With tensions still running high from both the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, more pro athletes and artists are speaking out against police brutality. One MC who has been particularly vociferous is A$AP Ferg, who addresses it lyrically on the song “Talk It” from his recent mixtape, Ferg Forever.
“All I ever wanted was a Clams Casino beat/ To talk about oppression that’s repressing my peeps. Ride around in that green hooptie with my Uncle T/ N.W.A blastin,’ we screamin’ “F**k the Police,” (f**k ‘em), 'Cause they don’t give two s**s about me/ Little brown, Mike Brown shot down in Missouri,” rapped Ferg.
Despite a strong showing of solidarity from stars like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Pharrell, Ferg says that many celebrities remain trepidatious to take a stand when it comes to something that might compromise their “brand.”
"I feel like more artists should talk about [incidents like this]. Don’t be scared of your position.” Ferg told BET.com in an exclusive interview before their closing set as part of Red Bull’s 30 Days in LA concert series. “If I was just to shut up I wouldn’t be a true artist. I’m not a manufactured artist. Nobody taught me how to be a proper artist. I vented the best way I could and that was through my art ... At the end of the day you can’t take my love for my people away. I gotta represent my people 'cause that’s where I come from."
In 1992 when the LAPD was filmed viciously beating Rodney King on the streets of Los Angeles, the nation was given an inside look at what many Black communities were going through on a regular basis. Fast forward to present day, Ferg says police harassment is still all too common in the neighborhood that raised him. “We go through that s**t every day in the hood. I’ve been harassed by cops and s**t, so I feel like s**t isn’t any different,” proclaimed Ferg. “I just feel like when you’re in a place to say something you should say something because it’s just like, if you hear it you can’t just sit there and act like you don’t hear it.”
Despite his pugnaciousness on “Talk It,” the A$AP Mob rhymer feels like race relations in the U.S. is in a better place now than they have ever been.
"I feel like nowadays it’s not even about racism. The generation after us, like my little brother and his friends, they’re not even racist,” Ferg noted. “They don’t even know what racism feels like because we came together and we got better as a people. That’s what the Internet helped create is just people coming together and that’s what A$AP represents.”
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(Photo: Kevin Mazur/BET/Getty Images for BET)