For years now, the world has thought of hip-hop as a volatile place. Backstage beefs, on-track insults, coastal rivalries and, at times, shocking violence and shooting deaths. Yesterday though, The Game unleashed "Don't Shoot" — a collaboration with some of the biggest hitters in hip-hop, that expresses a firmly, and refreshingly, unified message.
Inspired and horrified by the violent death of Michael Brown and the subsequent troubles in Ferguson, The Game enlisted 2 Chainz, Diddy, Rick Ross, Wale, Yo Gotti, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, King Pharaoh, Fabolous, Curren$y, and Problem, as well as Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank, to vent their frustrations about racially motivated police brutality and share personal insights about just how terrifying a problem this is and how exhausting it has become to fight against.
"Don't Shoot" is powerful. And it isn't just a great listen — it's actually very fucking important.
If anything even remotely positive has come out of Mike Brown's brutal and utterly senseless death, it's that it has acted as a means to take seemingly isolated incidents of excessive police actions against African-Americans from around the country, pull them all together, and paint a horrifying picture for the entire world to see about where America remains in 2014.
At this moment, the world's attention is keenly focused on how the U.S.A. treats its African-Americans, how it treats its protesters, and how it handles ongoing racial divisions. At this moment, the world is waking up to the fact that, even with the first black President still in office, racism remains a deadly problem in America. Steps must be taken now to shame those responsible for these brutalities into changing the way they operate.
The first step towards any change in history has always been a united front of disgusted citizens, who aren't afraid to voice their objections to the status quo. Protesters in Ferguson, and consequently around the country, have been doing this for weeks now. With "Don't Shoot," this many members of the hip-hop community, from this many corners of the country, standing up and telling Ferguson 'We have your back' is not just an important morale booster for those individuals already on the streets with their hands up, it's a rallying cry for those who, thus far, have felt it's not their fight.