Violent Protests In Baltimore, Maryland, Following The Death Of Freddie Gray While In Police Custody, Have Brought Back Terrible Memories For Rapper The Game.
Like many African-Americans, the Dreams hitmaker has been glued to the news as police clash with activists and looters on the streets of the city - and he admits the footage takes him back to 1992's Los Angeles riots, which took place after police officers were acquitted of assault and use of excessive force in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.
A young boy at the time, The Game tells Billboard.com, "I witnessed and was a part of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, and you know the damage that did...? That happened when I was 11 years old. I remember looting and throwing bottles and jumping on bottles, jumping on police cars and just being angry.
"At the moment, it felt great... It all seemed cool for the moment, but now I'm 35. Looking back at what we did as a collective, a young black collective, we ruined our own neighbourhood. Those stores which were in our neighbourhood were no longer there and the other stores were five to 10 miles away, and it crippled our parents to have to venture out even further. I feel like we're seeing the same things happening in Baltimore."
He continues, "I understand the anger. I understand people wanting to be heard and being tired and fed up. I feel what happened to Freddie Gray was just another reminder of the neglect of the African-American youth in America and us as people. Look at how long we've been victims of the world. From slavery, from not being able to vote, up until our children. Young black men in general are targets.
"People (are) using unlawful force to take our lives. We've seen kids shot, beaten. We've seen everything. At the end of the day, we get fed up... The police really killed Freddie Gray without reasoning and provided no excuse. As a people, we're just tired. The words animal and thug being (sic) tossed in reference of our people, I don't like it."