Asa’s ‘Murder In the USA’ might rely on tropes to pass its message, but it is no less powerful for it

Before the release of the video for “Murder in the USA” the song carried an entirely different context from its visual interpretation. The first song on her fourth studio album, Lucid, Murder in the USA could easily pass for a simple love story soured by jealously, the video, however, pushes a much heavier conversation around violence against women.

Although this deviation might feel jarring and the portrayal feeding into a trope many have expressed as ‘gimmicky’, there is no denying the necessity of the message and the importance of constant reminders of why we shouldn’t stop fighting against this problem.

The video in question follows two people who get into a relationship that quickly turns abusive for reasons that revolve around insecurity and jealousy. After a big fight, the woman who has been physically abused tries to kill the man who, in an unexpected twist, ends up killing her.

Naturally, there has been a couple of opinions against the video’s cliche treatment of its subject matter yet there’s no denying the truth the video addresses and the relevance of that truth. The release of the video coinciding with this month of slated for raising awareness on gender-based violence makes it more urgent.

Asa is an artist with a consistent record of incorporating socio-cultural conversations into her art and while she might have missed an opportunity to put a spin on the conversation she tried to weigh in on, she is reminding us how important it is to talk about and shun gender-based violence through any medium possible.

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