Anthony Hamilton and Tamika Mallory team up on gripping new song and video “Mercy”

 By Jamel Smith

December 17, 2020

Anthony Hamilton is back with a new single dedicated to the world on behalf of Black men who have involuntarily served as targets of discrimination and police brutality throughout history. In “Mercy,” Hamilton delivers an urgent and emotional call to all who will listen. Produced by Charles Hamilton, Bink!, Brody Brown, and Larrance Dopson, the stirring track follows the long tradition of soul singers who demand change for Black lives.

Anthony Hamilton at The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC. Courtesy of My Music Box/BMG

In addition to Hamilton’s gospel-tinged performance, he enlists social justice leader and activist Tamika Mallory as a featured poet. In spoken word, the activist dedicates the opening lines of “Mercy” exclusively to Black men: “Black man— as your queen, I want you to know that I see you, I feel you, I’m on your frequency. And although you don’t frequently feel valued, you are.” Hamilton follows Mallory’s words of love with an equally powerful plea, asking for leniency from those who have not walked, or ran, in his shoes as a Black man.

Tamika Mallory’s spoken word poem performance was filmed at the NC Music Factory in Charlotte. Courtesy of My Music Box/BMG

The visual for “Mercy” is equally intense with the alarming opening scene taking place at the location of Charlotte’s Black Lives Matters mural. Filmed primarily at The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC, the five-minute video interweaves a vulnerable, heartfelt performance with powerful imagery. Directed by Terrance Crowley, it serves as a touching tribute to Black men through a black-and-white montage of those whose lives were disrupted by America’s unjust system: George Floyd, Alton Sterling, Kalief Browder, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin. “Mercy’s” visual also honors those who are not explicitly mentioned in history books, but who have equally endured trauma throughout the country’s history of racial violence. The result is one of Hamilton’s most touching audiovisual offerings, as well as a standout for R&B music this year.

Black Lives Matter mural in uptown Charlotte

“Mercy” is Hamilton’s second solo single of the year to be released on his new label My Music Box, in partnership with BMG. Back in May, he released the 9th Wonder-produced “Back Together” featuring Rick James. The song peaked No. 13 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart in August.

Watch the music video for “Mercy” by Anthony Hamilton featuring Tamika Mallory. 

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