Self-proclaimed New Orleans "soldiers of funk" Dumpstaphunk broke the hiatus in their recording career last year to release this one-off collaboration with Trombone Shorty.
Described as "a hopeful, yet cautious message, amidst the uncertainty and upheaval around the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America", Justice was released to coincide with Donald Trump's inauguration and the song has the lofty ambition that we might change society and "see the end of all that is wrong".
The promo video, filmed in their hometown, contains a performance from the band - which features two members of the Neville Brothers dynasty, Ivan and Ian - intercut with images of the fight for social justice, old and new, from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 to the protests against the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline just last year, where law enforcement officials used tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannon and pepper spray activists. The groove is irresistible and you're going to be moving your feet. But you're also being asked to consider your civic responsibilities.
"This song is to remind people that we are all in this together no matter what your beliefs, race, or any other perceived differences," says Ian Neville, guitarist and vocalist, quoted in Billboard at the time of the track's release. "When you look at how far we've come and think about all the progress we've made and then think about how far we still have to go - that's when you need justice in all its form[s]."
It's more of a pro-social justice song than an anti-Trump song, but the video leaves no doubt about where Dumpstaphunk's loyalties lie. "Someone is faceless," sings Ivan Neville over back-to-back images of a klansman and a police officer in riot gear with visor pulled down. And when he continues "someone is tasteless", we see the now-famous image of the president publicly mocking the spasmodic movement of a disabled person at a rally in South Carolina. And just in case you blinked and missed that, there's a quick shot of Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame being staved in with a sledgehammer.
Sure, the hook owes a debt to Controversy by Prince, but if you're going to borrow from anyone, it may as well be the best.
You can learn more about Dumpstaphunk here
About the curator: Jon Ewing
After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.
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