Mos Def and other rappers who appear on the all-star anti-police brutality EP "Hip-Hop For Respect" may play an outdoor concert in New York City this summer to further voice support for the cause, Mos Def said on Wednesday.
"We're trying to put something together in one of the parks in New York," the MC said after a press conference in Harlem. "Everybody involved wants to do everything they can."
Mos Def helped assemble the EP, which mourns the fatal shooting of unarmed Guinea native Amadou Diallo by New York police officers on February 4, 1999 (see "Black Star And Friends To Issue 'Hip-Hop For Respect'").
The four-song EP, which features the single "One Four Love," includes performances from Rah Digga, Kool G Rap, Pharoahe Monch, Posdnous of De La Soul, Doug E. Fresh, Sporty Thievz, Common, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and Mos Def.
Sporty Thievz and Monch attended Wednesday's press conference along with
activist the Rev. Al Sharpton and Diallo's parents. The conference, held in Sharpton's headquarters, was intended to celebrate the release of the EP on Tuesday.
Diallo's father, Saikou Diallo, praised the rappers for taking part in the project. "You came with the best you can ever do for your brother. We appreciate it," he said. "The hip-hop music can send a message to the world."
Sharpton also expressed appreciation for the EP. "Too often we see rap artists being arrested for doing something wrong. Today we see these artists doing something right," he said.
Pharoahe Monch said the artists were merely echoing the voices of those around them. "This project allows us to express our feelings. We're able to be voices for our community."
In the two versions of "One Four Love" included on the EP, the rappers lament the shooting of Diallo and discuss the issues of racial profiling and police brutality.
The song was produced by the Atlanta trio
Organized Noize, who've worked with such acts as TLC and Outkast.
Diallo, who was 22, was shot 19 times by officers Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Richard Murphy, and Kenneth Boss as he stood in front of his apartment complex in the Bronx. The officers testified that they thought Diallo had pulled a gun. They were acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in February.