Edmonton Rapper Arlo Maverick Addresses Police Brutality in Powerful "Hashtag" Video
"Since the video was filmed, more people have been killed. Before the end of the year, it's going to happen again."
Published Feb 18, 2021Edmonton-based rapper Arlo Maverick is addressing police brutality against Black people in a powerful new single and video, "Hashtag." Ahead of the song's arrival on streaming services tomorrow, February 19, watch the video now, exclusively via Exclaim!
Driven by guest vocalist Riwo's melodic refrain of "I don't wanna be a hashtag one day," Maverick breaks down the stories of countless Black people who have been victimized and killed by the police, with bars such as, "No matter what we do, they find an excuse / 'I was scared, I didn't know what to do' / Protected by courts, lawyers and unions / Believe me when I sing it, they know what they're doing."
The accompanying video features scenes inspired by the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot by passersby while jogging, and Tamir Rice, who was killed by police after playing with a toy gun. It culminates in a montage of names of Black people killed as a result of police brutality.
Said Maverick in a press release, "When you see the chalk outlines of bodies and all of the hashtags come up at the end of the video, I wanted the viewer to be overwhelmed by the number of names on the screen. For them to think, 'How many more Black lives need to be taken for changes to happen?' Since the video was filmed, more people have been killed. Before the end of the year, it's going to happen again."
The track also serves as the lead single from Maverick's forthcoming EP, Soul Merchant, due for release later this spring.
Watch the "Hashtag" video below.