Dumpstaphunk and Trombone Shorty Take a Stand in 'Justice' Video: Premiere

Jim Mimna


Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump today (Jan. 20), artists across the board have been making their voices heard. Iconic New Orleans funk outfit Dumpstaphunk, led by singer/keyboardist Ivan Neville alongside his cousin and guitarist Ian Neville, bassists Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III and drummer Alvin Ford, Jr., have joined in with a new song and video called "Justice," featuring Trombone Shorty, a plea for equality and fairness in a time of frank uncertainty in the United States.

The video opens with a voice over of a news report involving a police shooting, laid over a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that reads, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"This song is basically our current take on the message of equal opportunity and the right to a decent life for all humans," Ian Neville told Billboard in an email. "The human part is that major common thread that some other humans have the ability to ignore. This song is to remind people that we are all in this together no matter what your beliefs, race, or any other perceived differences. When you look at how far we've come and think about all the progress we've made and then think about how far we still have to go -- that's when you need justice in all its form."

Fans of New Orleans brass funk should also be well acquainted with Trombone Shorty, one of the brightest young faces to emerge from the city over the past decade plus. Still just 31, Shorty is a staple of the city's music culture and his presence on the track adds an extra dimension to a track already oozing with groove.

"We have known Troy [Shorty] since the trombone was bigger than he was, and we have been fortunate over the years to become really close friends and collaborators," Ivan Neville said. "He's an amazing musician and wows us every time we get the chance to work with him, so we were honored to have him on this track."

And lest anyone think that the timing of today's release -- the morning before Donald Trump is officially sworn into office as president of the United States of America -- was a coincidence, think again.

"In light of certain messages and overall tones of acceptance, or lack thereof, being voiced by many over recent months, inauguration day seemed to be an appropriate time to voice the need for equal say and opportunity for all people," Ian Neville said. "We entered a new year with a lot of unanswered questions on the subject of 'justice' that we all felt a little uneasy about. But there's only so much we can do, and this track is our way of expressing our worries. That being said, I stand behind Obama in his words: 'A new future is ours to write. And I'm as confident as ever that it will be led by the United States of America -- and that our best days are still ahead.'"

Check out the video for "Justice" below.