For those that aren’t aware, 29th of April 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the L.A. Riots, sparked by the acquittal of 4 LAPD officers of white and hispanic origin after they were videotaped beating a black man following a high speed pursuit. I’ll let you read more elsewhere because I don’t know enough about them to do any service.
One of a series marking the riots, this is a real interesting article from the good people over at LAWeekly.com, who speak to MC and L.A. natives Thurzday, El Prez and Murs on how they were affected by the riots, their impressions of them and how they’ve influenced their music.
Here are a few choice quotes from the article:
Thurzday, who released the concept album ‘L.A. Riots’ last year:
The only positive thing about it was that the community came together. You had Bloods and Crips who put down their issues to band together. And that wasn’t seen before. You saw all likes of people just joining as one. That’s probably the best thing about the riots. Other than that, your own city — your own backyard — was burning.
It definitely influences my music. It definitely gives me a better awareness, just like the music that came out around that time. You know, this was when Ice Cube made Death Certificate and stuff like that. You had a lot more conscious music. Even like street, gangtsa, hardcore — whatever you wanna call it. They still were dropping a lot of that type of knowledge into their records and stuff. I still have that street awareness in my records today. It’s not all me trying to preach per se, it’s nothing like that. I’m gonna tell you from a real perspective.
Murz, a prominant critic of violence in Hip Hop:
Yeah, I’m definitely against violence in hip-hop. I’m generally against violence as a whole, unless when necessary in extreme circumstances. But I’m an angry person as well. Sometimes I want to get violent. I completely understand why the riots happened. And if I had been of age and in the community, there was nothing my mother could have done to stop me from being out there.
Make sure you read the whole article (via LA Weekly), which also includes a short clip of Tupac soon after the riots, which you can do so below. Shout out to Elano Pizzicarola, the author, and LA Weekly’s West Coast Sound.