Gary Clark Jr. Fires Salvo At Trump-Era Racism with “This Land” Video

“I’m 34 years old now and I’ve seen enough, and I’ve just had enough,” the artist told American Songwriter.

Gary Clark, Jr., the Texas artist once hailed as a blues guitar wunderkind, will release a new album this spring called This Land.

The album, which drops March 1 on Warner Bros. Records, is Clark’s most ambitious to date and moves seamlessly across an array of musical genres. It was recorded at Arlyn Studios in Clark’s hometown of Austin.

The record’s title track, whose video you can watch below, opens the album and is an arresting call-to-arms. A deft synthesis of hip-hop and blues, the song is a withering indictment of America’s fraught racial climate. It pulls no punches in delivering its message, with the song’s protagonist howling

I remember when you use to tell me

Nigga run, nigga run
Go back where you come from
Nigga run, nigga run
Go back where you come from
We don’t want, we don’t want your kind
We think you’s a dumb bum
Fuck you, I’m America son
This is where I come from

This land is mine.

The video, which was directed by the British-born filmmaker Savanah Leaf, was filmed in Austin and features shots of black children situated amongst Confederate flags and other relics of the Old South. Clark’s character is holed up throughout in an antebellum mansion “right in the middle of Trump country,” shredding on a Gibson SG on the balcony behind a hoisted American flag.

Before a concert late last year in Chattanooga, Clark elaborated on the inspiration for the song.

“I’m 34 years old now and I’ve seen enough, and I’ve just had enough,” Clark told American Songwriter. “I spent my whole life being black in Texas, and [you experience] blatant and subtle and abrasive discrimination. With the current climate politically, it’s like, ‘What the fuck is happening?’ Everyone just wants to be treated like a human being.”

When he wrote the song, Clark said he had Woody Guthrie’s iconic “This Land Is Your Land” in mind.

“It’s one of the first songs we learn, and we sing it together,” Clark said. “It’s like the Pledge of Allegiance … And when you’re kids, everybody’s together. You don’t see differences until you get older, and older people influence you to think about other people a certain way. I just want to get back to singing that song like we were kids again, you know?”

Clark and his band will debut the song live tonight on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertWatch the video, and check out the track list and tour dates below.


THIS LAND track listing:

This Land
What About Us
I Got My Eyes On You (Locked & Loaded)
I Walk Alone
Feelin’ Like A Million
Gotta Get Into Something
Got To Get Up
Feed The Babies
Pearl Cadillac
When I’m Gone
The Guitar Man
Low Down Rolling Stone
The Governor
Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow
Dirty Dishes Blues

BONUS TRACKS:
Highway 71
Did Dat

Tour dates

Mar 09 Miami, FL Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
Mar 10 Tampa, FL Gasparilla Music Festival
Mar 13 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theatre
*Mar 14 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
Mar 15 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre presented by Chase
Mar 16 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre presented by Chase
Mar 18 Indianapolis, IN Old National Centre – Murat Theatre
Mar 20 Pittsburgh, PA Benendum Center
Mar 21 New York City, NY Beacon Theatre presented by Chase
Mar 22 New York City, NY Beacon Theatre presented by Chase
Mar 23 New York City, NY Beacon Theatre presented by Chase
Mar 26 Boston, MA House of Blues
Mar 27 Boston, MA House of Blues
Mar 29 Philadelphia, PA Met Opera House
Mar 30 Washington, DC The Anthem
Mar 31 Richmond, VA The National
Apr 02 Durham, NC Durham PAC
Apr 03 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
Apr 05 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Apr 06 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Apr 07 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
*May 04 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees Music Festival
*May 25 Napa, CA BottleRock Music Festival