New York, NY (Top40 Charts / Beliefs Project)
"In the Streets
of Charlottesville" is a new protest music video by multimedia artist/producer Jeff Burger, released on YouTube through the non-profit Beliefs Project he co-founded. The song provides savvy commentary on both the violence that turned the bucolic Virginia town into a hashtag, and the underlying themes continuing to tear at the whole nation. Based in Charlottesville, Burger was inspired by his community who has responded to hate with love, as echoed in the song's culminating lines: "Now we choose our destiny / unity through diversity."
"I wanted to give people everywhere the deeper story and a paradigm for navigating divisiveness and violence," Burger says. "The song is also helping locals heal open emotional wounds. Ultimately, it's about the urgent need to examine beliefs, and embrace inclusiveness and compassion societally."
Confederate monuments—flash points for white nationalism throughout the South—get their due: "Statues stood and glorified / the whips and chains of Dixie pride / All more troubling now because / they mixed it up with swastikas."
Burger also calls out presidential emboldening of white nationalism in the thinly veiled lines, "When leaders lack accountability / or even common civility / there's always someone else to blame / and the bully pulpit fanned the flames."
America's stalemate over gun violence isn't left off the hook: "Time's upon us we knew would come / when free speech marches with a gun / Amendments beg us what to do / to reconcile numbers one and two."
Burger's one-man production delivers insightful spoken word set to music dynamically evolving from the opening's sparse urban heartbeat and military snares into a full rock anthem finale. He orates in his natural Caucasian voice without pretense of white rap. "While I felt the message would be more powerful spoken than sung, an urban voice could be too easily dismissed as just angry and disenfranchised in this racially charged context. White introspection is critical to meaningful healing and progress."
The song reinforces such soul searching in candid lines like "Here's our chance to realize / we all hold our secret lies / Judge brothers for this, sisters for that / Time to take ourselves to the mat."
Burger's self-produced music video elevates the piece to multimedia storytelling art. Eschewing screen appearances, he enhances emotional impact by employing a seamless visual montage intimately reinforcing the lyrics' message.
About Jeff Burger and Beliefs Project
Jeff Burger is co-founder of Beliefs Project, a non-profit transmedia project dedicated to the collective evolution of human consciousness. An ASCAP songwriter, he is also an accomplished professional in the music and media industries, with clients including Apple, Disney, and Paramount. He has served on the masthead of four music magazines including Electronic Musician and EQ, and penned six books and 500+ articles on media arts.