During the time of the songs release (2015), Usher and the other artists featured wanted to convey a clear message that the track was produced to raise awareness for the victims of racial injustice and police brutality. The unjust killings of multiple black people by police has caused mass surges in protest and angry. The continuous discrimination towards blacks regarding mass incarceration and unfair treatment has come to a point where the message needs to be mass spread by those with a voice, Usher stated, “In writing this song, I was motivated by the events involving prejudicial injustice that are still happening today,” he said. “The reality is that racial bigotry diminishes the lives of too many people in our country. We have to come together as a country to solve these problems and this is one way I can contribute.”

The music video for the song, consists of the lyrics being played over the photos of victims that were killed. Witness Usher and Nas' Devastating 'Chains' Interactive Video – Rolling Stone Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, serves as the staple piece photo following his tragic killing back in 2012. The video begins with a bolded saying stated, “While racial injustice keeps killing… society keeps looking away.”

While listening to the powerful lyrics of the song, and having faces to look at, brings the viewers a mixture of emotions; pain, sadness, anger and a call to action.

The songwriters; Usher, Nas and Bibi Bourelly make it very clear within the song’s lyrics of the social critique and commentary they are trying to make.

“I am so tired of being insecure…

I’ve had enough running

Running, and running and running and running…” 

To start the song they already to begin to paint the picture of how blacks in America are scared, insecure and tired of runnings and being mistreated because the color of their skin.

“To sum it upI don’t give a fuckI had enoughY’all give a fuck? NoLight it on fire”

These lyrics summarize the frustration being felt around the country and how today’s looting, rioting and protests can be seen as a cry for help and making a scene to “light it on fire”. 

“You act like the changeTryna throw me in chainsDon’t act like you saving us”

Police are meant to serve as justice on the ground level, protect life and the rights of the people…the lyrics above symbolize the prospective of how black Americans feel when they encounter unlawful police brutality and harsher sentences in a corrupt mass incarceration epidemic. They act like the change, but all they do is throw them in chains.