“Shelter is a spiritual note, a healing frequency…” Mensa explained a press release. “It was inspired not by Hollywood or Paris, but by what’s going on on the ground—in the real world, with the real people.”
The song addresss the many challenges facing America’s underserved communities, specifically the effects of the broken criminal justice system. Mensa references the police killings of Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and Elijah McClain, and continues to advocate for Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones.
“The journey of this song was so important,” Wyclef added. “It’s very crucial we, as musicians, use our voice to represent those who are not so easily able to be heard.”
You can watch the Andre Muir-directed video for “Shelter” below. The song is a preview of Mensa’s I TAPE project, the follow-up to last year’s V TAPE.
Fans can also catch the rapper on OkayPlayer’s Passage series next week. The episode, titled The Practice of Healing, can be livestreamed at 7 p.m. Feb. 9.
On Friday, Wyclef Jean also released a cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” as an Amazon Original to commemorate what would have been the late legendary artist’s 76th birthday on Saturday (Feb. 6). You can check that out below.