In November, Q-Tip made headlines when he joined protestors on the streets of New York after a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury did not indict former police officer Darren Wilson for his involvement in the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Another A Tribe Called Quest member, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, says he was there too, but that the subsequent ruling in the Eric Garner case is what inspired him to express his feelings through music.
In a recent interview with AllHipHop, Muhammad said he “cried for maybe like five hours” after the Eric Garner decision was announced. “At that point I stopped crying and it hit me,” he said. “Make a song. Make a song expressing how you’re feeling.”
The result of Muhammad’s frustrations is “CPR,” a four-and-a-half minute track, crafted in response to the growing worldwide concern over police brutality.
“I think Ferguson was upsetting, and I instantly went out and protested then,” he said to AHH. “The news of Eric Garner – it definitely was like somebody punched me in my gut and took all my wind out. Not only just the wind out of myself, but everything that my father, my mother, my grandparents, and all my ancestors fought for in this country.”
Muhammad produced “CPR” and also enlisted Merna, JaPoet and David Luke to join him on the cut. He is also selling apparel to raise proceeds for the Eric Garner Family Fund.
“I made the song strictly from the perspective of ‘I’m an artist,’ and I didn’t know what else to do outside of marching and lifting my voice,” Muhammad says. “I didn’t want to sell the song. I just wanted to put it out…. So I came up with this idea of ‘equality’ as a shirt, and I thought it could be cool if something was done with it.”
Watch “CPR” below and purchase Ali Shaheed Muhammad’s ≠quáḽįty merchandise here.
For additional Eric Garner coverage, watch the following DX Daily: