A Tribute to Trayvon Martin : 10 Years Later (clip)
“REVOLT Black News Weekly” aired on Friday (Mar. 4) to discuss Africans facing discrimination in Ukraine, lawmakers who are blaming drill music for the rise in homicide rates, and the 10-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death.
Neima Abdulahi hosted the episode, titled “From the Drill Dilemma to Trayvon 10 Years Later,” and was joined by Former President Barack Obama, Hip Hop Ambassador of Brooklyn Maino, hip hop artist Yung Joc, and author of “Foundational Black American Race Bait” Tariq Nasheed. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also came through with a preview of what to expect from the 2022 Academy Awards.
Abdulahi began the show by discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how African immigrants were denied opportunities to escape the war-torn country. “Racism can be experienced anywhere,” she insisted before going on to examine politicians who believe drill music is connected to the rise in homicide rates throughout the nation. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a recent press conference, “Violent people are using drill rapping to post who they killed and then antagonize the people who they are going to kill.”
Abdulahi spoke with criminal defense attorney Kenneth Montgomery who declared, “You can’t stop drill rap, that’s silly.” He continued, “I’ll be really honest, trying cases now … the landscape has changed dramatically, the technology has pretty much outpaced the rule of law.” Raquel Peters lost her son, rapper Supa Gates, to gun violence and noted: “The point is not to ban drill [music], the point is to get the guns off the street.”
Journalist Mark Elibert chimed in with a compelling critique, saying, “These politicians are looking at [drill music] instead of looking at what they should be doing. They’re going to point the finger at the kids.”
Maino, rapper and Hip Hop Ambassador of Brooklyn, discussed meeting with Mayor Adams to address the politician’s comments about banning the music genre. “You can’t have a conversation about drill music in the culture without speaking directly to the actual artists — because if the wrong people are speaking, and you have the wrong narrative, then you’re going to have the wrong solution,” the Brooklyn native explained. “I told the mayor that if the plan and solution is just to lock up all the gang bangers in the city, that’s not going to change the fact that we’re going to have new ones on the way.”
Former police officer Tyrone Dennis recalled legal cases where rappers were convicted for their lyrics. “Name a rap incident in ATL, I had something to do with it — and of course rap lyrics came into play,” said Dennis.
Following that discussion, Abdulahi spoke with REVOLT‘s Kennedy Rue McCullough who highlighted the who’s who of the 2022 Oscars. McCullough discussed Aunjanue Ellis and Ariana DeBose, who were nominated for their roles in King Richard and West Side Story, respectively.
For the second time in 20 years, Will Smith and Denzel Washington will face-off at the annual awards show. Both actors were nominated for the Best Actor category — Smith was nominated for his role in King Richard and Washington for his role in The Tragedy of MacBeth.
Later, Abdulahi spoke with hip hop artist Yung Joc as well as radio personalities Kodaq and JoJo Alonso. Joc, Kodaq and Alonso weighed in on the recent spike in romance scams — similar to the scandal that played out in Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler.
Alonso then recounted a time when she met a man on social media who tried to scam her out of thousands of dollars. “I was talking to this guy on social media. We were talking for a while. One day he contacted me [about] a business venture: ‘I want you to come host this event and you’ll get paid x, y and z.’”
Khaled said it is a tragedy that Martin died at such a young age. “But, [Martin] was like the martyr for change,” he noted. “The contemporary Civil Rights Movement unfolded directly in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin,” Gates added.
Obama weighed in and said Martin’s death “[activated] an entire generation of civil rights leaders.”