Since the increase of police brutality and the mistreatment of Black men, women and children, there have been more celebrities speaking up about the matter, especially rappers.
In 2014, Common, Vince Staples and Jay Electronica paid tribute to Mike Brown at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. After the performance, they stood on stage with Mike Brown’s parents with their hands up for “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”.
J. Cole released “Be Free” as a tribute to Mike Brown and preformed it on The Late Show with David Letterman instead of a selection from 2014 Forest Hills Drive. He was also seen in Ferguson after the shooting.
The Game featuring 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh and TG released a song called “Don’t Shoot” in 2014. The hook of the song goes “Time to take a stand and save our future/ Like we all got shot, we all got shot/ Throwing up our hands don’t let them shoot us…”, giving a message of it is time to make a change because there are too many people in the Black community being killed by police.
Kendrick Lamar has made it clear that he cares about the advancement of the Black community with his performances and songs that he has released. Kendrick released “Alright” on To Pimp A Butterfly and all over the nation from small protest to political tours, protesters chant “We gon’ be alright.” Lyrics like “N---a, and we hate po-po /Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho” describes how some people in the feel about police.
Earlier this month, TI was out in the streets of Atlanta protesting over the killing of Alton Sterling. He posted multiple videos and images of the streets and highway of Atlanta being filled with demonstrators. TI called it a “mandatory demonstration.”
During that same time, Drake posted his stance about police brutality on Instagram. He stated that there is a disconnect between Black & Brown communities and law enforcement and the concern for his family, friends, and other people. He wrote “I believe things can change for the better. Open and honest dialogue is the first step.”
Jay- Z and Beyonce have been strategic in their support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It had been reported that they bailed out protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore and donated $1.5 million to BLM movement and other organizations. Jay-Z recently dropped a new single “Spiritual”, which was released after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In his statement, he said “…sadden and disappointed in this America – we should be further along. WE ARE NOT.”
Hip-Hop is showing concern about the social issues that care currently taking place in the Black community even if it isn’t being publicized by the media.