While disorder and racial tensions continue to simmer in the city of Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, many rappers, including Wale, Joey Bada$$ and Meek Mill and have come forward to speak out against the current unrest in the city.
On the 23rd anniversary of the 1992 L.A. riots, The Game penned an op-ed for Billboard to offer his thoughts on the current situation in Baltimore, something he likens to the unrest he witnessed in Los Angeles as an 11-year old. The Compton, Calif. rapper also opens up about his thoughts on the youth being labeled as “thugs” and “animals” and his opinion of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Here’s an except from The Game’s op-ed:
I witnessed and was a part of the ’92 riots in Los Angeles, and you know the damage that did — not just to Los Angeles, but Watts, Compton, South Central and those areas. That happened when I was 11 years old. I remember looting and throwing bottles and jumping on bottles, jumping on police cars and just being angry. At the moment, it felt great. I felt like, you always hate the police for whatever reason. It all seemed cool for the moment, but now I’m 35. Looking back at what we did as a collective, a young black collective, we ruined our own neighborhood. Those stores which were in our neighborhood were no longer there and the other stores were 5 to 10 miles away, and it crippled our parents to have to venture out even further. I feel like we’re seeing the same things happening in Baltimore.
I’m not there [in Baltimore] to gauge the balance between now and the ’92 riots, but I understand the anger. I understand people wanting to be heard and being tired and fed up. I feel what happened to Freddie Gray was just another reminder of the neglect of the African-American youth in America and us as people. Look at how long we’ve been victims of the world. From slavery, from not being able to vote, up until our children. Young black men in general are targets. People [are] using unlawful force to take our lives. We’ve seen kids shot [and] beaten. We’ve seen everything. At the end of the day, we get fed up.
To hear what other rappers are saying about the protests in Baltimore, click here.
To read the full op-ed, head over to Billboard.
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