There is no sugar coating what occurred in Ferguson, MO on August 9. Michael Brown’s death is nothing short of a tragedy, and quite frankly, it’s hard to say anything about this heartbreaking event–and those which followed–that hasn’t already been said.
However, it is important to keep the conversation going, to consistently spread conscious and accurate information, and to promote strong, influential voices during a time when so many feel voiceless.
As the protests rage on, now spreading into other states, the Hip-Hop community remains vocal, some taking to the booth, others to social media, and a few to the streets of Ferguson. J. Cole, among one the most vocal figures in Hip-Hop to address Michael Brown’s death, made it out to Ferguson to show support, and also released the cracked-voiced and emotionally heavy track, “Be Free.”
In response to the saddening events, Big Krit (pictured above) shared with HardKnock that he’s just glad artists and civilians alike are taking a stand.
“It’s one of those situations where I’m excited that people are finally starting to become frustrated with how civilians are being treated. How young people are being treated. How young black men are being treated, especially the amount police brutality. Coming from where I’m from, there was a lot of things that happened that don’t make it to this level of media. It’s good to see something happen in a city of that nature and people take to it. So many artists are taking to it. So many people are taking stands. And I think now the government has to listen. I think people have to pay attention. And we can’t keep allowing this to be happen.”
Mike Will also weighed in:
“Man, it’s definitely rough. I got everyone in my prayers. I got everyone in Ferguson in my prayers. Really the whole world, cause it’s a lot going on in Ferguson but there;s a whole lot going on in the world, you know what I’m saying. Where I come from in Atlanta, blacks on blacks kill eachother everyday. And it’s sad that it takes a cop to get everyone to notice.”
Sure, so many have taken notice. It’s an understatement, and a little cliche, to say ‘all eyes are now on Ferguson.’ It’s more like the entire nation simultaneously about-faced to confront these social injustices that simply can no longer be ignored.
However, R&B singer-songwriter, Elijah Blake, wonders if some artists are doing enough with the information they have, and if the now common trend of using social media as a means of activism is effective.
“I’ve been pretty firm about this. It takes more than just ‘blacking’ out our instagram and then posting pictures of us turning up the next week. It’s not just a moment. We really gotta stand up and say this isn’t right and not generalize,” he shared with Hard Knock. “It’s bigger than black vs. white. So, I love when people like Cole are going out there. And it’s not just social media, like let me just say this for a couple retweets.”
We definitely appreciate artists like the ones mentioned above speaking up, acting as a beacon for those who are having trouble seeing light in all this darkness. But, it is equally as crucial for fans to follow suit and step up, no matter how small the act. (Let’s try to take in one level above a social media post though, people.) Start by peeping this petition out which would require all all state, county, and local police to wear a camera while on duty:
Written By: Shannon Weprin
(Above Photo: John Ricard/BET)