Last night, a St. Louis County prosecuting attorney announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri back in August. By sheer coincidence, Run the Jewels were playing a show in neighboring St. Louis, and Killer Mike, who has been very outspoken about the situation over the past few months, opened the show with a heartfelt speech.
“I would like to give all thoughts and prayers to the people who [are] out there peacefully protesting,” he said, after first commemorating Brown’s death. “I also give thoughts and prayers for the people who cannot hold their anger in, because riots are only the language of the unheard,” he continued.
RTJ normally come onstage to Queen’s stirring power-anthem “We Are The Champions,” but that wasn’t the case Monday night. “Shit comes along and kicks you on your ass, and you don’t feel like a champion. Tonight I got kicked on my ass, when I listened to that prosecutor,” Killer Mike said. “You motherfuckers got me today. I knew it was coming,” he went on, his voice breaking. “I have a 20-year-old son. I have a 12-year-old son. And I’m so afraid for them.”
Killer Mike wrapped up the four-minute speech with a passionate call to action. “You motherfuckers will not own tomorrow. We will not live in fear,” he said, before shouting out his friendship with his white collaborator El-P. “It is us, against the motherfucking machine,” he said, before launching into a impassioned performance of “Run The Jewels.” Watch Killer Mike’s speech and the show opener above.