Empire star Jussie Smollett strikes back with his latest creation, a protest song named "F.U.W." and its accompanying music video. The title is an acronym for "F#$*’d Up World" and the actor/singer/songwriter has had it up here with everything that is going on around the world, but especially in the United States.
Smollett is the latest artist to use their art to speak out about injustice, inhumanity and the insanity of 45. Over a dramatic sound bed of piano, percussion and violin, he laments, "Why we back in the past? / It's the same script, different cast / All these alternative facts / Cash me outside, how bout dat / Why's it so hard to keep hope / Who got that popular vote? / Was the whole thing just a joke? / Was the whole thing just one big joke?" Jussie keeps it topical and on trend with political and pop culture references.
He pulls no punches lyrically or visually in "F.U.W." In the black-and-white clip, Jussie serves as both the star in front of the camera and the director behind it. The sobering video opens with him sitting on his couch watching static on his television. As he sings, some of the scenarios come to life as we see a Black boy join him, a lineup of Muslim women, a noose swinging behind a shirtless Black man, young women protesting for their reproductive rights, flames superimposed on Black bodies and more jarring imagery. In one particularly satisfying scene, an electric wheelchair bound man runs over a mask of 45's face, breaking it into pieces thereby destroying it. If it were only that easy.
Although "F.U.W." has dropped mere days before Empire returns to the Wednesday night TV lineup to continue season three, Smollett claims, “This is not a single. It’s not a song to promote the series." He goes on to explain, "It’s an artistic expression. My view of this sick cycle, an era in which we must fight our way out of before it’s too late. This view of unity is something they may never understand. That is why it is up to us. Train your daughters and sons to be soldiers of love, despite and in spite of this F#$*’d Up World.”
To be honest, we wouldn't be mad if this wound up on Empire to give this season a musical boost, but we understand that Jussie just had to share his art by any means necessary with no conditions attached. We applaud his bravery and support his vision.