It’s been hard to miss news of Trayvon Martin. On 26 February the 17 year old black American was on his way to visit his father when he was shot dead by a self-appointed neighbourhood watch coordinator. Martin was unarmed; in fact, the most threatening things he was found to have in his possession were a bag a Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.
His killer, George Zimmerman, claims to have acted in self defence and has not been arrested. His story hinges on two phone calls made to police, in which someone can be heard screaming for help. Zimmerman claims the voice is his; forensic experts assert that it is not.
The case has caused anger in the States and beyond, with many insisting that the police’s failure to arrest Zimmerman is indicative of an ingrained and institutional racism.
The unfortunately named Killer Mike has released a new song in memory of Trayvon Martin. It’s an unashamedly throwback track replete with tales of police harassment and, ultimately, cop killing – but it is El-P who is the real star here, his huge kick and snare combination providing an expansive backdrop for the MC’s anger.
‘Don’t Die’ is taken from Killer Mike and El-P’s forthcoming collaborative album R.A.P. Music, due out in May on Williams Street.