They said we’re living in history. They’re going to write about this in textbooks. Our kids’ kids will ask us about…
The Ferguson trial: the controversial topic we’ve lived and breathed the past several months. It’s no surprise rappers took to use their music to subtly express their feelings and thoughts.
While some artists have spoken freely about the trial, others remain kept quiet. Celebrities such as John Legend and Chrissy Teigen took to “doing” instead of “saying.” During a crucial time, they paid food trucks to give food out to protestors in full support of spreading activism and knowledge about the Ferguson trials.
Did you catch all of these Ferguson references? Check em out below.
Blacker the Berry by Kendrick Lamar
Critics believe the song is a direct response from Ferguson to Trayvon Martin. Kendrick even references the 17-year-old boy towards the end of the song rapping, “Why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?” Listen to the lyrics of the entire song and don’t question why Kendrick stayed silent throughout the Ferguson trials. All of his thoughts are within the lyrics of the song.
Glory by Common & John Legend
The whitest event of the year deemed this song from the movie Selma Tony worthy. I mean, did we really expect “Everything is awesome?” to win? During the duos acceptance speech, Legend spoke about his inspiration for the song. Look at the bigger picture and take note of his reference stating, “We are with you. We see you. We love you. And march on.” If that isn’t support what is?
Look for Common’s direct reference, “That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up.”
Note to Self by J. Cole
The beginning of this song is mellow with good piano vibes. J. Cole’s voice is almost haunting. After a few minutes, he cuts into the credits for the entire album. It’s no surprise the rapper drops a shout out to Ferguson protestors directly stating, “Shout out to everybody in Ferguson right now still ridin, still ridin. Everybody else asleep, yall still ridin. And it’s bigger than Ferguson, man that shit is fuckin nationwide man. We gotta come together, look at each other, love each other. We share a common story nigga that’s pain, struggle. And guess what man, we can come together, and that’s one things that’s gon do it, that’s love. I’m just telling yall, that’s a Public Service Announcement.”
The man could not be more direct. Can you imagine protesting and turning to your side and J. Cole is beside you? Well some lucky activists did.
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams @ The 57th Grammys
I watched the Grammys from beginning to end. One of the most anticipated performances of the night, Pharrell put a show on. The beginning is completely serious and the rapper/producer/basically god of the music industry throws dope acting skills in his bellboy uniform. (If you haven’t watched his short film with Cara Delevingne, then you’re missing out) The “Happy” performance didn’t begin happy as violonists played a serious, classic rendition. Right after cutting to a major solo piano performance, you can see Pharrell and dancers in black hoodies subtly raise their hands in the symbolic movement. (Check the 2:00 mark)
Don’t Shoot by The Game
Need I say more? Listen to the verses straight from featured artists including Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh & TGT. Even if they only have a few lines, these rappers came together to speak their minds.