Freddie Gray, 25 years old, died of a spinal cord injury while in custody of Baltimore police. As more details of the incident surface, tension between residents and police in the Maryland city grew. Baltimore residents took to the streets on Monday, April 27, to protest, riot or loot. Gray’s death and the riots in Baltimore have provoked artists to speak out, whether sharing words on social media (Rihanna, Bun B) or protesting themselves (Joey Bada$$, Wale).
Below, rapper Nipsey Hussle shares with Billboard his thoughts on Gray’s death and the protests in Baltimore.
“I think situations like these call for more actions and less words. Something is clearly wrong with the lens [the] law enforcement in our black and brown communities see the residents and the members of these communities through. The most offensive factor in this (brutal murder) situation, is the lack of empathy the police demonstrate for this young man. His leg was noticeably broken and the tone in his voice was one of agony!
That lack of a compassionate reaction to Freddie Gray’s injury comes with a karmic reaction; that is what theses riots represent: the return of energy that those police exuded into the universe. Wherever one stands, opinion wise, in relation to these riots…the fact is they are the effect or reaction of another incident. When the volcano erupts you don’t hold the lava to a moral standard. Lava’s qualities inherently destroy, as do oppressed, abused and hurt people.”