Montreal-based rapper and producer Jonathan Emile released “Heaven Help Dem” a tribute track for the victims of police brutality featuring Kendrick Lamar in a recent YouTube post.
“This song is dedicated to the murders…” Emile says in the video’s intro. “May god judge you accordingly. Good luck with that one…”
Emile’s track is in response to social inequalities and police brutality that led to the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin.
“You see the beast starts sprayin’,” Emile sings on the hook. “That’s what I’m sayin’, Dem not playin’, Lord, Heaven Help Dem, Heaven Help Dem.”
Kendrick Lamar adds a verse that draws reference to 2Pac.
“It’s Kendrick Lamar from Compton to Montréal,” K Dot raps on the verse. “They all say the average Black man only live till 25, (Jah) ‘Pac died at 25 , How many kids you know dead at 20? Five? Now that’s life I know 10 that’s crumbling in coffins, Dead as a doorknob, fresh out of high-school and couldn’t find no job went strait to the grave, It’s crazy how the grim reaper in love with such tender age.”
The song is accompanied by a video that consists of images associated with the civil rights movement and various protests. Photos of Martin Luther King Jr. and Emmett Till flash on the video as Emile delivers his finale.
“Ferguson aye, to the world. Ahh..Montréal – New York, Ayy,” Emile says. “Dem killin’ di people dem, Lyin’ to the people all he time. Ahh, inna di streets you see a rainbow, We’re marching’ for our rights. Ooh.”
In his Billboard magazine cover story published earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar spoke about society’s travails.
“I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s fucked up,” Kendrick Lamar says in the article. “What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting – it starts from within. We’re in the last days, man – I truly in my heart believe that. It’s written. I could go on with Biblical situations and things my grandma told me. But it’s about being at peace with myself and making good with the people around me.”