Body Count, “Black Hoodie” + “No Lives Matter”
About: Shooting of Travyon Martin / Black Lives Matter movement in wake of police killing of George Floyd
Appear on: Bloodlust (2017)
Speaking truth to sociopolitical issues and, in particular, racism at large, is not new for Ice-T, which he acknowledges he’d been doing for 20 years already in “Black Hoodie.” The song lays it all pretty bare — that there was no need for Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman to shoot unarmed 17-year-old Travyon Martin after he had already called the police.
Since Martin was wearing a black hoodie, Martin appeared suspicious to Zimmerman, who later shot and killed the teen while claiming self-defense. He was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges until Florida’s controversial stand-your-ground law.
On the same record, Body Count mock the “All Lives Matter” response to the Black Lives Matter movement, calling out the lazy retort as ignorant and one that dilutes the true issue. This dialogue ripped open after George Floyd was killed by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, leading to his death.
Chauvin and others were convicted for their actions, a verdict that was celebrated by many as it was a rare moment where justice was finally served regarding a matter of extreme police brutality.
Key lyrics: “Got on a black hoodie, it’s hood up on my head / I didn’t have a gun so why am I dead? / You didn’t have to shoot me and that’s a known fact / And now I�������m laying face down with bullets in my back” (“Black Hoodie”)
“America’s always been / A place that judge my skin / And racism is real as fuck / Ain’t no way to play that off / And in the eys of the law / Black skin has always stood for poo / This is basic shit / They know who they fucking with” (“No Lives Matter”)