Some of the scenes in Bobby Sessions' new "Like Me" video aren't easy to watch, but it's a powerful performance forged out of generations of anger and injustice.
The Jeremy Biggers-directed visual opens with a long shot that reveals Sessions is standing under a tree with a noose wrapped around his neck, as he raps about slavery and systematic racism. Later, the Def Jam Recordings-signed artist screams and spits at the camera as blood streaks down his face.
"People of color have been discriminated against for hundreds of years all around the world," Sessions told Complex via email. "Literally losing our lives over a skin color we were born with. The music video for 'Like Me' highlights me reaching a breaking point and finally gaining my freedom. The song is also dedicated to my cousin (James Harper) that was murdered by law enforcement back in 2012."
Sessions' first-hand experiences give the song and video a feeling of urgency that's difficult to ignore. As he yells at the camera, the weight of his personal experiences bubbles to the surface—and he makes it clear he isn't just speaking for himself, either.
"The yelling represents the bottled up rage that many black people across the world feel every single day; being targeted and discriminated against because of skin color," he recently told NPR. "We fear being judged by society for expressing our real emotions about what's going on. We have the right to be upset about black people getting murdered without the murderer suffering any consequences."