The slaying of 37-year-old, father of five Alton Sterling at the hands of a police officer has rocked the country. Yet another black man, gunned down by yet another police officer. It’s the same story we’ve seen before and sadly, we’ll see again.
The frequency of tragedies like Sterling’s death, however, doesn’t make it any less painful. If anything, the fact that this isn’t the first, and won’t be the last time this happens makes it even more devastating. The Hip-Hop community has offered their sentiments in droves, everybody from The Game to Big Pooh took turns expressing anger, sadness, frustration, and the like on various platforms online Wednesday.
The latest to offer his condolences and thoughts on the tragedy is none other than Drake. A native Canadian, the rapper calls America his “second home,” and says the video of Sterling’s death left him feeling “disheartened, emotional, and truly scared.” It’s a candid statement from a rapper who rarely speaks up about social issues, both in his music and otherwise. Still, his lack of commentary clearly doesn’t signify a lack of compassion.
“It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago,” he continues. “No one begins their life as a hashtag. But the trend of being reduced to one continues.”
Drake ultimately finishes it by offering his thoughts and prayers to the Sterling family before saying “Be safe out there. More Life.” It’s a rather poignant statement, especially considering the source, and while somewhat shocking, it’s nice to say Drake using his platform to speak on the issues at hand.