H.E.R. hasn’t sat idly by as the wave of pro-Black Lives Matter sentiment has flooded the public consciousness. The singer/songwriter has published a new song dubbed “I Can’t Breathe,” a timely ode to the ongoing protests and nod to the Black people who lost their lives to injustice.
Smooth R&B production anchors the nearly five-minute song, with H.E.R’s guitar strums accompanied by string accents, loping bass and relaxed percussion. This contrasts with the moving imagery of real life protesters hugging each other, marching through cities and standing off against local police forces. Imagery from around the world, including Belgium, Syria and Berlin, complements the footage from the streets. At around the half-way point, verse-chorus-verse structure is relinquished for nearly two minutes of conscious rap from H.E.R., delivered as more and more Black names are added to an immense memorial of people killed by cruelty.
Watch the video for H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe” above and listen to the track on major streaming platforms.
The Roots recently announced H.E.R. as one of the co-headliners for their annual Roots Picnic event.