Back in November of 2020, Apple not only launched upgraded lines of their MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini at their virtual Apple Event, but they also celebrated the occasion with the debut of their “Behind the Mac” ad campaign, featuring a black-and-white montage of celebrities, activists, musicians, and journalists literally working behind their Macs and Apple devices. The message of the ad rings loud and clear — if these people responsible for “greatness” can rely on Apple products, you can too.
It’s a powerful ad with the faces of Gloria Steinem, Lady Gaga, Jane Goodall, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, and even Lisa Simpson shown in the midst of their creative process while a voiceover describes them as a “certain kind of person … who doesn’t wait for greatness.” What creates the most impact for the message, however, is the thumping drum beat that sparks the emotions of both struggle and perseverance in its unrelenting repetition. As the guitar and piano join in, it’s like a moment of perfect symmetry invoking the sentiment that hard work and creativity is rewarded even through failure and rejection. The feelings of keep pushing, keep grinding, keep going, that seem to ring through the sample of the instrumental has viewers demanding, “what is that song?!”
According to Apple Insider, it’s “Take Back the Power” by Raury, and Apple couldn’t have chosen a better artist to illustrate their message.
Raury spent years seeking independence from Columbia Records
Raury broke out onto the music scene in 2014 with rave reviews as an up-and-coming artist, but according to an interview with DJBooth, what he was sold by the industry and what Raury got were two very different things. As quickly as he had arrived, he seemed to disappear. He explained, “I want[ed] out of the label when the people who believed in me transition jobs to be replaced by strangers who don’t know me.” Further adding, “It was like they were trying to put me in a position of fear and weakness so I could run out of money and they could control me. I would rather die than be controlled. I would rather take my career on a path where I can play with my friends, stay with family, and remain physically, psychologically and spiritually well.”
That was three years ago, and now, the 24-year-old activist, whose anti-establishment stance on the music industry and subsequent re-emergence as an independent artist, has become the soundtrack for one of the largest brands in the world.
“Take Back the Power,” released in June of 2020, was written as an anthem for the BLM movement, and the message that sings, “What’s your plan for tomorrow / Are you a leader or will you follow / Are you a fighter or will you cower / It’s our time to take back the power,” is a beacon of inspiration for a world in the midst of global struggle, and an entire population looking for a spark of hope to ignite change.
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