Louisiana-based artist Willie Jones has dropped his new single 'American Dream', in honour of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The poignant song was recorded during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020; a response to the murder of George Floyd.
In 'American Dream', Jones, whose music fuses country with hip hop, highlights the ongoing patriotism of centuries of Black Americans who have fought against systemic racism in the US, and who continue to strive for equality.
“Proud to be a black man / Living in the land of the brave and the free / Yeah I’m all American / And that American dream ain’t cheap.”
In conversation with Rolling Stone, Jones said, “I’m not at all political so I hope people pay attention that ‘American Dream’ is a patriotic song about the love I have for my country. America is far from perfect, but we can’t throw away all the progress that my ancestors sacrificed literally everything for to build this country. When we went into the recording studio last 4th of July, the world was flipped upside down, and it just flowed out.”
In addition to the 'American Dream' single and accompanying video, Jones has also today launched his #IHaveAnAmericanDream campaign, in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music. The initiative asks individuals to share their dream for change in America, encouraging donations to the museum (text ‘AMERICAN DREAM’ TO 707070).
Willie Jones' new album, Right Now, will be released on Friday (January 22)
Photography by Gordon Clark