Much of 2012 has been shaped by the brutal murder of Trayvon Martin, a young teen from Florida murdered on his way home from a local convenience store. Though it took weeks for his story to make mainstream news, it would soon become one of the biggest social issues of the year. Because the victim was a young man, hip hop soon got involved.
Numerous hip hop artists came out and showed support to the family of the slain teenager. There were many who even made t-shirts and hoodies, which were in honor of Trayvon Martin. While some were in it for personal gain, most efforts made toward the young man were sincere. A person who truly represents the main hip hop demographic, the death of Trayvon Martin was horrific.
Most can agree on the young man being the victim, though George Zimmerman, his murderer, is still awaiting news on his future. Hip hop came out strong in support of Trayvon Martin’s family, with many artists making songs which tributed the young man. Russell Simmons stepped up in a major way, reaching out to his parents. DJ Symphony released a mixtape in his honor. Mos Def, A$AP Rocky, Master P, Los, Game, Young Jeezy, and Nicki Minaj also expressed their sympathy for Trayvon Martin.
With so many other things going on, Trayvon Martin has faded from the headlines, but there are many soft reminders. Hip hop powerhouse, Rick Ross, dropped one of the most popular verses of 2012 on Usher’s “Lemme See.” In his verse, Rick Ross raps about wearing a hoodie, “lookin’ like Trayvon Martin,” after the reference, he goes on to say “George Zimmerman don’t want it.” There have been many ways in which Trayvon Martin has lived on through hip hop. Today marks six months since the young man was brutally slain.