The history of Compton emcee, The Game is no secret–he’s given us his life story with early albums such as The Documentary & even through his short-lived reality series. Our country has been in a real state of emergency over the past few years as far as police brutality is concerned, & those with the power embedded into music have chosen to use their voices & their platforms to speak out against the corruption & oppression.
Kendrick Lamar, another Compton, California native, used his sophomore release album, To Pimp A Butterfly to spread one very important message to the masses in an extremely impactful way–black lives matter. The Game has made his contributions multiple times with records such as Don’t Shoot, which he recruited many other influential artists of the culture to lend their voices to in response to police brutality.
Game has experienced this longterm injustice coming from Compton, California many times, & with the Freddie Gray tragedy that recently took place, he chose to speak out yet again, this time in an editorial piece entitled “Young Black Men Are Targets”.
The letter was penned to Billboard, & compares this current protest movement to the very relevant Rodney King riot that took place in L.A. back in 1992.
An excerpt from the correspondence can be read below. To read in full, visit Billboard.
I’m not there [in Baltimore] to gauge the balance between now and the ’92 riots, but I understand the anger. I understand people wanting to be heard and being tired and fed up. I feel what happened to Freddie Gray was just another reminder of the neglect of the African-American youth in America and us as people. Look at how long we’ve been victims of the world. From slavery, from not being able to vote, up until our children. Young black men in general are targets. People [are] using unlawful force to take our lives. We’ve seen kids shot [and] beaten. We’ve seen everything. At the end of the day, we get fed up.
I’ve watched CNN the last few days, and they’ve called those kids ‘thugs’ and ‘animals.’ Everybody’s not a thug, man. We’re calling these young black kids and our youth ‘animals’ and ‘thugs,’ and it makes them more angry. We’re doing that when you’ve got thugs and animals that are police officers, firemen [and] congressmen. In Jeezy’s voice, you’d call that ‘corporate thuggin’.’
“I don’t like to think I can foresee anything, but I would hope she foresees how these kids are acting out, how they want their voices to be heard, because if there’s no indictment or charges of those officers, things could get even crazier. The police really killed Freddie Gray without reasoning and provided no excuse. As a people, we’re just tired. The words “animal” and “thug” [are] being tossed [around] in reference of our people, and I don’t like it. When our people have been oppressed, neglected, [with] poor education, unaffordable housing, lack of resources, [lack] of rights, [fought against] police brutality [and] racism… to be looked at as “thugs” and “animals” only shows that reaching out for help and change may be the wrong thing to do.
Baltimore hasn’t burned like this for 40 years plus. We’ve had the NAACP for over a hundred years. What have they done to prevent these things from happening? To show our youth that they’re in power and strength? Some change has been implemented, but the most the NAACP, churches and community leaders have done is exist. So as a young African-American man, what are we supposed to do when all the black organizations in place have apologized and tried for change but it hasn’t done much? After a while… when that doesn’t work, things get crazy.”
Elsewhere in hip hop, Joey Bada$$ joined protestors in NYC last night, and Young Thug called for “war, rage, chaos”.
© 2015, Niyah Nel. All rights reserved.