Powerful new music video challenges Trump ban
It is the first video to be released from The Hamilton Mixtape, an offshoot of songs from the hit-musical Hamilton which debuted on Broadway to critical acclaim in late 2016.
US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban came into effect overnight Thursday after months of legal challenges, banning citizens of six-Muslim majority nations from entering the US.
The six-minute video highlights the sacrifices, resilience, and immeasurable contributions made by immigrants as they seek to survive and flourish in new countries.
The highly emotive visuals show immigrants from all over the world travelling on the top of trains, working in the backrooms of restaurants, and slaving away on sewing machines – ironically making American flags.
|This election cycle has brought xenophobia and vilification of immigrants back to the forefront of US politics|
'We built you a castle'
The song features Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product, Puerto-Rican rapper Residente from Calle 13, Somali-Canadian singer K'naan, and British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed.
"Man, I was brave, sailing on graves/Don't think I didn't notice those tombstones disguised as waves", sings K'naan in the video, recognising the terrifying journey refugees make across the Mediterranean sea.
Underpinning the song is a rejection of the notion that immigrants take away jobs from Americans, highlighting instead the contributions made by new arrivals – often after incredible sacrifices.
"We packed our entire house in one suitcase/With a pick, a shovel/And a rake/We built you a castle," Puerto-Rican rapper Residente says in his Spanish-language verse.
"You claim I'm stealing jobs though," Snow Tha Product, a Mexican-American artist says.
"Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo/But there ain't a paper trail when you living in the shadows/We're America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed."
The video has gone viral since its release, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, himself of Puerto Rican descent, encouraging famous friends online to sing a song from Hamilton to raise money for 'Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition' using the hashtag #Ham4all.