Following up on the visual, or should we say, short film, for ‘Black America Again‘, which he unveiled simultaneously with the album from which the song is drawn, Common has released yet another video from that politically-charged November drop. This time it’s ‘Letter To The Free’, the last of Black America Again‘s 15 tracks, that gets visual interpretation. In a number of ways the Bradford Young-directed film feels like a continuation of the video that preceded it; it’s a succession of striking black-and-white images in which Common appears in a dark outfit. There’s also that mysterious flying object; a sleek black, rectangular thing that hovers in the middle of many of the shots.
But there are a few differences between the two videos. One of the most noticeable is the inclusion of the musicians who contributed to the making of Letter To The Free, and the exclusion of extras. One of the first scenes reveals the legendary Robert Glasper seated at his keyboard with Common spitting beside him. In another room we find vocalist Andra Day and master flutist Elena Pinderhughes doing their thing, deeply taken by the emotion of the song. And out in a roofless chamber the camera reveals singer Bilal tearing down the chorus with a little help from trumpet sensation Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah. It’s really a stellar cast of musical talent on display here and it shows in how powerfully they bring out the message in the lyrics.
It’s not by chance that the video is as arresting as it is; its director is the same guy who was in charge of cinematography in the movie ‘Selma’.
Miami Based, Internationally Known