Post 8 July 2016

Rappers respond to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile

8 July 2016

This week, the deaths of Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling brought the issue of police brutality towards black Americans into the limelight. Social media and news outlets were set ablaze with #BlackLivesMatter hashtags and opinions, as well as worries about the potential light punishments (if any) for the police that killed the men.

America’s rappers, singers and personalities took to social media to express their opinions on the killing.

Beyoncé updated her website with a defiant statement (pictured above), as well as displaying the names of those who’s lives were lost to police brutality during her show in Glasgow last night. Jay-Z released a track in response to the killings, listen to it here.

Rapper YG released a series of angry tweets, and responded to ex-Congressman Joe Walsh’s near-threat to Obama.

Talib Kweli, known for his debating and responding to trolls on Twitter, posted a large number of Tweets sharing his shock and conversating with followers.

Kweli retweeted Ne-Yo, who offered a simple message.

Chance the Rapper commented on the unlikely punishment of the officer.

Chris brown released a track named “My Friend”, for anyone dealing with injustice.

Fabolous shared a simple but powerful image of the hashtag on Instagram, and called for Obama’s action.

Schoolboy Q also released a remix for his track “THat Part” featuring Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock. The remix comments on the death of Alton Sterling, with Schoolboy rapping;

“Gangbangin’ like we stand for somethin’ / When Alton Sterling gettin’ killed for nothin’ / Two cowards in the car, they’re just there to film / Sayin’ #BlackLivesMatter should’ve died with him / Wrong nigga in your hood, you don’ ride on him / White nigga with a badge, you gon’ let that slide?”

Over here in the UK, Stormzy used Instagram to share his despair at the situation.

I wish I had the answers to solve the fuckery that’s going on right now but tbh I don’t have a clue…all I can do is urge everyone to do more, that’s what I’m gonna do. Protest, march, donate, speak out, call out bullshit, build within your community, help those in need etc. whatever it is that needs to be done. And don’t be the stupid idiot who thinks because we live in the UK that this isn’t an issue for us to take on, don’t be the stupid idiot who thinks because we live in the UK that black people don’t experience racism from the police, don’t be so flipping naive. We have black brothers and sisters dying in the states and we’d be cowards to just brush it off, this is all of our problems. That could easily be me or my lil brother or my sisters, I ain’t waiting for this poisonous, weak, racist, trigger happy mentality to spread around the world before we do something. Stop killing my fucking people smh, I won’t even lie, when the first series of police killing black people sprung up I thought smh this is fucked and had a passive attitude towards it but as times gone on you have to just think…are these racist Feds just gonna wake up everyday and kill innocent black people? Like yeah…today…I’m gonna kill a black kid and get away with it lol…you’ve lost your fucking mind mate. We ain’t having it anymore, fuck that. This isn’t a black vs white thing either, don’t let them twang you into thinking it’s that, but what I will say is that no one should be sitting back and watching this. If you choose to turn a blind eye to this you’re a part of the problem, regardless of your skin colour. This isn’t me speaking out because it looks politically correct or because it’s the right thing to do coz I proper couldn’t give a flying fuck tbh. this is coming from Michael a black man who has had enough of racist dickheads thinking they can wake up and kill my people. You can’t, we ain’t having it no more. Do your bit. Enough is enough mate, I ain’t waiting till a fed kills one of my bredrins before I rise up. And please stop thinking this is a strictly American thing you dumb fucks, Feds have been violating the mandem for YEARS. Smh.

A photo posted by #MERKY (@stormzyofficial) on


JME discussed the distress of watching the graphic videos of the shootings.

Swiss joined the likes of Jay-Z and Black Hippy by releasing a track to vent his frustrations. The track is named “I Can’t Breathe” inspired by Eric Garner’s final words.

There are protests calling for justice happening in London this weekend.