LL Cool J raps for George Floyd: ‘For 400 years, you had your knees on our necks’
Rapper LL Cool J has paid emotional tribute to George Floyd and several other victims of racism and police violence.
“For 400 years, you had your knees on our necks,” he raps, referencing the video of a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleads he can’t breathe. “A garden of evil with no seeds of respect / In America’s mirror, all she sees is regret / Instead of letting blood live, they begging for blood let.”
Trevor Noah, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Jane Fonda are among the latest celebrities to condemn George Floyd’s killing as protests ripple across the country.
LL Cool J also took aim at the police officer, Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter as protesters across the country continue to demand justice for Floyd and his family.
“Jumping up and down on police cars and vex / After Chauvin killed George Floyd, we got next,” the Grammy winner continues. “Molotov cocktails, anarchy on the set / The rich took the loot so now we loot s— / Feeling like a caged tiger that’s whipped to do tricks / That’s why I started fires and yelled and threw bricks / They tried to run me over and arrest me and s—.”
The freestyle went on to name many more members of the black community killed by police, including Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Oscar Grant.
“Watching that man die slow left a hole,” LL Cool J raps, referring to Floyd. “He cried for his mama as the murder unfold / If it wasn’t for the phone, Chauvin would be at home / Feeling justified because of George skin tone.”
“Society gives you privilege just for being white,” Eilish wrote, praising Black Lives Matter’s leadership in protests over George Floyd’s death.
LL Cool J is one of several artists speaking out in the wake of Floyd’s death. Among the other musicians condemning racism and police brutality are Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper, Ariana Grande, Killer Mike, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Meek Mill, Billie Eilish, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Cynthia Erivo, Halsey and Ice Cube.
“We refuse to live in hell while you living in paradise / Being black in America’s like rolling a pair of dice / But the stakes are way higher / You gambling with my life,” LL Cool J concludes his rap before adding, “Black lives matter, forever.”
The complete guide to home viewing
Get Screen Gab for weekly recommendations, analysis, interviews and irreverent discussion of the TV and streaming movies everyone’s talking about.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.