Just in time for Black History Month, August Greene – a supergroup formed by Robert Glasper, Common and Karriem Riggins – has delivered a new video full optimism and hope.
The trio’s “Optistimic” clip, directed by famed hip-hop photographer/author B+, features the group in the studio with Brandy singing the uplifting verses from the original 1991 song performed by gospel/soul group Sounds Blackness.
Shot during during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in Jackson, Mississippi, the video also features Mississippi activists and residents including, Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba along with his wife Ebony and daughter Alaké.
Mississippi civil rights activist Frankye Adams Johnson is also featured as well as Cindy Ayers Elliot, the founder Foot Print Farms, which grows organic food to serve underserved communities. Finally, Brandy, who is a McComb, Mississippi native, sings, "You can win / As you long as k=you keep your head to the sky / Be optimistic."
Near the end the video, there's a reference to the symbolic protest by Colin Kaepernick as a group students converge on the steps the state Capitol, hold hands and kneel in unison.
Riggins told Billboard that their video comes at a right time as people are celebrating black excellence this month.
“February is a wonderful month for this song to be released because Black History Month," he said. "Also, one the greatest producer/musicians J Dilla was born on February 7th, so this is the perfect time for us to continue to celebrate him.”
August Greene's self-titled album is due to arrive Amazon Music on March 9.