The Rap Music of Mike Brown, Slain Ferguson Teenager

Categories: Too Soon

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Ray Downs
Mourners gather for a candlelight vigil in Brown's honor.
The family of Mike Brown, an eighteen-year-old Ferguson teenager shot and killed by police on Saturday, August 9, has said that the young man recently took up a passion for music, with an interest in sound engineering and plans to study at Vatterott College next week. According to his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, "All he wanted to do is make music."

"Everyday he made one or two more records," she explains. "He rapped about life in general -- about what he went through and people went through. Just life."

See also: Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life

Brown rapped under the name "Big Mike." If his SoundCloud page is any indication, his musical fascination was a recent one -- according to his family, he had become obsessed with making it as a rapper after graduating high school this spring. His first upload on the music-streaming service is dated July 24, only eighteen days ago.

While Brown has been described as a "gentle giant" and "a big teddy bear," his tracks are filled with the usual guns-and-money bluster one might expect from a trap-rap artist. His family has explained that this was all part of the act -- that he was simply imitating the lyrical content of his musical idols. Shouts of "Squad" during freestyles suggest influence from popular trap label 1017 Brick Squad Records, known for its releases by Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Chief Keef and others.

See also: Peaceful Protest for Mike Brown Before Riot Police and Looting Takes Over

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Jessica Lussenhop
A jar full of Mike Brown's rap lyric ideas, written on tiny slips of paper, next to family photos at his grandmother's house.

Here are some lyrics from Brown's track "SMH": Devil get off my back / I'll knock you off your feet / Another man down in my city

And here are some from "Rise and Grind": 'Til I die rise and grind / gotta get mine / no nine to five / 'til I die

But seemingly in conflict with the clichéd talk of "money over everything" and his alleged success in the rap game (more obvious braggadocio, considering he had been at it for such a short time) there are lines about how he "would like the chance to go back to school" and how his "stepmom is [his] best friend" -- a stark contrast from the typical lyrics that populate the trap genre.

From a freestyle dated August 5: Proud graduate for Mom and Dad / proved everybody wrong / wishing hoping and praying I can bring my n****s along

Brown put his home phone number on the SoundCloud page as well, and his family says he had received calls of encouragement from people in New York City and Atlanta. Their positive feedback pushed him to continue following his dream. The last activity on his page was an upload of himself and frequent collaborator Luh Vee, posted on Thursday, two days before he was killed.

See also: Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage

"Every time something would happen he would rap about it," explains Harris."'Oh, you gotta hear this, oh, you gotta hear this.' I had never ever seen my grandson dance. I had never seen him swinging his arms and just happy."

"He was excited," she continued. "He was excited about life."

Hear Mike Brown's music below:

Follow the author on Twitter at @fatrobocop.



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136 comments
mr.dewes
mr.dewes

The world has lost a great talent, just think of all the wonderful music this guy may have produced in the future. LOL  The black community is a joke.  The guy wasn't armed, he was just huge and used his size to take what he wanted, like Dee Bo from Fridays.  I'm sure if some other guy was shot "Big Mike" would be out looting his local market too.  As long as the black community keeps making excuses for ridiculous behavior, they will stay a poor, uneducated underclass.  I guess it's easier to blame others than to raise your children to be decent, honest people.  It's certainly a vicious circle.  Uneducated, poor women, getting pregnant, raising uneducated, poor children.  Every 15 years another wasted generation is born.  Just keep whining about being discriminated against, while at the same time acting like criminals. At least society won't have to pay for a jail cell for Mike Brown.

jrc_vr4stealth
jrc_vr4stealth

Black people be making themselves look stupid.


They complain about justice when they claim a person was innocent and didn't deserve what happened yet they loot the businesses of probably black business owners who are also innocent.

Where is the logic behind justice in this scenario?

LivingSTL
LivingSTL

Talking about the victims past record (and he has one) and his actions (stealing from the QT, not abiding the police request, his choice of lyrics in his "music")  simply shows that he DID make bad choices. Does that mean he was a bad person all the time? we don't know. but does that mean he wasn't? we don't know that either. What we do know is the proof of his actions corroborates the story that YES it's completely possible he could have went after the cops gun. If he did, then that is why he's dead. No one is trying to victimize him in death. it's the facts - stop being blinded by all the media BS and rumors. Sad enough,  It is what it is. 

GraceLuttrell
GraceLuttrell

That Brown was unarmed is undisputed -- St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said every casing found at the scene was from the officer's weapon -- but he said at a Sunday news conference that Brown was not an innocent victim.

"The genesis of this was a physical confrontation," Belmar said, adding that Ferguson police asked his office to investigate the case.

Without revealing what led to the dispute, Belmar said the preliminary investigation showed that the Ferguson officer tried to exit his vehicle, but Brown pushed him back into the car," where he physically assaulted the police officer" and struggled over the officer's weapon, Belmar said.

A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said.

It's unclear how many times Brown was shot. Johnson said it was more than three, and Brown's mother said she was told he was shot eight times. Some witnesses said they heard as many as 10 shots. Belmar said only that it "was more than just a couple."

The chief didn't explain how Brown got so far away from the car or whether he was surrendering. He said he was declining to disclose certain details because he didn't want to "prejudice" the case.

The officer is on paid administrative leave. There's no word on when authorities will identify him, but Belmar said he has been with the force six years and is "unaware of any other issues that he's been involved in."

He will be required to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty, the chief said.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Soo he waz rhyming like a straight up thugg?  But in real life he was an angelic choirboy?

Pia Martin
Pia Martin

There are many people in prominent positions who have some sort of criminal past. Some have been convicted of very serious crimes, even murder. A few readily come to mind. If one of them happened to be victimized during the commission of a crime, should their past mistakes be brought to bear in an attempt to justify the actions of the criminal(s) involved? No. But that is exactly what is happening in this case.

Datdude McFadden
Datdude McFadden

Facts stated up to ten shits fired justify that as not a murder smh

Pia Martin
Pia Martin

So, is the dead child on trial? What do lyrics in a rap song have to do with his being murdered? All teenagers are in conflict at some point, and it carries over into adulthood. What person have you ever know who has not been, or is not presently in that state. It is called "Life." He must not have been too conflicted as he was to begin classes at Vatterott the Monday after he was murdered. It is apparent that he was a young person who had a sense of direction and purpose. He had a goal that he was working toward. How many baby boomers who are successful in their chosen fields loved heavy metal, rock and punk rock while in their formative years? How many still listen to it? Do not try to justify the murder of Michael Brown extrapolating that he was a violent person because of lyrics that he'd written. Do not put the victim of a heinous crime on trial. He's dead while the person who killed him is home being comforted by family and friends. Ask the shooter what kind of music he listens to.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

I'm not judging anyone. You are assuming a murder was committed. I say wait for the facts.

Katherine Hermann
Katherine Hermann

Case net is unreliable. Without access to a full, extensive criminal background check based on fingerprints and social security numbers, this means nothing. Charges are changed all the time on case net. Even I have a charge there, which does not match my actual moving violation. Without knowing someone's birthdate, address, and possibly their attorney's name from said case, case net will be useless. Especially considering how common this young man's name is. Please reserve your judgments (and your quick judgment of others refuting you) for when you have more accurate information. You accessed a public record, do you want a cookie?

Israel Phillips
Israel Phillips

Truth is a mother has to burry her son. That's the truth! Anything else can be tainted and twisted. I see how the majority of whites citizens who side with the cops don't live in north county if that were your son laying dead in the street would you still be on Their side? Those idiots who are looting don't even live in north county they are taking advantage of an unfortunate event.

Json Jones
Json Jones

These aren't even his charges....

Michelle Dragon
Michelle Dragon

Isn't it a bit odd the lawyer for the family said "what we want to do is stay away from the facts" - how is that helpful? The truth will come out eventually, and rioting in the mean time is not helpful.

Thaddeus J McLendon
Thaddeus J McLendon

The cops in ferguson compared to Kkk They say the community dont care about them they dont care about the community. Those are white owned businesses in their eyes. So what those jobs are not held by them.

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

I have a life and it's being disrupted by these people rioting. I missed out on money today from this garbage. My heart goes out to his family. Two wrongs don't make a right. Just saying the message that is sent to young people threw this so called music doesn't help at all. BRING BACK MOTOWN for fucks sake.

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

Ok hip hop sends off a great message my bad how could I be so stupid geeeez....

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

Ok no one knows exactly what happened yet ok. People don't need to do this. How is fucking everything up that people work hard for hurting this one man???? It's not. Stop being stupid

Lindsay Pattan
Lindsay Pattan

10 shots were reported as speculated multiple times

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

No I don't but I don't listen to songs about rape and shooting people and whineing about having to sell crack to feeds my kids. Sorry..... But people make that choice this is America and anything Is possible. It's easier for a black person to get a job then a white person anyway it's a choice people sorry just saying most hip hop says shit I would never want me kids listening to. ( teddy bears)

Kelli Mayahi
Kelli Mayahi

Juust keeeeeeep on fucking up our Ghetto ....it makes sense right. Not sure. ..cant even walk my dogs cuz you ignorant folk. Rot yo

Larry Hood
Larry Hood

your listing the wrong mike brown

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

Did hip hop kill this kid??? No of course it didn't but let me guess quik trip did rite???? Ummmm no I'm sure the message that is being sent out has maybe just a little to do with it.... But why not I'll get a tattoo on my neck and face and just join the bullshit

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

Just saying kids take it seriously trying to come up on the next person. Don't act like it doesn't happen just saying when you have to sing about violence to make yourself happy is kinda strange. Whatever happened to Motown???? Come on people

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

Just saying I can sit and cuss all day long and make it in the hip hop world. It won't take me long to make 20 albums

Doug Roth
Doug Roth

You don't get it... Ok well hip hop is the big thing now rite??? Just sayin 95% is violence. Twerking and shit.... Real classy

Mary Watson
Mary Watson

Get Rich or Die Tryin.......oh well he died so tough shit this time really

Aaron Morris
Aaron Morris

Some want to be COPS!!! In America ? How much more gangster is that?

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Liberals are the closed minded bigots. That is a fact. I'm not a liberal by no means. Lol.

Laura Coppinger
Laura Coppinger

Hahaha...you're delusional and racist. Your bigotry is unreal.

Maggie O'Connor
Maggie O'Connor

You're just as quick judge Scott, And your hate seems to be boundless which must match your stupidity. If the facts will come out why are you so adamantly defending what you "know"

Matthew Creek
Matthew Creek

Yes because to make sure they're dead you gotta shoot more than once.

Dierdre Lockette
Dierdre Lockette

Get my shit together? Lol! I pissed you off, so I think I'm doing pretty good.

johnkrane
johnkrane

Thank you for changing the headline.  

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Multiple may be twice. Witness said he was shot in the car. The truth will come out. Shot in the car. Ran out of the car. Put hands in air and collapsed. Eyewitness.

Matthew Creek
Matthew Creek

Guilty or not he was shot multiple times in a street with his hands up. If you can't see that's why everyone is pissed off you need to open your eyes

Matthew Creek
Matthew Creek

I'm pretty sure the eyewitnesses on the scene know the details

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