(AllHipHop News) St. Louis native Nelly had been criticized by some residents of his hometown for not actually visiting Ferguson, Missouri where 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by a cop over a week ago.
After addressing the issue in interviews and at a celebrity football game in Los Angeles, Nelly finally visited the city yesterday (August 18).
Nelly spoke to a crowd of people in Ferguson. The rapper told the people in attendance that they needed to remain peaceful. He also suggested they look at their own actions as it relates to criminality and claimed the often repeated statistic that there are more black men in jail than in college is not true.
“It ain’t been like that since 2001,” said Nelly through a bullhorn. “There’s more doctors. There’s more lawyers. There’s more teachers. There’s more black billionaires. There’s more black millionaires. You got options brothers and sisters. We got to understand we got options and stop choosing the reaction option.”
While applause and shouts of agreement can heard by some of the crowd members during Nelly’s speech, The Guardian‘s Jon Swaine reported on Twitter that not all the reaction to Nelly was positive. Swaine tweeted that some onlookers asked Nelly what was his plan moving forward, and one person responded to him saying “You got options” with “You got options – you’re rich.”
Michael Brown was killed on August 9th by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown was unarmed at the time of the shooting. Protests have been ongoing in Ferguson since his death.
Read Jon Swaine’s tweets and watch footage of Nelly in Ferguson below.
Nelly orating with a bullhorn. Tells crowd they need a plan. People ask what his plan is. He doesn’t have a plan pic.twitter.com/CywUyVkGmA
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 19, 2014
Lot of people seriously unimpressed with Nelly. “You got options,” he tells crowd. “YOU got options – you’re rich,” a guy shouts back. — Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 19, 2014