Joey Bada$$ is adding to the national conversation about police shootings in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and numerous other unarmed black men with his stark and moving new video for “Like Me,” (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid). In it, the young rapper spends time with his girlfriend when an armed robber attacks them. Though Joey is an innocent victim, he still ends up as the target of police brutality as the situation escalates.
“The hot-headed guy, he gets killed by the police with a gun in his hand,” he explained to Mother Jones. “And me, the cool guy, who is away from all the violence, I still end up being mixed in the loop — just being a victim because of my surroundings or where I’m from.”
Despite the dark ending of the video, and the severity of the issues it addresses, Joey wants to be optimistic that relations with the police can improve. “I pray that there is hope, but even the fact that I have to dream like that is what’s disturbing,” he said. “My message is that it can happen to any one of us.” Watch the video above.