This might be the understatement of the century: the situation in Ferguson is dismal and musicians are taking notice. Both J. Cole and the recently reemerged G-Unit took to the studio to show their solidarity with Michael Brown and Eric Garner, crafting haunting and powerful songs to raise awareness for the goings-on in Missouri.
After posting a photograph of a woman in tears on Instagram, Killer Mike wrote the following for Billboard: "I found no new words. I have no hope-filled insight to deliver. I only have this warning to all Americans: Whatever this country is willing to do to the least of us, it will one day do to us all ... Being a cop must be hard. My dad was one, and never wanted any of his children to follow in his footsteps. Being a cop is often seeing the worst of the human condition and behavior. With all of that said, there is no reason that Mike Brown and also Eric Garner are dead today—except bad policing, excessive force and the hunt-and-capture-prey mentality many thrill-seeking cops have adapted."
He continued, "As an American today I simply say: Enough! My rights are precious, and I value those provided to me through the United States Constitution so much. I will never take a day off policing the people we pay and keep a public trust with. I will use my camera, my pen, my pad and my network to do my part, to make sure that American will no longer fear their government. or it's employees. They work for us—not the other way around." Read the full statement here.
T.I. also used Instagram as a means of getting his thoughts across, posting the now iconic image of a protester wielding what appears to be a Molotov cocktail while wearing an American flag shirt. He writes, "America has created a monster. The result of ignoring & mishandling an already fragile spirited, recently enslaved, presently oppressed race/generation of people. Look at us. We’re the monster that now refuses to be dismissed, overlooked, & ignored. We were brought to this place,unaware of our own cultures, religion, & traditions therefore, we created our own ...
"For years we’ve been crying out for the nation to address the substandard education systems & disparaging treatment of our citizens in communities across America. Our people have had an increasing lack of opportunities for generations. There have been homes broken, lives shattered, and futures lost on your watch … unanswered. Look at us. How long can [yo]u expect a nation/race/generation of people to be blatantly disrespected? Spoken to and treated with arrogant tones of insignificance. Our fathers, uncles, brothers & role models were killed & Imprisoned more often than educated."
He continued: "Our friends & relatives murdered and cast aside without thought, as though your human life is more valuable than ours. How long can that go on without consequence? Now Look at us. How long can [yo]u continue to pass the buck & make excuses of why [yo]u can’t do today what should have been done yesteryear? Although I DO NOT support the negative responses & actions of my people in light of dis tragedy…I WILL NOT condone your lack of effort to show any urgency to improve the treatment of our people, nor the living conditions in our communities. Your refusal to address these life-altering issues makes events such as these seem inevitable."
Incredible stuff. Read the rest of the post here.