The weeks following the events that took place in Ferguson on August 9th, many musicians have felt the call to action and have answered it in various ways. Many have done so in the form of song composition. On a national level, The Game united fourteen artists to create the song “Don’t Shoot“ to speak out against social injustice together, while Lauryn Hill released “Black Rage” and J. Cole put out “Be Free“. On more local scales, Brooklyn’s Afropunk Fest turned itself into a political information and activism forum last weekend, and St. Louis rapper Fresco Kane has penned “No Justice No Peace” to reach out to other black kids who might find themselves at risk of a situation similar to Michael Brown’s.
When Kane first got wind of the killing of unarmed, black teen Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, he had just stepped off an airplane flight from Los Angeles and checked his Instagram app. Instantly, he felt he had to do something to stand up to the racial profiling and brutality of the police. “If you have a heart, it’s only right to do so,” Kane told St. Louis Today. He then decided to create “No Justice No Peace” which features singer Fedarro, with the intent to deliver a message to America’s youth. “I didn’t do this for reaction. I did it to get a point across that this is every black kid.”
The point being that the death of Michael Brown isn’t a solitary, one-time event in America’s social history, that it could happen again, to anybody, if something isn’t done to stop it. “I didn’t want to make any song,” he says, referring to when he first had the idea. “I knew everybody would make a song saying, ‘Mike Brown Mike Brown Mike Brown’ the whole song,” Kane explains. “My song says that’s me on the ground, and that’s all my friends on the ground. This is us,” he says. He’s not alone; fellow local St. Louis artist Miistro Freeyo released a music video for “What You Gone Do,” while Zeus Jupiter (also from St. Louis and formerly known as Ruka Puff) unveiled the track “Ain’t Right” at a benefit event for Brown’s family.