“It wasn’t just a black, white thing,” he said in an interview with Gawker. “It was about authority and about empowering a man who didn’t have power before and who overexerted his power. When it comes down to the race issue, it looked to me, the whole situation reminded me of the guys in my neighborhood who would get jumped, guys who didn’t belong there. You would think that Staten Island would have grown past aggression.”
The producer-rapper also added his perspective on the police officers involved in the incident.
“Those gentlemen were wrong,” RZA said. “The cop had a utility belt of options for different escalating scenarios. He had a stick, pepper spray, he had his physical training … but to jump up on him? It looked like a gang fight, and that’s totally wrong. The cops had other options — I’ve been pepper sprayed before, it’s 100 percent efficient. You gonna chill out. It’s a chill pill.”
Other rappers have also voiced their concerns regarding the death of Eric Garner. Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, for instance, addressed this matter with a brief speech and a poem. Jay Z assisted in the “I Can’t Breathe” shirt campaign that NBA players have participated in. Others have also expressed themselves via social media.