In 2013, Nicki Minaj released a track called “Chiraq” on which she raps about, “Kingpins and drug lords / Chi-town, no gun laws.” Her label mate, Lil Wayne, also touched on the issue of gun control in his 2013 song, “Gunwalk.” His exact thoughts were, and I quote, “fuck a gun law.”
Today, both of them used their Facebook pages to call for meaningful gun reform by Congress. If Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne’s thoughts on gun ownership and rights can evolve over the past three years — which saw, among many others, a reporter and cameraman murdered on live television, seven innocent people dying at the hands of an angry virgin, a vigilante shooting up a women’s clinic in the name of “babies,” and the deadliest mass shooting in American history — so, too, can the views of those in positions of lawmaking authority.
At least, that’s what the hope is. NowThis has issued a call for its 6,000,000+ Facebook followers to host an online sit-in to coincide with the sit-in happening on the Congressional floor.
Minaj and Lil Wayne quickly heeded the call, leading the online sit-in. Wayne captioned his update, “It’s time to end gun violence now because our streets shouldn’t be war zones. I refuse to get used to these shootings, and I refuse to believe we can’t act.” Minaj’s said, “It’s time to end gun violence now because kids deserve better than to live in fear. Is there anything more important than our right to life? Seriously?”
Minaj’s call to action is especially arresting, given the content of her 2014 song, “All Things Go,” which included references to lingering guilt she feels about her cousin’s death.
“I lost my little cousin to a senseless act of violence / His sister said he wanted to stay with me but I didn’t invite him / Why didn’t he ask, or am I just buggin’? / ‘Cuz since I got fame, they don’t act the same, even though they know that I love them,” she said.
Her cousin, Nicholas Telemaque was shot and left to die in 2011. He is referenced in lyrics from 2012, too, but not with the same amount of guilt and introspection on Minaj’s part that can be seen in the track from 2014.
It remains to be seen if other entertainers who traffic in violent imagery will join the rappers, but a few action directors and thriller authors wouldn’t hurt the movement NowThis is trying to build.
[image via screengrab]
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