Stories of racial profiling and violence against unarmed civilians make headlines with regularity.
And while these cases are hot topics for a news cycle, the media and the public quickly move on to the next sensational story without truly acknowledging the lives lost, or making any real progress towards change. While social injustice keeps taking lives, it’s all too easy for society to keep looking away.
Internationally celebrated musician Usher recorded “Chains”, an anthem to advocate for unarmed victims of violence.
To ensure the public paid attention to this important issue, the song was launched exclusively on chains(dot)tidal(dot)com. Using facial recognition technology, fans have to hold the gaze of victims of social injustice – like Travyon Martin and Sean Bell – in order to hear “Chains”. If the viewer looks away, the music stops.
Within days, the video was featured on CBS This Morning, NBC, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, The Guardian and Forbes, contributing to more than 500 million earned impressions.
Influencers including Cara Delevingne, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jay Z took to social media to express their support. Usher performed “Chains” for the first time to a sold-out audience at the TIDAL x 1020 Amplified by HTC concert, with proceeds benefitting groups that promote social impact and change.