New National Anthem
by T.I.

Album: Paperwork (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds T.I. rapping socially conscious lyrics over a military beat. The Atlanta native rhymes about some of the problems faced by black people in America today including crooked cops and inequality in the criminal justice system.
  • That's Skylar Grey crooning the gut-wrenching chorus. The Wisconsin singer-songwriter was a guest vocalist on Dr Dre's "I Need a Doctor" and Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home." She also received a Grammy nomination for writing the chorus to Eminem's hit single with Rihanna, "Love The Way You Lie."
  • The song was released soon after the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by a white cop. T.I. actually laid down the cut in 2013 after the George Zimmerman verdict for Trayvon. "Immediately when I heard it, I knew it was going to be a scary, impactful, profound record," he said. "It's so heavy with purpose and intent to shed light on a very, very taboo topic in America, which is the way young black people are treated, perceived and handled."

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