After many criticized the St. Louis rapper for being noticeably silent when news first broke of the shooting death of Michael Brown, rapper Nelly is now speaking out about what he says is a “can’t win,” situation.
When asked why he didn’t issue a timely response, Nelly told Vibe Magazine, “When [the shooting] initially happened, I was in Finland. I don’t have enough information. I don’t know what to say so I said, ‘At this time, my blessings and my strength go out to the Brown family’ because at the end of the day, it’s not an injustice, it’s murder. It’s an injustice if [the officer] does not pay for it.”
He says the call to action is supporting those closest to the situation. “What we need to do is support the Brown family because we don’t know. We [can’t] plan against [the police] that plan and strategize for a living. That’s their job. We got barbers out here. We got fathers. We out here on emotion because these are our babies so you can’t attack from that aspect ’cause you can’t win.”
Nelly continued, “We cannot use our last resort first. Now they’re prepared. There is no element of surprise. We the smallest in their world. Black people make up 13 percent of St. Louis. We not making sure we do the right things because we’re so stuck thinking about this shit. We gotta plan ahead. We can’t blame the ones that don’t know better.
There’s three of us in this situation: The ones that don’t know better—can’t blame them ’cause they ain’t seen better—the ones that know better but act like they don’t, and the ones that know better that’s trying to say something but we killing them and they got the best plan.”
Nelly also urged citizens and fans to avoid angry fighting or attacks. “Keep the peace, keep the focus in mind,” he said. “The focus is this young man lost his life and he wanted a future, he had a future, so let’s make sure we take the positive out of that, embellish and make sure that young brothers and sisters that came out of this same situation are able to go on and live in his name.”