* indicates required
Okayplayer News

To continue reading

Create a free account or sign in to unlock more free articles.

Already have an account?

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Wyclef Jean - "If You're 17" (Tribute For Trayvon Martin) [Official Video]

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Wyclef Jean delivers the official video for "If You're 17" (Tribute For Trayvon Martin) - the song written and dedicated to the teen who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida in February of 2012. Trayvon Martin's death has been a point of contention and controversy for months as national opinion divided along the lines of racial injustice and differing allegiances to the shamefully lax gun control policies that have helped to facilitate the spread of gun violence across the United States. Those policies combined with the Stand Your Ground Law created a unique circumstance that allowed Martin's accused killer George Zimmerman to walk free of all charges in the case against him this past weekend. Zimmerman's exoneration immediately sparked a chain of peaceful protests against the decision as people around the nation banded together to express opposition and outrage at the ruling that declared his innocence - a verdict widely considered a miscarriage of justice. Wyclef channels the frustrations of the masses as he offers this tune in celebration of Trayvon Martin's life. The Fugees veteran, who is no stranger to freedom songs, pens one for the man that Martin could have become had he been allowed to live. Wyclef's folk-tinged commentary on the brevity of life and the fear that plagues people of color is a harsh reminder of our collective mortality; "If You're 17" warns of the strength of ignoble intentions and bigoted opinions when the individuals expressing them are in possession of guns. Watch the official video for "If You're 17" below. Stay tuned for more from Okayplayer on the Trayvon Martin verdict and the national reaction it has ignited.