Coachella 2012: A$AP Rocky, Master P pay tribute to Trayvon Martin
Rock and pop stars of all stripes occasionally have found reasons to go political, with mixed results. And that track record couldn’t be more spotty for rappers -- just ask Kanye West, Wyclef Jean or Lupe Fiasco.
Late Saturday night during A$AP Rocky’s set in the Gobi tent, the buzzy Harlem rapper decided to get a little serious and touch on what he called “something real important.”
The change in tone was unexpected, as his A$AP Mob posse had just made room for another huge entourage as surprise guest veteran New Orleans rapper Master P and his No Limit family, including son Romeo, filled the stage to turn up P’s platinum-selling 1998 anthem, “Make Em Say Uhh!”
Then the 23-year-old A$AP Rocky turned his attention to the case of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer while returning home from a convenience store. The case has ignited a polarizing debate about race and the justice system.
“It was murder with the case of Trayvon Martin recently, and me and P thought it would be right to dedicate something to him,” A$AP said and also shouted out a number of fallen celebs including Whitney Houston.
The rappers and their respective crews then paid tribute to Martin with Master P’s classic “I Miss My Homies.”
The moment was a textbook case of good intention, poor execution. As images of Martin wearing the now infamous hoodie, as well as scenes from candlelight vigils and news coverage screened behind them, you couldn’t help but notice how inappropriate the song was for a 17-year-old we don’t know a whole lot about, despite countless stories.
“I used to hang with my boy even slang with my boy / Used to bang with my boy, [expletive] I miss my boy / We started out youngstas in the park throwin birds / In your hearse, damn it's sad to see my … in the dirt.”
Though the crowd held up lighters and cellphones, the moment became increasingly more uncomfortable as one topless girl gyrated close by and a crew of dudes passed a joint among themselves.
Photo: The sun sets on Day 2 of the second week of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times