Lil Baby, 'The Bigger Picture': Protest Music In 2020 : We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020 This song, part of our 'We Insist' timeline of 2020's noteworthy protest music, was released June 12.
NPR logo Lil Baby's 'The Bigger Picture' Reflects On The Aftershocks Of Police Violence

Lil Baby's 'The Bigger Picture' Reflects On The Aftershocks Of Police Violence

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Lil Baby has transformed into one of the reigning Princes of Trap since his debut mixtape, 2017's Perfect Timing. But in June, the Atlanta rapper caught many by surprise when he released his first protest song, "The Bigger Picture." In just over four minutes, he unveils his thought process at its most vulnerable. Crafted in response to the recent uptick in Black Lives Matter protests, the rapper sheds light on the direct aftershocks that police brutality and racism has on both himself and his community.

"I Can't Breathe," the final words of George Floyd, has transformed into a powerful statement chanted by protestors. The phrase opens "The Bigger Picture," with Lil Baby honoring those critical moments that Floyd couldn't survive with his near-breathless lyrical flow. "It's too many mothers that's grieving / They killing us for no reason," the rapper fervently spits while acknowledging his own relation to violence: "Been going on for too long to get even / Throw us in cages like dogs and hyenas."

The video fuels more power into the song's message, with Lil Baby at a protest in his hometown as harrowing news headlines flash on the screen. But his cries for activism don't end there: The rapper donated proceeds of the track to the Bail Project, the National Association of Black Journalists and Breonna Taylor's legal team. And with "The Bigger Picture" becoming his highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 single to date (it peaked at No. 3), the impact will continue to be felt by many.