Editor’s Note: WARNING: Embedded media contains graphic language.
Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality
Eminem name drops Kaepernick in "Campaign Speech"
Eminem’s explosive four-and-a-half-minute freestyle slamming President Donald Trump on Tuesday night is as much a passionate rejection of the President as much as it is a wholehearted embrace of Colin Kaepernick and his message on racism and police brutality.
In one of the most dramatic moments in the fierce freestyle, which aired at the BET Hip Hop Awards, the Detroit rapper raised his fist and rapped: “F— that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist and keep that s— balled like Donald the b—-.”
“I appreciate you @Eminem,” Kaepernick tweeted, along with a fist emoji.
The former San Francisco 49ers star had been name-dropped in hip-hop lyrics before he took a knee last year during the National Anthem, but some of the most memorable mentions came over the past year as artists rallied behind his message.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now a free agent after his protest against police brutality. Eminem previously expressed his support for Kaepernick in “Campaign Speech.”
Trump has remained defiant in his feud with athletes who take a knee during the National Anthem, insisting that NFL owners should fire players who engage in this protest.
But while Kaepernick has been ostracized, shunned and relentlessly booed on the football field, in hip-hop there seems to be nothing but love for the former 49ers quarterback.
Hip-hop artists like Jay-Z and J. Cole have been vocal about their support for Kaepernick – who has not been signed by an NFL team this year – and several artists, including Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, have referenced him in their lyrics.
Here’s a list of seven of the strongest Kaepernick lyrics, the first of which also comes from Eminem:
‘And got slapped with a Colin Kaepernick practice sock’
In Eminem’s “Campaign Speech” – an explosive eight-minute freestyle released in October 2016 – the Detroit rapper skewers President Donald Trump, his supporters and references Kaepernick in a violent verse where he describes slapping a dying cop with a “Colin Kaepernick practice sock.”
You can listen to the song on SoundCloud. (The Kaepernick lyric comes in at around 1:55).
‘Colin Kaepernick was more than worthy’
In his feature on Mary J. Blige’s 2016 cover of “American Skin (41 Shots),” Kendrick Lamar gives Kaepernick a shout-out while rapping about police brutality: “Yellow tape tied around the street/ Colin Kaepernick was more than worthy.”
The song is a remake of Bruce Springsteen’s “American Skin (41 Shots),” which was originally released more than 15 years ago and inspired by the 1999 police shooting death of Amadou Diallo.
Blige originally sang the song while having an Apple-sponsored conversation with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and some fans mocked Blige for holding Clinton’s hand while singing it. She later released a version of the song with Lamar’s verse.
You can listen to the Lamar version on “Consequence of Sound” here.
‘You would think that Kaep took a s— on the Statue of Liberty’
On this politically-charged track “Kneelin’ on Needles,” Lupe Fiasco slams the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick: “And it’s not about natural ability/ You would think that Kaep took a s— on the Statue of Liberty, g–damn.”
The song also begins with a shout-out to Kaepernick: “Kaepernick, what up? I knew they were going to do that to you. But it’s all good, though. You got to stand up for something.”
The Chicago rapper is likely referencing the fact that Kaepernick remains a free agent.