To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr Day on January 18, Willie Jones released a patriotic protest track titled “American Dream.”
On the anthemic single, Jones sings of his complicated feelings as a Black person living in America over a thunderous rhythm. Aside from honoring King, the singer also acknowledges the efforts of other patriots who have fought against racial injustices. He also pays subtle tribute to victims of police brutality and racial violence, including George Floyd.
“Some people can’t breathe for the flag / Had to take a knee for the flag / I really wanna ride for the flag / But I gotta keep an eye on the flag,” Jones sings.
In the accompanying music video, which blends live-action scenes with animation, it follows a Black teenager who uses his secret superpowers to fight off evil. “When I saw the final edit, I knew this was my most important statement to date as an artist,” Jones said of the visual in a statement.
“It’s going to make people think and understand how I see our country, our collective past, and our future. It was captured perfectly—the emotion, the creative use of anime, the message being relatable to so many… I felt relieved and inspired. No joke; I got chills.”
Jones released “American Dream” with the launch of a new initiative with the National Museum of African American Music, called #IHaveAnAmericanDream. The campaign encourages individuals to share their dreams online and donate to the museum by texting “AMERICANDREAM” to 707070.
“American Dream” is Jones’ latest single, following “Down for it,” “Trainwreck,” “Back Porch,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Bachelorettes on Broadway.” The songs are set to appear on his debut album Right Now, out tomorrow.
Listen to “American Dream” here: