Musicians React to Ferguson & Michael Brown: Frank Ocean, J. Cole & More

AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes
Meghan O'Donnell, 29, from St. Louis, prays at the spot where Michael Brown was killed the previous afternoon, Sunday evening, Aug. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Police said Brown, who was unarmed, was fatally shot Saturday in a scuffle with an officer. 

Given the impact of Michael Brown's tragic death and the protests that followed in Ferguson, Mo., it's no surprise musicians are letting their voices be heard. Billboard has compiled some of the voices that have resonated the loudest via social media on the topics of life, death, war, peace, race relations, and whatever else feels relevant.

J. Cole released a poignant new song called “Be Free” in the wake of the Michael Brown tragedy. Just hours after its posting, the somber tribute became the most-talked about track on Twitter in the U.S., reaching the No. 1 position on the Trending 140 by 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 15.



Frank Ocean took to Tumblr to comment on an image of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon standing in front of a black woman. He used the photo to examine the role of race in the Ferguson incidents. Ocean wrote:

You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there. If she was off the clock..then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times. What’s that guy’s name by the way?

John Legend let his voice be heard about the police forces in Ferguson:







Public Enemy’s Chuck D made his views very clear:
 



Talib Kweli quoted Rand Paul:



…And shouted out J. Cole’s track:



Childish Gambino questioned the usefulness of activism and protest in light of the Brown killing:



Young Jeezy shared a Michael Brown tribute:



Questlove made an observation on the police's use of tear gas:





El-P offered this on the Ferguson events:



Big Boi showed his support:



Moby spoke about the police force's abuse of power:





And Tom Morello had this to add: