Keedron Bryant Releases EP ‘I Just Wanna Live’ in Honor of the BLM Movement
On top of what the average 13-year-old does, Keedron Bryant has dropped an album called I Just Wanna Live.
Bryant’s first encounter with fame was when he was a contestant on NBC’s Little Big Shots. This eighth-grader from Jacksonville, Florida, became a viral sensation back in May. “I Just Wanna Live” was a song written by Bryant’s mother, Johnetta Bryant, after the murder of George Floyd, and around the time of the second wave of the Black Lives Movement.
According to Bryant, his mother prayed for God to give her something to pass down to him after watching the murder of Floyd. The result was “I Just Wanna Live,” which has gotten people through difficult times as they demand justice for the countless lives lost as a result of police brutality.
— Steve Lee (@stevelee527) September 13, 2020
Since the release of the video that was shared via Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, it has accumulated more than 4 million views. The song quickly became an anthem for the African American community, moving people all around the world.
African American leaders and icons such as Will Smith, LeBron James, Alicia Keys, and even former U.S. President Barack Obama shared his heart touching video on social media.
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I want to share parts of the conversations I’ve had with friends over the past couple days about the footage of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota. The first is an email from a middle-aged African American businessman. “Dude I gotta tell you the George Floyd incident in Minnesota hurt. I cried when I saw that video. It broke me down. The ‘knee on the neck’ is a metaphor for how the system so cavalierly holds black folks down, ignoring the cries for help. People don’t care. Truly tragic.” Another friend of mine used the powerful song that went viral from 12-year-old Keedron Bryant to describe the frustrations he was feeling. The circumstances of my friend and Keedron may be different, but their anguish is the same. It’s shared by me and millions of others. It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” – whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park. This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be “normal.” If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better. It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station – including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day – to work together to create a “new normal” in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.
On his R&B debut album, Bryant sends empowering messages through his melodic, gospel voice, and powerful lyrics. No matter who you are, this album is sure to bring you good vibes and uplift your spirit. This viral video opened various opportunities for this young leader. He was the opening act for the BET awards. and will also be headlining the National Football League’s halftime on Thursday night.
— NFL (@NFL) September 9, 2020
Although he is young, he is setting the tone for America, as a nation, by talking about important topics even if they make people uncomfortable. You can listen to Keedron Bryant’s I Just Wanna Live, on all streaming platforms.