Brother Michael Martinez, a Cuban-American priest who teaches at Belen Jesuit Prep School in West Miami-Dade (my old school) is not a mainstream hip-hop artist like Bad Bunny, and the clip he produced and performed as a response to the COVID-19 crisis is not just a music video.
Martinez spoke with 7News at length about his latest effort this past Sunday. When asked what compelled him to make the video, he replied, “I took it to prayer, and this is what came out.” He said the COVID-19 outbreak inspired him to speak his message through music.
That message is titled, “The Wake-Up Call.” Martinez not only wrote the lyrics, but he also shot and edited the music video all by himself with only an iPhone. He said his verses were a way to connect with his students, as well as anyone living through this unpredictable and unsettling period.
“Most importantly, it was to reach out to anyone that’s human. That’s what the coronavirus has done. It’s gone beyond a particular country. It’s gone beyond a particular religion or a particular socioeconomic class,” he said. “The message is supposed to be about recognizing our common humanity, and at the end of the day, there are a lot of viruses in our world that we have to face.”
Outside the classroom and church, Brother Michael is a passionate rapper. He has been spinning rhythm and rhyme since the third grade, so he knew hip-hop would be the ideal medium to captivate his audience and hopefully ask themselves some tough questions.
“Who are we, and what do we really seek in this life? I think this quarantine has allowed us to stop, has allowed us to really start to ask ourselves, does our world want to continue the path it’s always gone, or is this an opportunity where the world has almost hit the reset button?” he said.
These are questions that he hopes his listeners take time to reflect on before they reach any conclusions.
Check out the video below: