Below is the music video “Lions” originally posted to YouTube on 23 Feb 2017 by Jamaican musician and activist Skip Marley – grandson of Bob Marley. The video has had about 750,000 views with the lyrics version at 1.6 million views.

The song and video depict a revolutionary uprising by citizens overthrowing a tyrannical leader. It is supposed to be a commentary critical of the 2016 U.S. election outcome. Shown in the video are black bloc activists defacing public property (spraying graffiti), trespassing, and ultimately overthrowing the government (or the fascist dictator in this case). The lyrics version shows actual protest photos.

Pepsi thought it would be a good idea to spread this message further (to millions of people), by using the song “Lions” in a recent commercial. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Large corporations sometimes will promote themes that are critical of government.

The Pepsi version of the music video, later posted to Kendall Jenner’s YouTube channel, has had over 9 million views. It turned out to be hugely popular. So, the ad gave the song and its message greater exposure than it might otherwise have had — as well as benefitting Skip Marley and the causes he supports, along with the actors and everyone involved in producing the ad. So, in all, a big win for demonstrators and social change activists who consider themselves progressives.

Yet, surprisingly, the revolutionaries who would ultimately benefit from spreading the message of “Lions” vehemently protested the Pepsi commercial and ultimately forced it to be taken down. They claimed the commercial was too mainstream, culturally insensitive, and diminished their message and the true struggle of the true revolutionaries. Someone should let Skip Marley know.

“Lions” – Music Video

“Lions” – Video with Lyrics

“Lions” – Lyrics

Some said ‘never’ but the never done come
Yeah, and took our trust
Hate’s been winning, but the lovers ain’t done
Yeah, not on my watch

Yeah, if ya took all my rights away
Yeah, if ya tellin’ me how to pray
Yeah, if ya won’t let us demonstrate
Yeah, wrong
Yeah, if ya thinking I don’t belong
Yeah, if ya hiding behind a gun
Yeah, if ya hoping we’re gonna run
Wrong

We are the lions, we are the chosen
We gonna shine out the dark
We are the movement, this generation
You better know who we are, who we are
Yeah, if I

Some said ‘fire’ when the fire was ice
No, and sold a lie
Some may buy it, I’m not paying the price
No, not in this life

Yeah, if ya took all my rights away
Yeah, if ya tellin’ me how to pray
Yeah, if ya won’t let us demonstrate
Yeah, you’re wrong
Yeah, if ya thinking I don’t belong
Yeah, if ya hiding behind a gun
Yeah, if ya hoping we’re gonna run
Ya wrong

We are the lions, we are the chosen
We gonna shine out the dark
We are the movement, this generation
You better know who we are, who we are

Deep down in everyone, there’s a little fire
Let me get higher, I’ll fuel the fire
Already high up, I’ll take you higher
Real conga nyah, girls admire, well
Living, we growing with pride
All of the lions, we strive
Working so hard to unite
United, we tired of lies, tired of lies, whoa ah ooh

We are the lions, we are the chosen
We gonna shine out the dark
We are the movement, this generation
You better know who we are
We are the lions, we are the chosen
We gonna shine out the dark
We are the movement, this generation
You better know who we are

Yeah, you know that some said ‘never’ but the never done come
We gonna shine out the dark
Oh, they know that hate’s been winning, but the lovers ain’t done
You better know who we are, who we are
Yeah, if I

Written by – Ilya, Savan Harish Kotecha, Skip Marley • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc