By Gotty, The Smoking Section
BY GOTTY™ • 08.06.15
August 9 marks the one-year anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri. Needless to say so much has happened in the aftermath that rocked the country to its core, causing friction, change and evaluation of what each of us stood for. For all of the ugliness that emerged, there were positives that were pushed to the forefront, too, with Run The Jewels being a prime example.
In late November 2014, Killer Mike and El-P had “the weird, tragic and serendipitous experience” of arriving in St. Louis the night a grand jury decided former police officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t stand trial for Brown’s murder. We all know the mayhem that ensued but that night also saw RTJ take the stage and Mike become one of the new faces of the rage against oppression and police brutality after he gave a speech whose impression may last just as long as any rap he’s ever spit into a microphone.
One year after Brown’s death, Run The Jewels tell the BBC that the chaos that took place in Ferguson beginning on that faithful night were worthwhile. “Riots work. And I’ve never said it in that way before. But I’m an American because of a riot,” Mike says in reference to the Boston Tea Party, emphasizing how we’re taught the story of the incident and the frustration of the people being the catalyst to change.
“So when people say riots don’t work: Ferguson was over 60 percent as a black community. They had less than 60 percent representation in politics, far less. Post-riots, they have two new black city council members, they have actual advocates in the community now, and the police chief retired. So if it was argued that riots worked for Ferguson, absolutely they did.”