Kehlani releases pro-Palestine song ‘Next 2 U’, highlighting role of artists during revolutions

Kehlani releases pro-Palestine song ‘Next 2 U’, highlighting role of artists during revolutions

The artist repurposed a love song from their upcoming album for the cause.
01 Jun, 2024

In a bold and much-needed move, R&B artist Kehlani Ashley Parrish, known mononymously as Kehlani, has released a pro-Palestine song titled ‘Next 2 U,’ making a powerful statement as many musicians choose to remain silent amid Israel’s assault on Gaza.

The music video features Kehlani and a group of dancers donning keffiyehs and dancing in front of Palestinian flags — a show of solidarity for the Palestinian cause. The song’s lyrics, originally about a lover, have been repurposed into a declaration of defence.

Announcing the song’s release on Instagram, Kehlani wrote, “‘The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible’ –– Toni Cade Bambara. As an artist, I was nervous, terrified and worried after losing so much of what I’d valued for an album I worked incredibly hard on to my humanity, paired with the crippling wonder of what music is appropriate to drop during the most historical tragedies of our generation.”

Kehlani recalled their favourite revolutionary poets, singers, and filmmakers. She remembered how much impact artists have. “I thought about my favourite James Baldwin quotes about the role of an artist in society. I listened to this song enough to recognise a love song IS a protector’s song. [It] IS the revolution.”

‘Next 2 U’s’ music video opens with the popular anti-war quote from Palestinian poet Hala Alyan: “Keep your moon / We have our own / Keep your army / We have our name / Keep your flag / We have fruits and in / All the right colours.” The excerpt sets the tone for the rest of the music video.

“They gon’ have to come get me / They gon’ have to see about me / to get next to you,” Kehlani sings in the track. ‘Next 2 U’ is a lead single from their upcoming, yet-to-be-announced album. “I don’t care what they offer, I’m protecting you,” she repeats.

The song’s trap beat, coupled with Kehlani’s delivery makes for a heartfelt yet stern declaration. The choir thing in the intro is pretty interesting before the song quickly breaks into a vague chant that doesn’t say much about the cause. Thankfully, the strong imagery makes up for the songwriting that at times, leaves much to be desired — even for a love song.

A closing message reads, “We tried to make a scroll honouring the names of thousands of deceased children. The list was so long that our fastest scroll at three minutes was illegible.”

Instead of displaying the names within the video, Kehlani encourages viewers to read the extensive list “at your own pace,” urging them to acknowledge the human cost of the conflict.

Kehlani’s ‘Next 2 U’ isn’t just a statement, it’s also a call for awareness, amplifying the voices of those affected by Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza. The artist’s courageous song, much like Macklemore’s ‘Hind’s Hall’, should remind the world of the power of music to influence and inspire change.


Tahmad Jun 01, 2024 04:46pm
Love, Peace, Respect can only make our only planet a great planet for all humanity. Please let’s make it as real as possible, please say no to hate and say yes to love. All peace loving people around the world that including peace loving Israelis and Palestinians as well.
Peace For All Jun 01, 2024 04:52pm
Absolutely amazing and lovely efforts by the singer and her team. Let’s bring peace and love together and no more hatred.
Dan Jun 02, 2024 08:13am
Gaza crisis has become opportunity for some to be in news.. Although their actions bears ZERO effect on the actual ground, atleast they can gain some cheap publicity.
Shervin Jun 02, 2024 10:30pm
Revolution? What happened in Iran last year was a Revolution this is a genocide. And you all kept quiet for that! Proof all artists only support what is profitable! Shame!