“I have a 20-year-old son, I have a 12-year-old son and I’m so afraid for them,” Killer Mike said last night in his powerful speech before a Run the Jewels show in St. Louis. Other figures from the music world, notably Solange and Adia Victoria, have shared poignant responses following the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown this summer in Ferguson, Missouri. Now Tink‘s new song “Tell the Children,” with chilling production from Timbaland, all too vividly addresses this fear.
The Chicago rapper/singer channels the melody from Lauryn Hill‘s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” but rather than warning about the battle of the sexes she’s warning about police brutality. In the first verse, she weaves an intimate first-person narrative of a visit from the authorities, complete with gunshots: “Nana drops, she hollerin’, ‘Why god’ / Police leave, tell us it’s nothin’ but their job.” The second verse zooms out: “The problem when nobody sees the view from our perspective / My people shed blood from the acres you had stole / Now my people shedding blood on the gravel left in the cold.” It’s tragic and compelling.
Listen below, and see our profile Chicago Rapper Tink on Love, Loyalty and Loneliness.