South African hip hop artist Shane Eagle takes a simple and smooth approach to discuss important social and political topics in his music video JULIA. The music video opens with the South African hip hop artists eating cereal and blankly starring at a television screen playing cartoons. The video then cuts to black and white clips of the artists, where he can be seen standing on top of what appear to be poor, slum-like villages. Shane Eagle’s lyrics provide a message about discussing the harsh truth many South African’s face. This message is intensified when his lyrics “We rap about the diamonds and never about the violence, And always about the jewels and never about the pools, That my people still drowning in” are played over a grim South African background. This is one effective way that Shane Eagle highlights the social injustices many South African’s face daily, and how their voices are rarely heard.
The South African hip hop artist also sheds light on political issues within his music video. Turning his message to social justice, Shane Eagle says, “We want the peace, the freedom, on top of the cheese,” repeatedly in the chorus. After hearing that phrase many times, the message of liberation was clear. One of the most striking shots of this concept was seen when Shane Eagle was standing among a large crowd of people, ranging in ages. During this shot, the lyrics “If you’re not black you don’t understand the struggle the same, Now that’s facts, I’ve seen how my people’s held back in the trap,” are rapped by Shane Eagle. After seeing the entire video, I felt this was the most powerful combination of lyrics and video, which effectively showed his take on social injustice within South Africa. A final angle that Shane Eagle takes within his music video deals with addressing the president of South Africa. He specifically calls him out by saying, “Mr President got the money in his pockets, My people starving,” to criticize the president’s ignorance toward his suffering people.
After watching Shane Eagle’s music video JULIA, it is powerful to see how messages of strength and unity are portrayed over grim realities in South Africa.