Common, De La Soul, Cappadonna, Black Moon, Doug E. Fresh, Kool G Rap, Rass Kass, and Sporty Thieves were among the artists who convened in New York City last weekend to record a track railing against police brutality.
Inspired by the shooting death of African immigrant Amadou Diallo at the hands of New York Police officers, the artists gathered at New York's Sony Studios to record "Hip Hop For Respect." The single is the outcome of a call placed by Mos Def and Talib Kweli of Black Star to respond to crimes against humanity.
"Seeing the people on television getting arrested," Kweli told MTV News, "seeing that it was a movement that people seemed to be mobilized on, that the media was picking up on, these are things that we think about and we deal with in our music, whether we ask a bunch of artists to join us or not. Just seeing the level of mobilization, we saw it as an opportunity to participate in this level. Like, all right, this is something that people know about, so we don't have to call artists and explain to them why they should be down on this." [RealVideo]
Because of the widespread response, Black Star has decided to expand the idea of a benefit single to an album, allowing artists who could not make the recent studio session an opportunity to participate in the project. Proceeds from the single will benefit a foundation with an anti-police brutality mission.