After raising awareness with a Trayvon Martin-inspired freestyle, Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X hit up SOHH to discuss his hope of more hip-hop artists standing up and speaking on the Florida shooting tragedy.
In Jasiri’s eyes, rap stars like Rick Ross are needed to speak out and rally support in light of Martin’s murder.
“Here you have one of the biggest hip-hop artists in Rick Ross and I would love to hear him. If we’re gangsters and bosses, why not speak to something [like this]? Rick Ross has power. This is the reality. He has power in hip-hop and the game. Especially in the state of Florida, they ride for him,” Jasiri X told SOHH. “Trayvon was from Miami. So I would love to call on him, not disrespectfully but respectfully, to say, ‘Man, Rick Ross, I think if you spoke and if the streets could get involved, to Trayvon and came to the rallies, it’d mean a lot. Put your movement toward getting justice for Trayvon.’ Kanye West, Jay-Z, a lot of people were down for Occupy Wall Street, I would love to hear them. It’s just because they have the loudest voices. They have millions of Twitter followers. That’s the reality. If they say it, it’s going to resonate with a lot more people than me just saying it.” (SOHH)
Over the weekend, rap stars Diddy and Nelly stepped up and showed their support.
“I didn’t know wearing a hoodie made me a target,” tweeted Diddy who posted a pictured himself in a dark hoodie. Nelly also sported a hoodie and added a link to the Change.org petition to have George Zimmerman prosecuted for shooting Martin. On his Tumblr page, a hooded Frank Ocean pointed two fingers to his head resembling a gun and wrote, “suspicious black.” The-Dream, Jamie Foxx and Swizz Beatz also posted photos of themselves in hoodies to show their support for Trayvon Martin, adding the hashtag HoodiesUp (#HoodiesUp) so others can do the same on Twitter. (Pop Crush)
NBA superstar LeBron James even got his Miami Heat teammates to take part in bringing awareness.
Echoing President Obama, Dwyane Wade spoke personally as a parent about about the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. And shortly afterward, the Miami Heat sent a message as a team, posing in hoodies for a photo that LeBron James tweeted. Wade also posted a photo of himself on Facebook in which he wears a hoodie with the message “#hoodies #stereotype #trayvonmartinmessage.” The shooting of Martin , 17, by a neighborhood-watch guard last month continues to resonate; George Zimmerman, the guard, claims he acted in self-defense and has not been charged. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed. (Washington Post)
The incident caught the attention of rap star Young Jeezy who said he now pays more attention to family.
“My son is a good kid. Does he do stuff? Of course, that’s what kids do. But nobody’s child should be shot in cold blood for anything, especially if they didn’t harm or hurt another individual,” he said. The fact that Martin is black and George Zimmerman is Hispanic has added a racial sting to the killing, but Jeezy downplayed the racial element and called for unity. “I feel the racial line and the tension of it, I get it, but we’re gonna stand strong on the black and the brown side on this one,” he said. “We’re gonna stand together. I betcha that.” The Snowman urges that everyone lend their voice because there is a bigger societal issue at hand. “This is real, I understand that there are a lot of things goin’ on in the world and times are hard for everybody right now, but when you start having adults kill children for any reason, then we’re on our way to something we don’t want to be at,” he said. “The minute we accept that, we stand for nothing.” (RapFix)
Check out Jasiri X’s “Trayvon Martin” freestyle below: