Lil Wayne's bleak video for "God Bless Amerika," released by the rapper on Monday night, is filled with scenes of urban devastation in his native Hollygrove, New Orleans. There are closeup views of poverty, decked-out riot police and abandoned homes, one with "They don't care" written on it, a nod to the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the area in 2005.
There's also a large American flag, which was last seen being stepped on by Wayne in behind-the-scenes video footage from the shoot. He later apologized and clarified that the stomping would not be utilized in the finished version. Indeed in the released clip, the flag is an early backdrop before it is lowered to show neighbors behind him. Watch:
In a statement on Facebook following that controversy, Wayne explained what inspired him to pen the track.
"I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don't get that chance. That's their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That's who I'm speaking for in this song."
The Cool & Dre-produced song appears on Wayne's album, "I Am Not a Human Being II," which dropped in March and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The video was directed by Eif Rivera, whose credits include clips by 50 Cent, French Montana and Fat Joe.