The video was posted in full on YouTube as well as Chance’s Twitter and Instagram profiles on Friday (February 24) as the Chicago native’s “Black History Month project,” as he called it.
Officially titled “YAH Know (Historical Context Version),” the new video opens with a message that reads: “This Black History Month we want to celebrate some of the most important progress we have made as a People. This video highlights some revolutionaries and their revolutions.”
The clip sees a collection of photos and videos throughout the history of Black people in Africa and in the diaspora play out over the 4:15 track. The images are often made to coincide with the exact moments in the song at which Chance references particular individuals or historic occurrences.
Chance’s project places the spotlight on less celebrated figures in Black history as well as some more familiar ones, placing Sarah Elizabeth Ray, Kwame Nkrumah and Nandi Azikiwe alongside Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton and Mohandas Ghandi.
The video also offers fans the opportunity to unearth even more historical context by incorporating multiple clips from the PBS miniseries History of the Negro People: The New Mood, which first aired in 1965; the 1967 documentary Black Liberation; and The Warren Years: The Great Decisions, a film which examines the 1960s Supreme Court rulings brought on by the Civil Rights Movement.
Also included in the new “YAH Know” visual are scenes from the Black Star Line Festival, which Chance The Rapper organized with Vic Mensa at the top of the year. The footage of the crowds and performances are interspliced with historical protests in Haiti, New York, New Jersey, Kenya and other parts of the world.
The inaugural Black Star Line Festival closed out as a success, with an estimated 50,000 fans from across the globe in attendance.
The event took place in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on Friday, January 6 and saw performances by Chance and Vic, who’s father is from Ghana and who got a great reaction from the crowd when he announced during his performance that he had had come home, the BBC reports.
The two Chicago natives announced the Black Star Line Festival in July 2022, explaining that the event’s name was a tribute to pan-African activist Marcus Garvey’s shipping company.
“Founded in 1919, and operated by Black people, the [Black Star Line] would link America, the Caribbean and Africa, to global shipping and tourism opportunities,” a press release for the festival explained. “The Black Star Line was a symbol of pride, not only for Africans, but also for Black people in all ports of call. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanian government launched their fleet with the same name, in homage to Garvey, and even added a black star to the country’s new flag.”
In addition to the concert at Black Star Square on Friday night, the Black Star Line Festival included a week’s worth of special events and panels, including a fireside chat between Chance The Rapper and Dave Chappelle, who discussed bringing new attention and business to local comedy clubs and his dream of one day living in Ghana, inspired by a conversation with JAY-Z.