The Kid Who Live-Tweeted Michael Brown’s Shooting Wrote A Rap About It

'They throwin' tear gas, I'm hearin' gunshots, I duck 'em all,' he raps.

Of all of the firsthand accounts to come out of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown, one of the most jarring came from the Twitter account a user named @TheePharoah. He witnessed and subsequently live-tweeted the shooting and its aftermath from his own home, providing on-the-scene coverage of the story in real-time.


Though he had no way of knowing it in the moment, posts from the user, whose real name is Emanuel Freeman, spread rapidly on social media and via news outlets in the subsequent days.

Vice tracked down and spoke with the 19-year-old — who’s also a budding rapper — who not only recounted his experience, but wrote a song about it.

Embedded from www.youtube.com.

“The song is basically just to explain my viewpoint,” he said. “Song is my best form of communication, so I figured I’d write this song.”

“They throwin’ tear gas, I’m hearin’ gunshots, I duck ’em all/ Mom cryin’, dad worried, they don’t want they son involved,” he raps passionately on the song, which begins at the 3-minute mark in the video above, and is delivered a capella.

The interview portion of the clip, which comes before the rap, is similarly heartbreaking and illuminating.

“I thought I had just witnessed something that changed my life, but it changed America,” he said in an interview. “I had to explain my case to the FBI; I had to get a lawyer.”

“I haven’t talked to Mike’s family. I actually don’t know how that would go. I don’t know if I could look his mom in the eyes without being emotionally affected.”