Tidal sponsored the popular singer’s visit to the University, but oddly enough… he wasn’t there to sing!
Details + more photos below…
Usher appeared at Georgia State University during an event sponsored by the music streaming service on April 12.
He wasn’t there to perform, however. Instead, he talked for nearly an hour about social injustice.
According to the AJC, the Atlanta entertainer shared his thoughts on police brutality, how he hopes his own art can be used to raise awareness and the claims that Beyonce’s viral music video for “Formation” was anti-police.
“You can’t look away,” Usher said of the symbolic video. “In order to fix [the issues] we have to face [them].”
Usher said for him, “Chains” represented a new era in his career.
“’Chains’ to me was that opportunity to use my platform for something other than wealth,” he told attendees.
“It was really courageous for Tidal and myself to come together for something that was taboo.”
The superstar entertainer also touched on Beyonce’s viral music video for ‘Formation,’ calling her efforts “courageous.”
The controversial release, which features Beyonce lying on a sinking police car, has been critiqued for being “anti-police.”
“Ridicule comes with reality,” Usher said when asked what he thought about those critiques.
Usher stated during the hour long conversation that he, like Beyonce, he is NOT anti-police. However he urged students to use their voices to raise awareness for social issues, too.
“As long as you have the ability to influence one person, that’s all you need,” he said. “It’s a choice. It’s a matter of you making [these issues] a priority.”
When asked whether or not he talks to his two young sons about police brutality, Usher told the audience he hopes he is raising respectful young men who “understand the reality of things potentially being taken to a level where they eventually lose control.”
He said it is important that they understand that being disrespectful or arrogant towards authority figures can potentially put them in a dangerous situation.
In closing, Usher reiterated that it’s important to open the lines of communication between police and the community so that both sides are able to effectively voice their fears and concerns and work towards a positive resolution.
Major props to Usher for bringing positive, insightful commentary to to GSU campus.