A Song About Eric Garner from the Rap Group that Saw Him Die

Garner died right outside their studio, and now they’ve channeled their anger into this new song.

The Rising Sun All Stars. Image via the Rising Sun All Stars' Twitter page.

Several months after witnessing the death of Eric Garner happen right outside his Staten Island-based recording studio, Gary Nieves, Jr., along with his rap group, The Rising Sun All-Stars, have released a single in honor of Garner’s life. They knew Garner as a “gentle giant” who often hung out on their street, not only selling loosies but also helping resolve conflicts. Available for free to listen to on SoundCloud and BandCamp, their song, I Can’t Breathe, represents the group’s attempt to grapple with Garner’s death and the grand jury verdict that cleared the police officer who killed him. Nieves wrote the music for the track; NenJah Nycist, one of the band’s two singers, wrote the lyrics.

“Hard to sleep / When these cops on the beat / Choking out motherfuckers that look like me,” raps Nycist. “No mystery just misery.”

The band is currently offering the song to listeners at a “pay-what-you-want” price, and they promise all the proceeds will go to the family of Eric Garner. In a recent interview with NY Mag’s Vulture blog, Nieves says he channeled his grief at the loss of Garner into the song.

“What pushed me to the point where I knew [recording a song] was something that felt right was thinking about what Eric’s reaction might have been,” Nieves told Vulture. “What if the song was about another guy out here? There are other guys serving the same type of role that he did... I think he would like the song... I think he would like the message.”

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading