Bay Area Rap Veteran Mistah F.A.B. Responds to Police Shootings With '6 Shots'

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In the last 48 hours, two different black men in two different American cities have been shot to death by police officers, with both killings captured on horrifying, heart-wrenching video. Their names were Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Institutional racism in this country is nothing new, of course. The presence of easily accessible hand-held recording devices and the reach of social media, in the grand scheme of things, are. It's only the shock waves that feel bigger. I'm trying to keep that close to the surface. No black person in America is actually surprised right now.

It makes sense, then, that a combination of deeply justified fury and resignation permeates "6 Shots," a new track that Bay Area hip-hop legend (and unofficial mayor of North Oakland) Mistah F.A.B. dropped this morning.

Its lyrics are unambiguous -- referencing Alton Sterling being killed while selling CDs in front of a corner store, his son crying on TV, Jesse Williams' recent speech at the BET Awards, as well as Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Oscar Grant -- with an especially raw plea to black people working in law enforcement.


"What got me hot is there ain't no black cops speakin' out/coulda been your son, coulda been your daughter out there bleedin' out/tell me what good is having arms if you ain't reachin' out/tell me what good is having a tongue if you ain't speakin' out/you see there's power in the people they don't speak about/you see the power in the people is what I speak about."

The song ends with a sample of words by Nakia Jones, a black police officer who did speak out against her colleagues' silence in the wake of the Alton Sterling shooting.

In other local rap news, E-40 posted this on Instagram this morning:


Elsewhere, Solange posted this video:


And Drake put this up yesterday:


That being the case, it's interesting how, as of this writing, the only "trending" story Facebook is showing me that's related to these shootings is this: