Published Jul 01, 2020Toronto-based rapper Haviah Mighty won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for her debut album, 13th Floor, and now she's treated album highlight "Thirteen" to a new video that makes as much of an impact as the song's rhymes.
The video for "Thirteen," a full-bodied exploration of the history of slavery in the United States and the ways in which Black people remain systemically oppressed worldwide, expertly pairs Mighty's visceral rhymes with tender animation by Theo Kapodistrias that delves into America's racist past and present in a manner as urgent and heartfelt as Mighty's delivery.
The rapper said in a statement:
"Thirteen" speaks factually and candidly to the painful journey of black people in North America. And it speaks to how that journey has morphed into continued racial prejudice, using the media and using the law. To get rid of white supremacy is to identify it at its root. I hope when people watch [the video for] 'Thirteen,' they feel moved to do their part in reversing white supremacy. I hope we can begin to see one another as equal — a dream I've always hoped could one day be a reality. And I hope people realize that it's going to take WORK! Who is willing to work, to make change?
Added Mighty about the song:
I am a first-generation Canadian, born and raised. My father was born in Jamaica, and my mother is Bajan, born in England. I have locks, dark, beautiful skin, and a full nose and lips. As a Canadian, I've been told countless times that I don't know what racism is, that I've never experienced racism, and that racism doesn't exist in Canada. Because of our reputation as a safe haven, Canadians can be quick to separate themselves from Americans when issues of bigotry arise. Racism is alive and well in Canada, it is simply more covert. The 13th Amendment may be specific to the U.S. Constitution, but it is not specific to U.S. ideologies. Racism is worldwide. The perception of black people has been destroyed globally.
Watch the video for "Thirteen" below, and keep scrolling for upcoming Haviah Mighty performances, including two virtual sets tonight as part of the City of Toronto's Canada Day celebrations and CBC's Canada Day Together. 13th Floor was named one of Exclaim!'s 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2019 and 50 Best Canadian Albums of the 2010s.
07/01 City of Toronto Canada Day 2020 (Virtual)
07/01 CBC Canada Day Together (Virtual)
07/02 Lilith FLARE Summer Concert Series (Virtual)
08/01 Gatineau, QC - RBC Bluesfest Drive-In
10/07 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
10/08 Chicago, IL - Reggie's Music Joint
06/19/21 Hamilton, ON - Tim Hortons Field (supporting Arkells)