Mistah F.A.B. Takes Murderous Cops to Task in “6 Shots” (Audio)
On Monday, July 4, millions of Americans observed Independence Day but for some, a celebratory mood was difficult to sustain. What has become known as the Black Lives Matter era is a time in history when past mistakes seem to linger, and when racial injustice becomes recorded on cell-phone video for all to see. This week alone, at least two Black men lost their lives at the hands of police. Just one day after the 4th of July, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Within a day’s time, Philando Castile was killed by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. In both cases, videos surfaced of the shooting or, as in Castile’s case, the immediate aftermath.
As in the wakes of the killings of Amadou Diallo in 1999, Oscar Grant in 2009, Trayvon Martin and Rekia Boyd in 2012, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner in 2014, and the deaths of Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray in 2015, Hip-Hop has made its voice heard. Artists like Beyoncé and Joey Bada$$ have taken to the web to pen powerful statements while others, like Oakland, California’s Mistah F.A.B., are taking to the mic. And they are not mincing words: what Beyoncé calls “a plague of injustice,” Joey calls a government-sanctioned “civil war within the U.S.A. amongst Black and White,” and F.A.B. describes in equally forceful terms.
Just over a month removed from the release of his latest album, Son of a Pimp, Pt. 2, F.A.B. draws inspiration from this week’s – as well as past and ongoing – atrocities, and has taken to the booth to record “6 Shots,” a title taken from the details of Sterling’s death, who was shot six times while unarmed and restrained. “Woke up this morning and saw on TV a man murdered / Sellin’ CDs outside the store to get his fam further /Six shots to the chest in front of everybody / Dead on arrival, last breath seepin’ out his body,” he begins. Underscoring the rapidity with which Castile’s death went viral he raps “Later on that day I seen a man get shot at a traffic stop / White America, when will this madness stop?”
Also today (July 7), President Obama released a statement on the two tragedies.