One of the biggest stories in today’s headlines is about 18 year-old Michael Brown. As many know, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri cop Darren Wilson on August 9th. Michael Brown was an unarmed young black man who was shot six times by a white police officer.
This story line has been repeated one too many times in this country over the last couple of years. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Sean Bell. Eric Garner. The fact is, that police officers are hired and trained to protect people and maintain order and peace. It seems to be, now a days, that cops are abusing power and forgetting what their job is. When a cop abuses their power, there are dire consequences which include the murder of the innocent. Murder is murder and killing is killing so what is to be done about the police in America today?
Hip-hop, since the beginning, has reiterated their distrust with the police. One of the most famous groups in hip-hop N.W.A. have a famous song simply called ‘F*** The Police.’ In the recent incident with the killing of Michael Brown, hip-hop is making music in response.
Yesterday, August 18, G-Unit released a song titled ‘Ahh S***.’ The song incorporates actual recordings from Staten Island victim Eric Garner who was chocked to death by an NYPD officer after repeatedly pleading ‘I can’t breathe.’ The song opens up with an actual recording of Eric Garner saying,
I’m minding my business officer. I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I’ve told you the last time, please leave me alone.
The song has two verses from Young Buck and Kidd Kidd who display clear feelings of anger and distrust toward the police. There is a huge sense of hostility, also stating threats of war and violence towards the police. None of these threats are unjustifiable because Kidd Kidd states true facts like,
Put my hands up and you pull your pistol
Just because I’m a hood n****
Kidd is alluding to the fact that Michael Brown was shot around six times while being unarmed and having his hands up which is the universal sign of surrender. 50 Cent spits the chorus of the song,
Now why the f*** did you call them cops?
With your hands up you still getting shot
Here they come now, they out on patrol
They killed a few, they finna kill some more
In the urban and black community there has always been a fear and distrust with the police. And there feelings are clearly validated to the world after the murder of Michael Brown.
Rapper, J.Cole also released a song in light of recent events. On August 15, J.Cole put out a song titled ‘Be Free’ which is about the events that happened in Ferguson, Missouri. In the song, there is clearly pain in Cole’s voice. J.Cole actually visited the site where Michael Brown died and talked to the community. There is a video of him painfully recounting his feelings of the events with Michael and Eric Garner.
The song ‘Be Free’ is a huge statement. J.Cole’s title alludes to slavery and how the black race in America are not totally free from the white man. The statement isn’t that absurd to say in relation to recent events. ‘Be Free,’ similar to ‘Ahhh S***,’ incorporates testimony from real individuals involved in the situation. In J.Cole’s song, the first person witness Dorian Johnson is heard recounting what happened to his friend Michael Brown,
He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and started to get down, but the office still approached with his weapon drawn and he fired seven more shots and my friend died.
Both songs by J.Cole and G-Unit are powerful messages showing pain, anger and fatigue from having to deal with the discriminatory actions of the police in many neighborhoods and cities throughout the country. Other hip-hop artists making statements and supporting the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri include Killer Mike, P. Diddy and Nelly. There are too many innocent young boys dying for no reason. There will be another victim if something doesn't change. There needs to be justice for Michael Brown.