Riz Ahmed and Heems Slam TSA Profiling, Donald Trump in Swet Shop Boys’ New ‘T5’ Music Video

By Sameer Rao Sep 30, 2016

When he’s not acting in critcally acclaimed works like "The Night Of," Riz Ahmed raps under the name Riz MC. The Pakistani-British Ahmed performs with Indian-American ex-Das Racist member Himanshu "Heems" Suri in the duo Swet Shop Boys, and they released a new video for the song "T5" that pointedly skewers the horrors of discriminatory airport security profiling too commonly experienced by Brown people.

"Oh no, we’re in trouble, TSA always wanna burst my bubble/always get a random check when I rock the stubble," Heems raps on the song’s chorus. "T5" (named after terminals at both New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and London Heathrow Airport) also tackles the Syrian refugee crisis and the Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric that has been rampant during the current presidential election season. "Trump want my exit, but if he press the red button to watch Netflix, bruv, I’m on!" Ahmed raps in his verse. The song’s lyrics echo themes of demonization and profiling relevant to much of their material, as well as a powerful essay Ahmed wrote earlier this month about his own airport interrogation experiences.

"T5’s" absurdist video features Ahmed and Heems entering an airport before being pulled into parallel interrogations. Female TSA agents dance to the song amid scenes of Ahmed’s violent treatment by agents, and the video eventually shows Heems safely flying with a glass of champagne while Ahmed’s head is covered with a black bag. 

The song is from Swet Shop Boys’ upcoming LP, "Cashmere," which drops on October 14.

(H/t The Fader)