Snow Tha Product & K’naan Say Immigrants Don’t Take Jobs. They Get The Job Done (Video)
In the summer of 2016, Hamilton creator Lin Manuel-Miranda appeared as a guest on Last Week Tonight to make a plea to congress on behalf of his native Puerto Rico. At the time, the island nation and U.S. territory was facing a debilitating economic crisis, and Miranda loaned his voice to urge the American government to intervene in the form of financial aid and political empowerment. Himself the child of Puerto-Rican immigrants, Miranda has often used his platform as a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and pop-culture phenom to raise awareness about various social causes, and naturally immigration is one particularly important to him.
Along with racism, classism, political violence, and social upheaval, immigration is a key focus of Miranda’s Hamilton mixtape, a Hip-Hop inspired project featuring The Roots, Nas, Chance The Rapper, Busta Rhymes, and more. Yesterday (June 28), Miranda debuted the video for “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done),” an inspiring homage to the millions of people around the world who, despite not having full citizen status, contribute greatly to global economies while often suffering in silence. In it, a handful of diverse rappers deliver potent verses about the painful reality presented by the immigrant experience, particularly in an era during which Islamophobia and “building a wall” are daily headline fodder. The song itself is inspired by a line taken from the Hamilton Broadway production’s soundtrack, namely “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” but it’s been re-imagined in video form to, as described by Rolling Stone, focus “on the refugees’ plight – from war-torn situations to ICE raids – as well as their indispensable contributions upon immigrating to America.”
Featuring Snow Tha Product (Mexican-American), K’naan (Somali-Canadian), Residente (Puerto Rican), Riz MC (British Pakistani, also known as actor Riz Ahmed), the music video is dramatic, piecing together a series of vignettes depicting common experiences for the immigrant groups represented by its all-star cast. Dangerous journeys across borders, backbreaking work in sweatshops and orange groves, and the constant threat of deportation are just some of the elements included in the theatrical production.
However, the music video isn’t Miranda’s only important delivery this week. As Rolling Stone reports, Miranda “announced a Prizeo contest to benefit the Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition, ‘an alliance of immigration-focused nonprofits throughout the U.S. assembled by The Hispanic Federation.'”