The rap group G-Unit featuring 50 Cent, Young Buck and Kidd Kidd released a video for “Ahh Shit,” a scathing indictment of police brutality and violence against blacks. The video features footage of Eric Garner as he was put in a fatal chokehold by a police officer and Reverend Al Sharpton’s condemnation of the NYPD, as well as scenes from Ferguson and Occupy Wall Street. The song’s lyrics reference everything from the death of Michael Brown to Travon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman’s acquittal.
“Now why the fuck did you call them cops?/Put you’re hands up you’re still getting shot,” repeats the chorus, a reference to Michael Brown, who allegedly had his hands raised before he was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. “No justice, no peace/They did Mike Brown like Cochise,” Kidd Kidd raps, comparing Brown to the famous Native American leader who struggled through his life for the freedom of his people.
G-Unit are not the only rappers who have reacted to Michael Brown’s death. J. Cole released a song called “Be Free” dedicated to Michael Brown last week, and artists Nelly, Talib Kweli and Tef Poe have all taken their own actions. Rapper Killer Mike did an interview on CNN which has gone viral, in which he explains the systemic context of Brown’s killing.
The video is a bold statement, particularly coming from a group that are not known for taking political stances in their music. The central theme of the song finds the three rappers in disbelief that a fictional subject of the song would call the cops for any reason – a premise that highlights the total lack of trust between law enforcement and citizens in some black communities. “They killed a few, they gonna kill some more,” the refrain continues.
The video ends with the notorious, horrifying video clip of Eric Garner on the ground, repeatedly telling the police arresting him he can’t breathe.