T.I., Killer Mike, Jermaine Dupri, and several other Atlanta natives have expressed their disapproval of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's decision to attempt to reopen certain businesses this week. Kemp has decided that nonessential businesses such as gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, and others will be allowed to reopen starting April 24 while still having to practice social distancing.
As one might suspect, this decision has been met with heavy backlash. Even President Trump has said in an address that he "strongly disagrees" with Governor Kemp's decision to reopen the state.
The Atlanta rap community has been responding to this decision as well, with T.I. taking to Instagram to share his thoughts on Gov. Kemp's decision, saying "I see an agenda, ya dig. And I'm sure everyone can see it, it ain't subtle, it ain't sophisticated, it's not no mind-manipulated warcraft. It's real simple."
These comments are in reference to Kemp choosing to reopen certain businesses that many African Americans use regularly in Georgia, and that it's no coincidence since they are also being affected by the virus at a higher rate.
Killer Mike also shared his thoughts on the Governor's decision, saying he has no intention of reopening the string of barbershops he and his wife own in Atlanta. He's instead staying mindful of the health and safety of his employees.
"Our first concern is the safety of our employees, and we have an incentive to open and we could use that incentive and we definitely wanna make money," he told TMZ Live. "At this time we aren't comfortable opening, so we're going to wait a while before we reopen."
Other ATL artists like Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris also chimed in about not wanting Georgia to reopen because of the risk it puts on black communities there.
"What I want you to understand is they expecting us to die. We don't have to go that way," Dupri told TMZ in a video interview. Dupri was emphatic about the effects that COVID-19 has had on the black community and that Georgia ranks last in testing for the virus. He also said that the black community needs to unite and recognize the power of the black dollar and their economic impact.
"STAY TF AT HOME GA!!!" Luda commanded.