Following the announcement last night that a St. Louis grand jury would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Ferguson resident Michael Brown, Chicago rapper Tink released a song.
Produced by Timbaland, "Tell the Children" is a protest record that features Tink singing a somber interpolation of the hook ("You better watch out") from Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)," meant in this case as a warning to children like Mike Brown "to keep running" from antagonistic police. "They lie and disrespect us / Kill us and then neglect us." The song opens with audio clips of newscasts reading the ruling of the Grand Jury's decision, which sparked protests and riots last night in Ferguson, with solidarity crowds forming in New York and other major U.S. cities.
Tink is the latest of several musicians who've written protest songs in response to the police shooting death of the teenaged Mike Brown on August 9. In the months since Brown was gunned down on Canfield Drive, rappers Jeezy, Killer Mike, Talib Kweli, and J. Cole have joined local protestors to escalate media attention to the Ferguson police department's handling of the case.