As Australia wakes to news of another horrific shooting and mass murder, the hip-hop community has reacted in earnest as the country mourns the loss of life. The horrific acts committed will only fuel the racial and political tension throughout the United States, and is sure to cause further unrest. Killer Mike, hot on the heels of announcing his foray into politics, has unsurprisingly led the outcry from the hip-hop world. The current state of social affairs in America is rife with stories of racial profiling and unnecessary deaths of black men such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The unrest in Ferguson; riots and outrage in the face of police brutality has only fuelled the fires that are threatening to cause further unrest and lead to a greater social divide.
What happened in Charleston is an act of terror committed by a terrorist. Simple & plain. I wish those folks in that church had been armed
— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) June 18, 2015
In what has been described as an act of “pure concentrated evil” by the mayor of Charleston, the white suspect opened fire amongst a historic African American church, killing nine people, and subsequently crushing the spirit of the black community in America and throughout the Western world. The internet and social media alike has exploded with outrage, condemnation and sorrow, and while the atrocities of the day will continue to come to light, we can take solace in the fact that respected individuals and artists with great social reach and exposure are speaking out and uniting in the face of adversity. We all know Killer Mike is an outspoke political voice, and has used his status to weigh in on the racial tension that has gripped the nation, most notably in his impassioned plea to fans following the Grand Jury decision to not indite police officers in the killing of a young African American youth.
El-P echoed the sentiments of his fellow Run The Jewels front man, voicing his frustration and speaking for many of us with this defeated message:
ok thats it im rolling all the hash and weed i have and saying goodbye to this day. — el-p (@therealelp) June 18, 2015
There is a multitude other rappers and musical personalities that have spoken of their own disgust for recent events, with Solange Knowles offering a heartbreaking sentiment and plea as she is coming to terms with the plight of her people, the pain in her harrowing message is clear;
Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black? — solange knowles (@solangeknowles) June 18, 2015
In this social and political climate, rappers, singers, actors and sportspeople have all unified their voices, and it is refreshing to see these figures taking a stand. Change is on the horizon, and it appears that there may be more heartache until there is a sense of resolution and peace. It is the wise words of Questlove that so perfectly sum up the current state of affairs, his reaction to the Eric Garner situation rings true even more so today:
I’m ashamed. Mostly because I’m no longer shocked at things now-a-days. Nothing is shocking. #EricGarner
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) December 3, 2014