Rapper and actor LL Cool J delivered a powerful message online in response to the death of George Floyd and the scores of protests that have resulted. A clip of the two-and-a-half-minute rap was tweeted out by Rock the Bells, the hip-hop enterprise and Sirius XM radio show founded by the rapper, whose real name is James Todd Smith.
"For 400 years you had your knees on our necks. A garden of evil with no seeds of respect," LL Cool J begins, without any musical accompaniment. "In America's mirror all she sees is regret. Instead of letting blood live they begging for blood let." Along with Floyd's death, the NCIS: LA star also addresses the coronavirus pandemic while criticizing the government's response, specifically honing in on the $1,200 stimulus checks that have been slowly making their way to citizens over the past several weeks. He ends the rap on the simple message of "black lives matter, forever."
“For 400 years you had your knees on our necks. A garden of evil with no seeds of respect.”June 1, 2020
LL Cool J is one of countless celebrities and activists to speak out in support of Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police during an arrest on May 25. Others include Lebron James, Stephen Curry and Oprah Winfrey, who wrote an open letter to the late 46-year-old. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick also weighed in, who was famously blacklisted by the NFL after he repeatedly engaged in a peaceful protest by kneeling during the National Anthem.
"When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction," Kaepernick tweeted on Tuesday. "The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in Power George Floyd."
Floyd was killed after arresting officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, three of which he was unresponsive. Chauvin was eventually arrested on Friday on third-degree murder and manslaughter, though the other three officers who were at the scene have not, despite widespread protests. Much of the response is owed to the multiple videos that were captured on the scene, which led to all four officers being fired from the police force the following day.