Rising artist, SilaS is putting his hometown of Jackson, Miss. on the map with a powerful, urgent single that’s become a viral sensation since its release this past November. Inspired by the Nickelodeon kids’ show of the same name, “Gullah Gullah Island” is decisively entertaining, but equally significant to the issues of police brutality, racism, and oppression that plague our country.
To date, the tune is quickly approaching a million plays across various platforms, and it’s even become a global phenomenon. As you can see here, it’s sparked new dance trend, amassing well over 22 million plays via Facebook. Back in the States, it’s gained SilaS national and local attention, with central Mississippi’s WAPT reporting on the artist’s ascent.
Above all the attention, though, “the most important thing is that the issue’s being talked about,” SilaS told WAPT. And today, that issue is brought to the forefront as the “Gullah Gullah Island” video has finally arrived.
Directed by the Dark Brothers, the video highlights the social commentary heard within the track by bringing it front and center. That’s clear from the jump, as we see the rapper portraying a young man slain by a police officer who mistook his phone for a handgun. But is it all a dream? Maybe so, but the reality of the situation hits immediately as SilaS gears up for his day amid voiceovers from news anchors discussing the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and those lost in the Charlestown, S.C. massacre.
It’s a harrowing, albeit hopeful, outlook from the Jackson native. And it seems like he’s only just getting started. “Gullah Gullah Island” is off SilaS’ new project, The Day I Died, which dropped Feb. 16, and is available for free download, courtesy of AudioMack.