As the nation continues to watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo., clash with police forces on a nightly basis, so do cultural icons continue to weigh in on the conflict. The latest into the fray are two members of the Grand Hustle Gang, B.o.B. and T.I.
B.o.B. crafted and released a thoughtful track addressing his experience being a black in America, called “Black Man.” The track starts with him asking for someone to tell him what it means to be a black man, a sarcastic reference to the cross-cultural chatter events in Ferguson have inspired about how the town’s protesters are acting, as well as speculation about what Michael Brown might have in the moments before he was shot by a police officer.
In the end, he advocates another kind of protest for black Americans. “The best way to protest,” B.o.B. raps, “hit ’em where it hurts: their pockets. It’s time to boycott s–t.”
Around the same time “Black Man” was released, T.I. dropped an open letter via Instagram. Attached to images of looters in Ferguson, T.I. empathizes with the anger of those lashing out in the community but asks if this is the most productive way of advocating for change.