The Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri is inspiring more artist to speak out on what they think is important to learn/know in its aftermath.

J. Cole breaks out his singing voice for track dedicated to how he feels about the Michael Brown shooting and, indeed, the rash of shootings of unarmed, black teens that have dominated the news as of late.  While is voice isn’t the best, this song is not about sounding good; it’s about catharsis.  Saying that he is tired of having to smile through the pain, he makes the claim that all he wants is to be free.

 

 

By contrast, B.o.B. comes with a little more hard truth for his audience.  Speaking about the contradictions that come with being black in America, he speaks about some of the internalized racism that black people have as well as the things that have to be done for the community to break the cycle that seems to perpetuating itself.

Two artists with two well done tracks about the same incident.  This is what hip-hop has been lacking in recent years; verses with meaning about things that cause conversation.  Here’s hoping it won’t take another death to inspire more consciousness in the music of modern-day rappers.