There have been heated debates, discussions and conversations happening all around the country in the wake of last week’s police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The incidents, which were captured on video, have outraged communities worldwide and intensified conversations on race on just about every platform, from network news and The White House to social media.
Similarly, in Hip Hop, artists have ditched their politically correct mantras to ensure that their voices are heard. From Jay Z and Drake to Joe Budden and Meek Mill, rappers, singers, producers and the like are speaking out about police brutality and the injustices Black people have continuously suffered, especially over the last three years. Lyfe Jennings and David Banner were among those doing just that at a recent Black Lives Matter panel in Atlanta.
In the footage, captured by WSBTV, Jennings can be heard sternly responding to something Banner said with, “You sound crazy. I’m gonna tell you, you sound crazy,” and continuing with, “What we’re going through is crazy, but we’re not going to create more by telling these people to bring guns against the police. That’s stupid.” During his response to Banner, Jennings stood up, inciting applause and loud cheers from the crowd, prompting Tyrese Gibson, who appeared to be one of the guest speakers or the panel’s moderator, to step in before things escalated between the two artists.
Though the brief altercation was unfortunate, it’s good to see guys like Banner and Jennings on the front lines, interacting with the people, like each of them has done throughout their respective careers. Banner’s The God Box album, which is filled with sharp socially conscious dialogue and criticism, is on the way, and Jennings, who has served significant prison time during his career, has long been an advocate for societal justice.