J. Cole and Elle Varner have responded to the police shooting that left African-American teenager Michael Brown dead in Ferguson, Missouri last August 9 by recording songs.
The rapper, who is known for his touching tributes, has written an emotional song called “Be Free,” in which he raps about justice and peace in Brown’s hometown.
“All we wanna do is take the chains off / All we wanna do is be free,” sings Cole before adding audio from an eyewitness who says that Brown was surrendering while being gunned down.
In describing the song on SoundCloud, Cole wrote: “Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free.”
Brown’s death also inspired Elle to record an uplifting song entitled “One Love,” which was posted on her SoundCloud page.
“Imagine no one needing guns all at once, impossible maybe / But we’ve never tried it / The whole world in silence, respecting each other, our gods and our brothers killing with kindness,” she sings.
The tragic passing of the unarmed teenager has also resonated with various musicians — here’s a list of tweets:
John Legend wrote: “I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those “animals” to “bring it” on CNN… He wants a fight. Calling us “animals” has been the language to justify slavery, Jim Crow and all manner of injustice. Dehumanization and racism go together.”
Jeezy wrote: “It’s a shame in today’s Society we have to protect our loved ones from those who are sworn to protect us. #MikeBrown.“
Childish Gambino wrote: “Twitter activism is wack. marches don’t work anymore. police should be forced to wear recording devices.”
Davin Banner wrote: “Black men have to watch what color we wear, what hood we are in, the cops, whites and blacks, no hoodie no white tee, no loud radios damn!”
Chuck D wrote: “This cop is a killer.Like many when they patrol areas they don’t live.They should all leave the region.But asking USA for justice is like…”
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