In May of 2015, XXXTentacion released a song called “Riot,” which came out months after the shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson, Missouri. The song hasn’t been available on streaming services for some time now, but this week, in light of current events, XXXTentacion’s estate put the song on Spotify, Apple Music, and other platforms.
On the song, XXXTentacion is critical of the practice of rioting, expressing his belief that rioters often don’t consider the consequences of their actions: “Look in all the stores you wreckin’, n****, I reckon / Think about the people who own it for ’bout a second / I know you got your problems, but brother, they got theirs / This is not a game, quit violence and grow a pair.”
The song is barely over a minute long, but in that time, XXXTentacion gets his point across. The version of the song on streaming services now is actually slightly shorter than the original from 2015. The new version ends with a couple lines from former KKK leader Jeff Berry’s speech during a rally, which was featured in the 1998 documentary The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History: “We see, I see, death before the children / White guys and white girls hanging from the buildings.” The original song sampled more of the speech.
Listen to “Riot” above.