Darrell Kelley’s “Wasn’t Justified”

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It was only a few short weeks ago, on April 21st, 2021, that Andrew Brown JR was killed after a fatal gunshot wound to the back of the head. The shot was fired by a member of the Elizabeth City, NJ Police Department, after Brown JR was accused of attempted vehicular manslaughter. This incident serves as the inspiration for Darrell Kelley’s, “Wasn’t Justified.” Kelley echoes the claims of Andrew Brown. JR’s family. He firmly endorses the belief that not only was Brown. JR’s death, preventable, but that police took excessive measures without proper justification.

Darrell Kelley is an R&B/ Neo-Soul artist, who has used his platform and his talent to bring this case to light. It’s not known if Kelley has any personal ties to this case, only that he has taken a stance and feels that the facts speak for themselves. His song, “Wasn’t Justified” is a powerful indoctrination on not only the specific case of Brown JR, but the perpetual instances of fatal force used by police towards African Americans. The song is intrinsically layered in such a way, that it almost feels like someone pressed record and picked up the voice that represents your conscience. The resulting effort is a surprisingly soothing and docile piece of music that covers a vexing and tragic story, with unwavering defiance.

We’ve not been unable to find much on Kelley’s background, and quite frankly, it may be irrelevant. Kelley has more or less, made it clear, though his actions, that his music is solely designated to raise awareness. For this, you really have no choice but to commend him. It’s important to note that he has taken his stance without the use of threatening verbiage or confrontational tactics. Darrell Kelly simply presents these stories with the facts as they are known to be, and allows the listener to form their own opinion, even if his is already firmly embedded.

BOOMPLAY: https://www.boomplay.com/songs/62001914?from=artists

The song itself is essentially a vehicle to create awareness. Kelley is highly talented, and would be just as effective, writing and performing ballads and love songs, if he chose. He has the voice and the smooth passion, to go wherever he chooses, musically. He is honestly, one of the fewest and quite possibly, first of his kind. There are strong production values on “Wasn’t Justified,” and as a song, it stands up well to anything in the genre.

This is a truly sad and shocking case, that in some ways we have heard far too many similar stories, that desensitization begins to set in. Darrell Kelley is here to do everything in his power, to ensure that doesn’t happen. “Wasn’t Justified” is bold, honest, and emotional. It’s well performed and produced, and at no point does Darrell Kelley shout or scream to get his message across. He understands that aggression, fear, hatred and violence, is exactly what has led to this upsetting trend of incidents across the nation. Kelley is here to seek justice, one song at a time.

Emily Knudsen

The music of Darrell Kelley has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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