Last December, T.I.’s clothing line AKOO partnered with tre native and dropped its latest fashion film titled “11xHuman.” Directed by John Merizalde with voiceover by hip-hop artist and Atlanta native Killer Mike, the film has been praised by Adweek for its bold point of view on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Vimeo included the film in their Best of December Staff Picks list calling it “one of the more striking branded pieces” of 2015. According to Director’s Notes, the piece “transcends its primary purpose and evolves into a much needed piece of social commentary” that “provides essential nourishment for the mind.”
“If not us, who? And if not now, when?”
Police brutality is a profound issue in the current American climate. Unlike many brands that shy away from social discussions, “11xHuman” confronts the issues with candor, sincerity, and hope. “Our goal was to be reflective of the violence that we inflict on our own community and not just limit the focus on external factors such as poverty, poor education, and the actions of the police,” says Sabai Burnett, VP of Marketing at Akoo.
“Before we were Americans, before those policemen were police men and women, they were human beings.”
T.I. has publicly addressed the issue of how we should respond to police brutality in his poem “United We Stand” stating, “our society’s issues are bigger than social media posts,” and since AKOO stands for “A King Of Oneself” it’s unsurprising that the brand is willing to take a social stand. Director John Merizalde says, “The topics covered are very real and current, and the last thing I wanted to do was exploit them.” However, “the message is real, and that is what we want to stick with people in the end.”
“Become more human being.”