Miguel’s Grammy-winning hit “Adorn” makes me wanna drink red wine in my lingerie and do absolutely nothing that is responsible, but his 2013 MTV Video Music Award-nominated “Candles in the Sun” video does the very opposite.
Nominated for Best Video With a Social Message, “Candles in the Sun” is both a question and a plea. Miguel sings, “What are we doing?,” while black-and-white images of hurricanes, homelessness, drugs and guns force us to take notice and beg us to right all of the wrongs in this world.
+ Watch Miguel’s “Candles in the Sun.”
The song and accompanying video are examples at how his album, Kaleidoscope Dream, takes R&B beyond the bedroom. After all, Miguel recently told Ryan Seacrest that he spends 90% of his life NOT in bed. “It’s so easy to ignore what’s right in front of us sometimes,” Miguel told Hypebeast about the video. “I wanted to create a song and visual that addressed my everyday concerns of life as I know it in the world that we live in.” And he certainly did just that. The “Candles in the Sun” lyrics and video paint a candid, poignant picture of these societal issues:
Miguel uses the lyrics and visuals to highlight drug abuse. Although teen alcohol and tobacco use are down, illicit drug use has increased to over 25% among 12th graders. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, check out mtvU’s Half Of Us for resources.
“Heroes often get shot. Peace has long been forgot,” sings Miguel about war and gun violence. The video uses intimidating images of guns and haunting images of police tape to draw attention to our nation’s growing need for peace and discussions on gun control. If you want to take a stand against violence, speak out, Tweet out, and ask our government to take a stand! Do Something suggests starting a project to teach gun safety, or organizing a rally in your town.
“They say we’re all created equal,” sings Miguel. “That’s what they teach us, but that ain’t how we treat each other.” Whether he’s referring to social, economic, religious, gender or sexual equality, his message is loud and clear: It’s time to love each other. No matter what.
Miguel highlights bad business and corruption with lyrics like, “Business and governments just watch as the innocent fade. Mindless bureaucracy fails, hindering government aid.” If you are passionate about ending greed and corruption, check out Occupy Wall Street.
Homelessness is a huge epidemic in the U.S., affecting veterans, people who have been displaced by natural disasters and those who live only a paycheck away from the sidewalk. Take action below if Miguel’s eerie images of hurricanes and homelessness left you wanting to help out.
If you or a friend is worried about drinking or drug use, please check out Half Of Us for resources and tips on getting help.
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