Musicians have reacted after Florida man George Zimmerman was cleared of murdering black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter after shooting dead the unarmed 17-year-old, but his lawyers successfully argued that he acted in self-defence and he was acquitted yesterday.
Beyoncé halted her concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, about 30 minutes after the verdict became public. “I’d like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon,” she announced, before singing part of ‘I Will Always Love You’ and transitioning into her own hit, ‘Halo’.
Young Jeezy released a new track, ‘It’s A Cold World’, dedicated to Martin. The song sees the rapper comparing the situation with the loss of his own friends and includes the lines: “I’m losin’ homies everyday, I’m like please somebody else / If nothin’ else nigga, I’mma do it for Trayvon / That’s on a stack of Bibles, least two or three Qurans.” Listen to the track below. In a statement he emphasised that he was not “trying to capitalize off of the latest series of events. These are my true feelings and my form of expression about it.”
Former Fugee Wyclef Jean also released the video to his song ‘If You’re 17’, which he had held back until the verdict was announced, while producer and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons wrote in a blog post that he’d be supporting the Trayvon Martin Foundation in its efforts to repeal Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law. “[D]espite all the talk of a post-racial society, black men and boys are still considered suspects simply because of the colour of their skin,” he wrote.
Atlanta rapper Lil Scrappy also released a tribute, titled ‘Trayvon Martin’, including the lines, “We was reaching for freedom now we seeking out justice / then they get away with it like they paid off the judges.” Listen below. [via XXL, Global Grind and the Independent]
Listen to Young Jeezy’s ‘It’s A Cold World’:
Watch Wyclef Jean’s video to ‘If You’re 17’:
Listen to Lil Scrappy’s ‘Trayvon Martin’: