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"With You in Mind" (abbreviated as WYIM) is the debut single by Conor Michael Smith. It was released independently on October 26, 2020,[1] addressing white supremacy, privilege, racism, and police brutality in America. It was written by Smith, co-produced with Brandon Allen (SlimXX), Steve Basil (BazeXX), and John Lindahl.

Background and composition

I just feel like the realest stuff, I dunno, it always resonates, and it doesn't always have to be y'know, about politics or whatever. [...] I wasn't going to put out music for like a year. And the fact that I wrote that, and knew I had to put music out...
― Smith speaking of the song's release[2]

Since the death of Geroge Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement that surfaced online in June 2020, Smith directed his emotions into penning the single.[3] He revealed it took three days to fully write it, though the recording process took longer.[4] In an interview, Smith told ECHO: "Truthfully its been something that's always bothered me, and something I knew I wanted to write about one day, but never had the courage I guess. I had actually written a different verse very similar to what With You In Mind was talking about in January, but it wasn't as specific to the Black Lives Matter movement, that song is still gonna come out though. I say that to say I was planning on saying something in a song, but seeing the George Floyd video surface later that year, I knew my statement had to be a lot more specific to what was really going on. [...] Three weeks later, I came out to LA. On a random Wednesday I laid down the drums and started writing."[5]

The song has mentioned specific black people the media has given attention to, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and Elijah McClain, all of whom died at the hands of police brutality. The string section in particular was rearranged several times, Smith wanting it to be "perfect", as he personally felt connected, also being a violinist himself. Smith described the song as "gritty and dark", with the strings at the end representing "hope".[3] It has been categorized as "political hip hop". Smith mentioned his initial hesitance to release the song, stating, "Look, some people are going to hate what I have to say, and some people are going to love it, but regardless, it’s going to start a conversation, which I think ultimately is what needs to happen and has needed to happen for a while."[6]

Music video

The accompanying music video was posted to Smith's YouTube channel on October 29, 2020, produced by All Minds.[7] It depicted him standing in Melrose Avenue, in front of the murals of George Floyd, and a young black girl, raising her fist in protest.[8] It took a couple of retakes, and they went with the one take. He intended for the audience to pay attention to his words, not wanting the video to be corny, or take anything away from the song.

Videos

Credits and personnel

  • Conor Michael Smith – songwriting, vocals, production, violin, string arrangement
  • John Lindahl – production, string arrangement, recording
  • BazeXX – production
  • SlimXX – production

Lyrics

Uh, uh-uh, uh-uh
Uh

If I'm bein' honest, I'm tired of seein' bloodshed
On the doorsteps of these young men, but how can I defend
When so many are treatin' this as another dumb trend?
They been fightin' for centuries, this battle ain't won yet, uh
It's to the culture I attribute my success
So now I must confess, I'm upset
Victimized, the statements are better left unsaid
And you are not exempt just because you got one friend
I lost a bunch of friends, honestly, I'm ashamed of 'em
Unaware of the style and the culture we take from 'em
We need to empathize instead of placin' the blame on 'em
While we're safe in our homes, police officers stay huntin'
I just talked to God, there's a whole lot of rain comin'
I'm glad I finally mustered up the courage to say somethin'
I just know I'm here to fight the problem, I ain't runnin'
I believe in a change and I'm certain that day is comin'

But where do we start? We all wanna know
It seems like we got the drive to accomplish our goal
But progress has been slow, congress is a joke
So this message is for my fans, I need all y'all to vote, uh
I understand this pain is way harder to cope with
But that doesn't justify you not showin' up to protest
We have a responsibility to the hopeless
And you can start a wave without rockin' the boat
This is more than a tantrum, let's give 'em an anthem
In this nation, so divided, we're finally standin'
Our country has a reputation, we're tryna rebrand it
They've been askin' for a change, it's 'bout time we demand it
Way too many question my intentions and my direction
But they ain't gotta guess anymore, I'ma let 'em know
That's it's the unity, I'm dedicated, the truth is my destination
And to my generation to set the tone

So rest in peace to Breonna, rest in peace to Tamir
Fly high, Mr. Floyd, we know you're still in here
The last thing we should see is another mother in tears
This world is gettin' scary but we have nothin' to fear
Put your pride aside, stand up for what is right
Before they have to say an R.I.P. to another life
As far as what to say to the police, I got nothin' nice
Although it's not for me, you best believe I'll put up a fight

It's bigger than me and my people, these are the demons of evil
Poisonin' our politicians, how could we be so deceitful?
If I was black, I would be tired of keepin' it peaceful
We beat segregation and they still don't treat us as equals
This is the land of the free, how hypocritical
The color of your skin decides if you're a criminal
Somewhere we stopped seein' people as individuals
And as a white man, I peep all the subliminals
And you wonder why it's hard to put hands up
When puttin' hands up still gets you in handcuffs
You feel like you can't just, it's time that we stand up
They won't listen to y'all, maybe they'll understand us
But, this isn't what you wanna listen to
It's easy to forget when the victim isn't you

It's not about what you've done, it's what you didn't do
I don't have the answers though, this is just a different view, uh
See, I have faith we're gonna find a way
And though the sky is grey, I can see a brighter day
And while I'm here, there's another thing I'd like to say
When life is difficult, that's when you find the time to pray
Under Him, there's not a difference between you and I
I told you in the music, this movement is do-or-die
So join arms, lift your fists into the sky
Elijah McClain, I orchestrated this string section with you in mind

Gallery

Main article: With You in Mind/Gallery

References

External links

Template:Conor Michael Smith

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