13-year-old Keedron Bryant has dropped the new video for his viral hit, “I Just Wanna Live.” The song — penned by his mother Johnnetta Bryant and initially shared as a smartphone-shot video where Keedron sang a cappella — made waves when it was released following the killing of George Floyd by police in May. The Sara Lacombe-directed clip is the teenager’s major label music video debut for Warner Records.
The stirring video opens on an American flag, which is dripping blood, as a chorus of children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Bryant kneels before an angry white police officer who has a gun pointed at him. “I just wanna live/God protect me,” Bryant soulfully sings. “I’m a young black man/Doing all that I can.”
The clip’s imagery depicts police brutality and the injustice of numerous killings of Black people, from a black hoodie with Skittles and a can of iced tea in the pockets in reference to Trayvon Martin to the names of many others who have recently been killed — Breonna Taylor, Floyd and Michael Brown among them — written on a Black body. At another point, Bryant sings as protestors clash with police. The final shot ends on a hopeful note as Bryant’s compelling words appear to deescalate the officer’s violent approach.
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