Jussie Smollett’s incredible voice is one of the greatest gifts to come out of Empire, and the young star is now using that talent to deliver an important message against hatred, violence and President Trump.
The 34-year-old just debuted the self-directed video for “F.U.W.,” the first song he’s released outside of music from Empire since the show began, and it features black-and-white footage of a spectrum of people persecuted for things like sexuality, race and religion.
“This song is for the oppressed. That’s why I feel like people will connect with it because it is very broad, because oppression is so broad,” he told The Associated Press.
The video includes images of a black man standing in front of a noose and a scared trans woman in front of a bathroom, reminding us that it is indeed a “fucked up world,” but that we must resist.
“F.U.W.” is not even the official first single off his upcoming album—that song is set to be released this summer—but Smollett said he couldn’t wait once he came up with the timely concept.
“You couldn’t follow, you know, normal rules or normal protocol with this, you just had to get it out and luckily Columbia (Records) stood behind me,” he said. “Because the song means so much to me and the message means so much to me, and what we’re going through right now means so much to me, I wanted to do it justice. And I knew what was in my mind would do it justice.”