Last month, Lil Wayne faced controversy while filming the music video for “God Bless Amerika,” which finally debuted last night (July 15). During the video shoot he received heat for stepping on the American flag when the flag, used as a backdrop, fell behind him. He continued the shoot, rapping along to the music while stepping on the flag unintentionally.
He cleared up the situation on Facebook, stating it was never his intention “to desecrate the flag of the United States of America.”
“The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground,” he wrote. “In most people eyes including my own who were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up. I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don’t get that chance. That’s their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That’s who I’m speaking for in this song.”
The Eif Rivera-directed video shows Weezy in his hometown performing and as he said, reflects on life in his hood. Standing at a mic stand in front of the American flag, a slow drumbeat is heard before Wayne begins to rap.
“My mind’s filled with minefields/The ashes fall, the wine spills,” he raps. “My country ’tis of thee/Sweet land of kill ’em all and let ’em die.”
As the backdrop falls, a crowd of his former neighbors is revealed behind him. It was this scene that the original controversy arose. Once the flag dropped, Wayne stepped on the flag, unaware that he would soon be angering many Americans.
“I used to say f*** the police, now I say f*** jail,” he continues to rap in a vacant house while “they don’t care” is spray painted on the walls.
The clip shows his neighbors on street corners, parents with their kids in their arms, all living life while the police encroach on their territory. As the flag is lifted back up in front of his hometown crowd, one thing is certain: Weezy remains a testament that it is possible to escape poverty, shown in part via plugs for both his vodka sponsorship and clothing lines.