violence against police. Pharoahe adds a personal perspective; “My brother is a police officer so I know there are some well intentioned people wearing blue uniforms. But the issue of police violence is much bigger than good cops and bad cops, it comes down to a broken system which criminalizes our communities, and must be completely transformed.”
A short film and music video for the song will be out in December. With Monch’s new album, W.A.R., dropping in February.