Jay-Z’s TIDAL streaming service and Sankofa.org, Harry Belafonte’s social justice organization, teamed up to release 17, a stirring visual EP in honor of Black History Month and the fifth anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death.
Martin, 17, was gunned down by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. He would have been 22 years old on February 5.
The project follows a 17-year-old Black boy named Jacobi Nelson as he travels throughout his day, ultimately leading to a shattering encounter with the police.
17, a prelude to a forthcoming full-length album, features Ty Dolla $ign’s “No Justice,” Raphael Saadiq’s “The Answer,” Elijah Blake’s “Hanging Tree” and Mali Music’s “Drama,” Billboard reports. Artists John Legend, Sting and Andra Day will lend their voices to the project, according to the outlet.
“Artists are the gatekeepers of truth and have a unique opportunity to instruct as well as entertain,” Belafonte said in a recent interview with Billboard. “17 is a powerful visual meant to shift the paradigm of racial bias and illuminate the prolific issue of the carnage besieging black and brown communities all across this country.”
Belafonte executive produced the project, tapping filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz whom he previously collaborated with on Sankofa’s PSA “Against The Wall.”