Rappers Dissuade Ferguson Shooting Protestors From Violence As Officer Name Released

By Lora Neng
August 15, 2014

Over the past week, the shooting death of unarmed African American teen Mike Brown drew a heated outcry against the police of Ferguson, Missouri. But seeing civil unrest from a long history of racial profiling only hurting their own neighborhoods, Hip Hop celebrities are reacting with a more measured activism.

“There was a time in my life when I [cared],” J. Cole said in a statement. “Every chance I got I was screaming about it. I was younger. It’s so easy to try to save the world when you’re in college. You got nothing but time and no responsibility. But soon life hits you. No more dorms, no more meal plan, no more refund check. … LIFE HITS. We become distracted. We become numb. I became numb. But not anymore. That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don’t [care] if it’s by police or peers. This … is not normal.”

Nelly, also from St. Louis county, Mo., went on Hot 104.1 to advise against the looting and rioting that broke out the next day, so as not to “disrespect” the teen’s legacy by taking focus off the issue. Instead, he privately contacted Brown’s mother and put together a scholarship “so brothers can go to school in his honor because he paid for that.”

Clips of witness accounts to the fatal shooting made it into J. Cole’s release of the new track “Be Free.”

Mike Brown was allegedly shot for suspicion of robbing a convenience store. The Missouri State Highway Patrol was called in to help dissipate the heated emotions. The offending officer’s name Darren Wilson was released today.

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