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Nov 25, 2014

23 Musicians Share Their Thoughts On The Michael Brown Verdict

Artists didn't stay silent amid a wave of protests after a grand jury chose not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of the unarmed teenager.

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Last night, news that a grand jury would not indict Darren Wilson — the police officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this past August — ignited instant and impassioned responses online as well as on the ground in cities across the country. Many musicians in particular did not stay mum. From Nas to Katy Perry, here's what they had to say.

1. Rihanna posted this sober Instagram.

2. And Nas re-upped a KRS-One lyric:

"You were put here to protect us, but who protects us from you?" - KRS One

Nasir Jones@NasFollow

"You were put here to protect us, but who protects us from you?" - KRS One

9:56 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

3. Several artists leaned on trenchant quotes from civil rights leaders.

"A System Cannot Fail Those It Was Never Built To Protect" ( W.E.B DuBois)

LIL DURK@lildurk_Follow

"A System Cannot Fail Those It Was Never Built To Protect" ( W.E.B DuBois)

9:56 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

7. Macklemore, who marched in the seattle Ferguson protest, issued this commentary.

The system that instills & protects white supremacy wins again. Humanity loses...No justice. I pray for Mike Brown & his family. So sad.

Macklemore@macklemoreFollow

The system that instills & protects white supremacy wins again. Humanity loses...No justice. I pray for Mike Brown & his family. So sad.

9:43 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

8. Q-Tip, who led the NYC protest, cut to the heart of the matter.

No value for black life. But they extrapolate our magic , sweat, our voice our fire... And leave us stripped of our right to exist

QTip@QtipTheAbstractFollow

No value for black life. But they extrapolate our magic , sweat, our voice our fire... And leave us stripped of our right to exist

9:30 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

9. T.I. sided with Chris Rock.

10. Freddie Gibbs and Kid Cudi needed only a few words.

11.

Same ol' bullshit in the U.S.A.

12. And Trey Songz expressed a popular sentiment.

Can't even begin to understand how this can happen.

Trey Songz@TreySongzFollow

Can't even begin to understand how this can happen.

9:47 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

13. Pharrell called for prayer.

I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace.

Pharrell Williams@PharrellFollow

I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace.

10:24 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

14. Katy Perry and Will.i.am caught wind and made somber pleas.

Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now... Sending my prayers to Ferguson & praying for an equal America.

KATY PERRY@katyperryFollow

Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now... Sending my prayers to Ferguson & praying for an equal America.

10:22 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#FergusonDecision...I just found about the verdict...I feel sick to my stomach...I'm angry & confused...I feel betrayed....America is lost

will.i.am@iamwillFollow

#FergusonDecision...I just found about the verdict...I feel sick to my stomach...I'm angry & confused...I feel betrayed....America is lost

10:47 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My heart goes out to the family of #MikeBrown, the people of #Ferguson and #america as a whole...

will.i.am@iamwillFollow

My heart goes out to the family of #MikeBrown, the people of #Ferguson and #america as a whole...

10:55 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

15. Some artists threw their weight behind a simple hashtag.

16.

17. And others put their focus on the victim of the shooting.

18.

So disappointing. I can't quite find the words but my heart weeps. I thought "we" had finally begun to matter... #MikeBrown #Ferguson

Keri Hilson@KeriHilsonFollow

So disappointing. I can't quite find the words but my heart weeps. I thought "we" had finally begun to matter... #MikeBrown #Ferguson

11:37 PM - 24 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

20. Beyoncé gave Brown's family a megaphone.

21. And Solange exposed raw nerves.

I don't have anything "insightful" to say right now. Just pain, and anger. Something we are all allowed to feel right now.

solange knowles@solangeknowlesFollow

I don't have anything "insightful" to say right now.

Just pain, and anger.

Something we are all allowed to feel right now.

7:35 AM - 25 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Before posting a long and charitable message about grief and expression to Instagram.

22. Jeezy sent BuzzFeed his thoughts, and then reiterated on Instagram: "This has to stop."

23. Finally, rapper and activist Killer Mike delivered this powerful and emotional speech before a concert in St. Louis.

View this video on YouTube

"No matter how much we get shit together, shit comes along and kicks you on the ass," he said to the crowd. "Tonight I got kicked on my ass when I listened to the prosecutor. Let me tell you: You motherf*ckers got me thinking. I knew it was coming… You motherf*ckers got me today."

Later, he choked up while talking about his two sons: "You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a 20-year-old son. I have a 12-year-old son. And I'm so afraid for them."