When Boston’s Gentlemen Hall split a few years back, the band essentially divided into two camps. Singer/guitarist Cobi set off on his own to do the solo thing, while the rest of the dudes re-launched as Tribe Society. While Tribe Society have been busy on tour this summer with Collective Soul and Goo Goo Dolls (and played our Sound Of Our Town 2 party last fall), Cobi has been quietly re-emerging, signing to Lyor Cohen’s new label 300 Entertainment, while his anthemic, bluesy debut single “Don’t You Cry For Me” steadily racked up more than 10 million plays on Spotify.
The black-and-white clip premiered yesterday on Huffington Post and ends with the lynching of a black man after a white police officer is accidentally shot during a scuffle. In the song’s chorus, Cobi sings “Please help me chop this tree down/Or hold me from underneath/Words never once cut me down/Oh don’t you cry for me.”
He talked about the song with the Huffington Post. “The song was written around the time when Michael Brown was killed, Baltimore was uprising, and people around the country were protesting,” Cobi admits. “There’s no denying the epidemic of police shooting unarmed black people. I hate seeing my friends living in fear and just had to speak what was in my heart and say what I felt needed to be said.”
Of the intense video, directed by Adam VillaSenor and Reza Ghassemi, Cobi adds: “It was really intense and emotionally demanding for everyone on set. It was me, the cast/crew, and my friends from Peace4Kids who volunteered to be in the video. We started with the hanging scene because we knew it would be the most difficult to shoot. When you see people crying, those were real tears… Our intentions behind the shooting scene was to show how quickly things can escalate, and how everyone is negatively affected by violence.”