SABASTIAN DIRECTED THE ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT *NSFW VISUAL
Los Angeles-bred rapper, producer, director, designer, activist, and all-around visionary David Sabastian
“America on Fire” opens with an angelic choir, but quickly descends into a barrage of chants, militaristic drum rolls, and claps. Through this score, Sabastian articulates anxieties in the Black community and the fears of living through a pandemic, his booming voice cutting through every second. He balances political messages with spiritual and philosophical concerns, preaching the power of love, positivity, and togetherness while still indicting the wealthy. “It’s all a game and the rich is watching us die for entertainment,” he raps. “N***a, this shit is crazy, we living in The Matrix.” On the hook, he tempers all profundity by gleefully chanting, “Bounce that ass!”
The Sabastian-directed music video is as captivating, insightful, and irreverent as the song itself. As American and Confederate flags are set aflame, Sabastian raps in front of a backdrop of the White House while surrounded by twerking women. Later, he’s spitting from the top of a truck emblazoned the words, “We Are God,” as it winds through the streets of Skid Row. Visually critiquing iconic American images and events (like the Fourth of July), the visual also finds Sabastian calling for justice for murdered Black people like the late Breonna Taylor.