NBA All-Star Damian Lillard Invokes Powerful Imagery in a Message of Hope (Video)

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As a point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard has been proving his skills off the court, as well, over the last year. On the mic, he’s established himself as a thoughtful, poetic MC. Under the name Dame D.O.L.L.A., he previously dropped a serious freestyle at Shade 45, and a few months later, he released a freestyle over Kanye West’s beat for Common’s “The Food.” Hailing from Oakland, California, the two-time NBA All-Star and former Rookie Of The Year has now released a video for “Bigger Than Us,” a moving homage to the struggles of minorities in the United States today.

With references to Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who faced no charges for the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown and other authorities, the song’s visual accompaniment is touching, but not preachy. Images of marchers with signs saying things like “Why did Mike Brown die?” are meshed together with Lillard’s raps, which are accompanied by singer Paul Rey’s hook. With a nationwide approach to its imagery, the video includes cities as far apart as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Historical footage of the civil rights era in the 1960s is cleverly interposed with footage from today, giving the tribute a full-circle element that is matched by Lillard’s deeply introspective verses.

Related: The Blazers’ Damian Lillard is an All-Star on the Court & The Microphone. Watch Him RAP! (Video)