Trouble in the Water was written and produced in the summer of 2014 for the album HOME. Only a few months earlier, in April of that year, unknown to the world at that time, local officials in Michigan cut corners and changed the water supply for the city, and as a result, lead from aging pipes leached into the water. This put the 100,000, mostly Black, residents of Flint in danger, without their knowledge for nearly two years.
In January 2016 the residents of Flint, MI, along with the world learned of their lead poisoned water.
Thousands of children were exposed to lead and dozens of people died.
Hip Hop Caucus traveled to Flint with artists to expose the injustice and build positive solutions with community leaders. Watch our short film.
When we realized our track from the album HOME, Trouble in the Water, foreshadowed what broke wide open 18 months later in Flint, we moved to action.
We called Common, Kumasi, and Malik Yusef who are featured on the record and they agreed to film a music video for Trouble in the Water. We produced the video from start to finish in 10 days because time was of the essence. We released it with a demand that Michigan Gov. Snyder established a compensation fund for Flint families who have been impacted by the water crisis, modeled after the September 11 victim compensation fund. The fund would provide needed direct financial assistance paired with health services and educational and outreach support to individuals affected by the water crisis.
Over a million people watched the video on Facebook in less than 24 hours. Thousands of people contacted Gov Snyder demanding justice.
Flint still does not have clean water. As of now new pipes are promised for the summer of 2020. A new study found that 80% of the children exposed to lead in Flint will require special education services.
Listen to Trouble in the Water and take action on environmental and climate justice in our action center.
Watch this making of Trouble in the Water behind-the-scenes video: