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Whenever some increasingly routine act of violence occurs in America, politicians are quick to line up behind variations of the completely hollow sentiment of "thoughts and prayers." It's an adequate placebo for people who enjoy such things, but offers no real world support for those affected by, say, a school shooting. This growing disconnect is one of several issues at the center of John Legend's new video for "Preach," a song produced by recent Paul McCartney collaborator Greg Kurstin.
Directed by Dominique DeLeon, the visual opens with Legend and Chrissy Teigen asleep in bed. Legend is then stirred awake, ultimately walking into a high school gymnasium to find kids fleeing an apparent shooter. The AJR Films release also tackles police brutality, immigration, and more. See it in full up top.
“The idea behind the song is that sometimes we can get so frustrated by the news and what’s going on and there’s this scatter going on in ourselves," Legend said in a press release. "Do we become apathetic? Do we become engaged? Do we just talk about it, or do we do something?”
Accompanying the launch of the video is the Practice What You Preach fundraising campaign. Via the video's YouTube page, fans can contribute money to FREEAMERICA, which aims to give a platform to those impacted most by our desperately-in-need-of-repair criminal justice system.
"By challenging stereotypes, breaking down barriers, and uplifting solutions, we are helping to end mass incarceration and invest in just, equitable, and thriving communities across the United States," Legend said of the campaign, which has a set goal of $50,000.
Legend's most recent studio album (holiday-themed A Legendary Christmas aside) was his 2016 release Darkness and Light, which featured the singles "Love Me Now" and "Penthouse Floor" featuring Chance the Rapper.