Trey Songz is using his voice to shed light on the injustices affecting the black community.
In response to the Black Lives Matter protests across the country, the R&B crooner has dropped his powerful anthem “2020 Riots: How Many Times,” on which he confronts the police brutality and institutionalized racism in America.
“How many mothers have to cry? How many brothers gotta die?” he asks over the piano-driven melody. “How many more times? How many more times? How many more marches? How many more signs? How many more lives?”
Accompanied by a choir, an emotional Trey also addresses the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor (“All these beautiful precious black lives lost in the name of senseless white pride”) and the protests that have resulted across America (“You talkin’ about the city on fire / Where your rage when my people died?”).
The melody debuted earlier this week on D-Nice’s Instagram Live. Trey felt compelled to finish the song after protesting on the front lines.
“Three or four nights ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep…I couldn’t sleep,” he said. “My chest was hurting. I got up and called my producer, Troy Taylor and I said ‘We’ve got to make music that really touches the soul, that really addresses what the world is feeling right now. Especially our people.’ So we came up with ‘2020 Riots: How Many Times.’”
He continued, “With the words in this song I just wanted to speak to everyone’s hearts and acknowledge the pain and anguish everyone is going through right now. I know this ain’t usually my message and you’re not used to hearing this from me, but this is the person I’ve always been.”
A portion of the proceeds from the song will directly benefit Black Lives Matter and the Community Justice Exchange’s National Bail Fund Network.
Trey is not the only artist speaking up. Meek Mill and Tee Grizzley have also turned to music to express how they’re feeling during these times.