Today, the social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte, has released the official video to “Hanging Tree” – a visual collaboration with Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Elijah Blake, via Kobalt Music Recordings. “Hanging Tree” will be featured on’s forthcoming album, Broken Windows. You can watch the full visual for “Hanging Tree” on VEVO below.

In an exclusive interview with The FADER, Blake states:
“I wrote “Hanging Tree” as a way to use my voice for equal rights, especially black rights, in the aftermath of tragedies like Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice and so many others whose voices have been silenced. When I recorded this song, I wanted to have a way to express my feelings, despite at the time not having an album to attach this to. I was lucky that a friend of mine introduced me to the work the Sankofa organization is doing and it really resonated with me. I felt their work embodied the same message I wanted to convey with this song. As a result, the Sankofa organization and I have combined efforts to spread this important message of equality through this amazing video, as well as through their EP17 Project, where the song was originally released.”

“Hanging Tree,” written/produced by Blake and directed by Sean Alexander, is a visual that showcases the injustices in a corrupt socioeconomic system. The “Hanging Tree” single first appeared as a snippet visual on’s visual EP “17”, which featured music by artists Ty Dolla $ign, Raphael Saadiq, Mali Music as well as Elijah Blake and is now available on all DSPs. The visual EP, which made its official February 17th premiere on TIDAL, seeks to raise funds to support grassroots organizing efforts around issues of racial and social justice. It is now available on all digital streaming platforms.


Elijah Blake proves time and again why he’s one of the most important artists of our time. In this country’s current climate, young African-Americans need musicians and influencers that represent us, and echo our thoughts.

In addition to the video, the song itself is haunting and should be considered our generation’s “Strange Fruit” (no pun intended), as words & movements like #SayHerName, “Will I be next?”, and “Not another hashtag” plague social media and civil rights protests across the country.

Thank you to Elijah Blake and the Sankofa Organization for creating this work in our time.