Jay Z’s music-streaming service Tidal has partnered with social justice organization Sankofa.org to exclusively premiere 17, a 17-minute visual EP inspired by the men, women and children who have fallen victim to racial and police violence, including Trayvon Martin, who died at the age of 17 nearly five years ago.
The EP, which debuted Friday, features music by Ty Dolla $ign featuring Big TC (“No Justice”), Raphael Saadiq (“The Answer”), Mali Music (“Drama”) and Elijah Blake (“Hanging Tree”).
The short is a beautifully shot homage to black life written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. It follows a day in the life of 17-year-old Jacobi Nelson and his tragic encounter with racial bias and police violence.
To coincide with its release, Sankofa.org and Tidal have launched the social campaign #IAM17 to encourage people to share and post their own stories about where they were and what they were doing at age 17.
A press release from Tidal says that 17 is a prelude to Sankofa’s forthcoming debut compilation album on its new recording label. The organization, which was founded by Harry Belafonte in 2013, seeks to connect influential artists and grassroots leaders to work collaboratively against human rights abuses and injustice.
Last October, Sankofa produced “Many Rivers to Cross,” a historic two-day social justice, music and arts festival outside of Atlanta that attracted nearly 20,000 people and featured John Legend, Maxwell, T.I., Public Enemy, Rosario Dawson, Jesse Williams, Angela Davis, Van Jones and Sonia Sanchez. The group also served as a key partner with Blackout for Human Rights on the 2016 “Justice for Flint” action.