J. Cole, Nelly and Talib Kweli are a few of the high-profile rappers who’ve turned up in Ferguson, Mo., in recent days to join protests over the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
On Thursday, Kweli challenged CNN anchor and reporter Don Lemon on camera about the cable news network’s coverage of the protests. “Media has done a horrible job in getting the story out there the right way,” Kweli said.
Kweli went on to say that CNN was not accurately reporting on the actions of protesters by placing the onus on the crowds rather than the militarized police force for the violence that has ensued.
Don Lemon disagreed, and it turned into an argument.
Earlier this week Kweli joined masses of protesters on the streets who are there to draw attention to Brown’s death and raise awareness about police brutality in the black community. Brown, 18, was shot Aug. 9 by police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.
Brown himself was an aspiring rapper, which has been mentioned by several high-profile artists who’ve turned out in support of the teen in Ferguson, on Twitter and in song.
J. Cole wrote what could be called the first anthem for Brown, “Be Free.” “All we want to do is take the chains off,” he sings in between a recording of an eyewitness account by Dorian Johnson, a man who was with Brown during the incident.
Nelly, a St. Louis native, stood with protesters this week in a #MikeBrown T-shirt, urging peaceful protests through a megaphone.
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike appeared in the studio with CNN on Wednesday, saying that as a father, a black man and the son of a police officer, he was hit hard by Brown’s death. The rapper said police are no longer interacting with the community since they’ve becoming more militarized, and now communities are “under siege.”
Killer Mike said the violence against Brown was “very gratuitous” and that “there was no gun found on the child.”
Last night, singer John Legend appeared onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in a “Don’t Shoot” T-Shirt, words that have become a rallying cry over the tragic killing of Brown.
Twitter: @LorraineAliCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times