Protests in the United States have continued to grow this week, in support of police reform and racial equality. As the protests have grown, they have remained largely peaceful, aside from the many additional incidences of police brutality.
In Los Angeles on Sunday, protests drew an estimated 50,000 people, and the rapper YG took the opportunity to film his latest music video, which is ironically titled “FTP.”
On his Instagram page, YG said, “The real story here is me and Black Lives Matter brought out 50,000 people today to peacefully protest and unite for change,” he shared on Instagram. “I wanted to document that so when they hear this song and think we are reckless and violent they see a peaceful protest of all different people coming together for a common cause. That is history.”
YG has received some criticism for his decision to film a music video during a protest for such an important cause. He has been accused of being tone-deaf and attempting to capitalize on the protests. The hip hop artist Chika says that YG was just using the protests for a photo opportunity and that said that he doesn’t seem to care about the movement. She also pointed out that he wasn’t seen at any of the other protests. Chika uploaded a video to Instagram which was nearly a half-hour long discussing the issue.
“You don’t say on a flyer, ‘This is a vigil, bring flowers, bring candles…’ You don’t use this moment to shoot a music video,” she said.
“Everything that we’ve been doing march-wise has working because of the way that we showed up. The way that we know what we are fighting for, the way that we are informed. This today was not that. If you saw YG’s name on a poster and you showed up because you saw YG’s name on a poster, you’re f—ed because the lives lost was not enough to do that for you.” she added.
On Twitter, Chika seemed to suggest that YG left right after the video was filmed, a detail which was later reported by The Source.
YG responded to these allegations by saying that he and Black Lives Matter were responsible for helping to organize the 50,000 people who showed up, and that other artists should not criticize his activism. He said that instead of fighting one another they should be directing that energy at the government and the cops that are at the root of the problems people are protesting about.
YG was arrested on January 24, 2020, at his Southern California home on robbery charges, and was held on $250,000 bail at the Men’s Central Jail for arraignment on January 28, 2020.
YG was born in 1990 as Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson in Compton, California. His name YG stands for “Young Gangster.”
In 2009, he released his debut single, “Toot It and Boot It” featuring Ty Dolla Sign, which peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single’s success resulted in him signing to Def Jam Recordings. In June 2013, YG signed a deal to Young Jeezy’s label CTE World.