As a first generation American, singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman sees inequalities that remain invisible–or ignored–to so many. Just give his latest LP Rhythm & Reason a spin to hear about the immigrant experience, his experience. It’s equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking, much like today’s song premiere “Up in Arms.”
The song’s timing is particularly prescient, linking 1989 America to today’s, all through the eyes of Black Panther leader Huey Newton. Sorrowful and beautiful, it’s not a song you’ll soon forget.
From Bhiman: “‘Up In Arms’ is a song about political and social struggle for African-Americans. The song is sung in the first person of Huey P. Newton, the Black Panther Party co-founder. It’s written, not during the height of his power but at his lowest point, in his final minutes looking back on a life of lessons learned. With the events in Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston in the past year or so, the issue of race is once again in the foreground of American thought. For this video, I was very lucky to be joined by my friend Rhiannon Giddens, who is not only generous with her immense talent and skill, but has a strong sense of social justice to match.”
Check out the video below.
Each week, we bring you a new track with Music Premiere Monday by Associate Editor Travis M. Andrews. For music updates, follow Andrews and Southern Living on Twitter @travismandrews and @Southern_Living.