Pressa Tackles Police Brutality in “Harriet” Music Video

The Toronto rapper's new single is accompanied by a very of-the-moment seven-minute mini-movie.

View this video on YouTube

“When I was 11, I turned 13, because I don’t fuck with 12.”

That’s how “Harriet,” the latest video from Pressa, starts—and the sentiment probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s followed the Toronto rapper’s career to date.

The rising MC’s origin story includes his childhood best friend getting killed by police in 2015, leading Pressa and fellow Toronto rappers Robin Banks, GD, and FB to release the viral tribute “Wass Gang.” Then there were the (since-dropped) kidnapping allegations that threatened the then 20-year-old’s promising career just as it was getting started.

Today, Pressa released his latest single “Harriet,” accompanied by the video for the track. Directed by Michael Vincent, the seven-minute mini-movie follows the rapper getting mistaken for a suspect during a violent armed robbery-turned-shootout, before turning the tables on the cop who wrongfully arrested him.

The visuals are all very much of-the-moment—at one point, Pressa kneels on the cop’s neck while the officer shouts “I can’t breathe”—making for some powerful imagery as it cuts between bodycam footage to Pressa rapping with backup dancers in pig masks to, finally, the rarest sight of all in 2020: the offending cop behind bars. (The revenge fantasy’s also a serious step up for from the visuals for Pressa’s “Head Tap” from earlier this summer, which saw the rapper dropping bars from atop a cop car.)

Rigo Obezo, who plays the almost-comically over-the-top dirty cop who Pressa torments, stealing his gun and his squad car, is a seasoned vet at playing a music video cop at this point. Since getting his start in Chris Brown’s “Next To You” video, he’s shown up in uniform in productions for everyone from A$AP Rocky and Nipsey Hussle to Iggy Azalea to Soundgarden.

After signing with Sony and dropping “96 Freestyle” back in May, Pressa told Complex that he’s been busy in the studio working on new music and looking to drop a full album later this year.

Watch the video for “Harriet” above.

Latest in Music