Somebody must, right? The pop music world can’t stand pat on this one, though come to think of it, nobody nailed OJ Simpson back in the day. Still the story of the fat ugly racist George Zimmerman, living in a Republican enclave, following black people in his neighborhood, in the past 11 years, George Zimmerman had made 46 calls reporting suspicious black people. That’s four times a year, all black, no arrests. This time he stopped his car, stuck a gun in his pocket and stalked 17 year old Trayvon Martin. The not guilty verdict is a mockery of justice. At least Hattie Carroll’s murderer got six months.
So, sure, it is time to write the story, sing the remembrance. But who to do it?
1. Chuck D – He has the moral outrage and he has the force of words. Maybe too much force of words but still, he’d be the first choice.
2. Bob Dylan – Had the poetics and concern to write about the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” is certainly a blueprint for a Ballad Of Trayvon song.
3. Bruce Springsteen – I wasn’t convinced by any of The River or “41 Shots” (his song about the Amadu Diallo killing) but he is big enough to be heard above the clutter. If Bruce wrote it, it would be heard.
4. Conor Oberst – The indie star of indie stars could certainly come to terms with the Trayvon case -he has written any number of protest songs, he knows how to get it done.
5. Neil Young – Young can write like a newspaper headline, he can work fast and have a song released by the end of the week. And while his more recent protest songs have certainly not been “Ohio”, he can still write statement song.
6. Lauryn Hill – Her last album was all protest music and if she put her anger with the writing skills she used on Miseducation.
7. Common – When in political mode, Common has the poetic ability and the skills to rap, perhaps he can get Maya Angelou to help out.
8. Tomas Doncker – Doncker can write the music that will blast your ears out, but lyrically he might have too much of the Chuck D in him.
9. Stevie Wonder – One more time, Stevie, you just know Stevie will write a chorus to unite people in the face of inhustice
10. The Roots – It ain’t over, you know. Next up is the civil rights case and the Martins will need money so maybe Questlove can get together some superstar buddies and “We Are The World” a song to help out?
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