Knowledge of Hip-Hop history will reveal the genre is respective to the narrative of the young black male. The official track for Paramount Network’s upcoming documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story has been released and not only is it a sneak peek into the film but an oracular call for justice with The Roots’ Black Thought as the rhetorician.
Titled, “Rest in Power” the Philly rap legend takes the masses back to that fateful day of February 26, 2012, when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman under the false notion of self-defense. Zimmerman’s 911 hoards the dawn of the track as Black Thought proceeds to lyrically enlace the reality of the young Black male with the events and statistics about the Trayvon Martin case. Strikingly, he likens the killing of Trayvon Martin to that of the lynching of Emmet Till reflecting a truth of ongoing acts of racism in America.
“Too long before the shooter was arrested/So wrong, worldwide, we’ve been affected/To them it’s real, sins of the father remembered still/For every Trayvon Martin, there was an Emmett Till…” Black Thought raps.
Black Thought goes on to position himself as a father, exposing the anguish of a Black man embedded into fatherhood whose own seed has fallen victim to America’s racist tactics. In the accompanying video, clips of Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin flash throughout the music video where they are seen in grief-stricken positions. Out of wonder, Black Thought questions whether the spirit of Trayvon Martin continues to gain knowledge in heaven. “If the wounds heal, the memories never fade/I wonder if you’re in heaven’s eleventh grade/Six thousand two hundred and thirty days/Too young of an early age, such evil and worldly ways…”
With Jay-Z as the executive producer alongside the parents of Trayvon Martin, Rest in Power will be a direct and in-depth look into the event of the crime in chronological order. The film will showcase the doings and whereabouts of Trayvon days before his death, evaluate the trial of George Zimmerman and break down the case’s relationship to the infancy of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is set to debut on Monday, July 30 at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. Watch Black Thought’s tribute to Trayvon Mation “Rest in Power,” below.