Usher has released a self-directed video for “I Cry,” his latest single inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the video, the R&B artist sings to the camera as images of protests, poverty and society are superimposed over his teary face. The photos include work by photojournalist Gordon Parks, who was famous for capturing stark scenes of segregation and life within the United States of America in the mid-1900s.
“This song was inspired by wanting to teach my sons that it is ok for a man to feel emotions deeply and to cry. Like many men, I was raised to believe that we have to be tough and not show our vulnerability, which I don’t want to teach them,” Usher said in a statement.
“While I was shut in during the pandemic and watching the death of George Floyd, the ongoing slaughtering of Black men and women, the protests and the events that unfolded, I became very connected to the wider universal feeling of hopelessness.”
All proceeds from the song are being donated to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which will distribute the funds amongst Black-owned businesses and Black-led community groups. “I Cry” arrived last month and is Usher’s third track to drop this year, following his Tyga collaboration “California” and “Sex Beat” with Lil Jon and Ludacris.
Watch the video for “I Cry” below: