While many people last night used social media as a platform to speak out against the Grand Jury decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, rapper Killer Mike used the stage before a Run The Jewels show not too far from where riots were breaking out.
Run the Jewels were performing last night at the Ready Room in St. Louis, and Killer Mike began his duo’s show by giving an impassioned speech about civil rights, showing solidarity with Ferguson protestors, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and fearing for the safety of his own children.
The performer said Run The Jewels, which come to Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on Friday, normally open their show with Queen’s “We Are The Champions,” but didn’t feel like a champion after hearing news of the grand jury announcement for Officer Wilson, clearing him charges in the death of Brown. The news led to riots across Missouri last night, and Killer Mike was in his tour van when word came down.
“I would like to give all thoughts and prayers to the people who out there peacefully protesting,” said Killer Mike. “I also give thoughts and prayers for the people who cannot hold their anger in, because riots are only the language of the unheard.”
He added, his voice choking up: “Tonight I got kicked on my ass, when I listened to that prosecutor… You motherfuckers got me today. I knew it was coming. I have a 20 year old son, I have a 12 year old son and I’m so afraid for them. … You motherfuckers will not own tomorrow. We will not live in fear.”
Motioning to collaborator El-P, who is white, Killer Mike offered: “We know you don’t value my skin and we know you do value his, but you know what we’re friends and nothing is gonna devalue that.”