The protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 have been an important topic of online conversation on Twitter, particularly among the hip-hop community.
J. Cole, Lauryn Hill, T.I., Talib Kweli and Killer Mike have all voiced opinions on the subject, some through televised interviews and others through song. On Aug. 27, The Game introduced the new all-star collaborative song “Don’t Shoot,” inspired by the Brown shooting.
“Don’t Shoot” brings together Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, King Pharaoh and TGT. By the morning of Aug. 28, “Don’t Shoot” had reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart, becoming the most talked-about track on Twitter in the U.S. It held that position for several hours.
“Don’t Shoot” isn’t the first Ferguson protest song to hit the Billboard Twitter charts. This week on the weekly Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart, Lauryn Hill gets one of the top debuts as “Black Rage” enters at No. 16. The track was released on Aug. 20, and introduced by Hill via a tweet.
Further down this week’s Top Tracks chart is T.I.’s “New National Anthem,” featuring Skylar Gray, which debuts at No. 27 after its release on Aug. 20. T.I. released the song just a day after sharing his thoughts with his 2.5 million followers on Instagram.
“Look at us … America has created a monster” wrote T.I., accompanied by a photo of a protester in Ferguson on Aug. 19 (below). “The result of ignoring & mishandling an already fragile spirited, recently enslaved, presently oppressed race/generation of people.”
It took a day after “New National Anthem” first dropped for the track to peak at No. 3 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart, unlike J. Cole’s track “Be Free,” which reached the No. 1 spot on the Trending 140 on Aug. 15 when it was released.