Many people, including some celebrities, have spoken up in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Chief among those are many members of the hip-hop community, including J. Cole, T.I., Talib Kweli, and Killer Mike.
On Wednesday (August 27), some of rap's biggest stars united to pay tribute to the late teen on a new song, "Don't Shoot."
"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 'em shoot us," the chorus rings out.
From there, we get verses that mix anger, sadness and critique from Game, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh and TGT, as well as an intro from DJ Khaled.
"I seen Cole out there/ Felt I should go out there/ They left that boy four hours in the cold out there/ They killin' teens/ They killin' dreams," Game laments on his opening verse.
"The issues in Ferguson really hit home for me and I feel compelled to use my musical platform to address this," the Compton rapper told Rolling Stone. "I am a black man with kids of my own that I love more than anything and I cannot fathom a horrific tragedy like Michael Brown's happening to them. This possibility has shaken me to my core. That is why this song must be made and why it was so easy for so many of my friends to come together and unite against the injustice. I managed to get everyone on board fairly easy, simply because we have the hearts. We care and are inclined to take a positive approach to resolving an issue that has existed since the beginning of mankind and that is racism and hatred towards one another as human beings."
Fabolous' verse invokes another recent issue that's been getting headlines: "I seen a lotta ice water tossed, and I know it's for a cause/ My only question is: What we doin' for the loss?" the Brooklyn rapper questions the recent ice bucket challenge craze in his verse, later adding, "Shot down, with his hands up/ That's what occurred?/ Man, that sound absurd/ Matter of fact, to me, that sound like murder."