Local Current Blog

MaLLy on the killing of George Floyd: ‘Something’s got to give’

MaLLy performs at First Avenue, January 2020. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

This past week on the Local Show, host Andrea Swensson shared the voices of Minnesota artists sharing their thoughts and feelings in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Here’s a statement shared by MaLLy.

Yo. What’s good? This is MaLLy, hip-hop artist out of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s been a challenging week. I’ve had so many different conversations, and [am] not only trying to wrap my head around all of this, and process and analyze and break it down and put it back together and figure out and resurface, rebuild, readjust – so many different things are happening at one time, and then comfort other people, listen to other friends who may or may not have kids, or kids that are old enough to understand what’s going on, or at least see what’s going on.

In the midst of a fairly new and still highly active virus, fresh off a lockdown, financially or from a socially distancing standpoint, and trying to get back to a new normal, and then this tragic event takes place at the hands of the Minneapolis PD, Derek Chauvin, the murder of George Floyd, and just seeing how all of this has played out. I don’t really have a lot to say. I do, but I’m struggling to find the words, because it feels like- it’s weird. It’s still just hard to comprehend, even though it’s happened so many different times to an unarmed, restrained, hand-cuffed, non-threatening, African-American black male in the Twin Cities. It’s really hard to see because I am that. I’m not saying that I forget, but it very well hurts to see, and it’s just challenging to process.

That could be me. That could be a lot of my friends, friends that make music, friends that don’t make music. At some point, that could be any one of us, it feels like, whether you’re driving, walking down the street, whatever, minding your business. I’ll just leave it there. The world that we all live in, or the system that we live in, primarily is stricken with the issues of white supremacy, racism, any of the other isms, capitalism, classism. It’s a totally different ball game as a black man. I will say, I chose not to watch the footage of George Floyd. I’ve seen stills, and maybe a really short clip of it, instead of watching the whole clip. It hurts to see. It hurts to hear about.

On top of that, the response – it’s hard. I’m lost for words. I really just want to send peace and love to his family, George Floyd’s family. I definitely think this should be pursued to the fullest extent of the law, for something like this, because we can’t have this. We can’t have unarmed, non-threatening, restrained civilians being murdered, whether it’s by hate, whatever it was. He was murdered. We can’t have this.

In addition, I’m also, as many folks have seen – the other things that are lingering in the air, from the virus to some of the rioting that’s going on, I have mixed feelings about that, too, because now we’re hearing new developments that it may or may not be groups of people that are from out of town, that aren’t from the state, or from this part of the city, coming in and creating more confusion, more destruction, more problems than there needs to be, to create new narratives to push an agenda. We can’t have that.

I definitely feel as if you live in any of those neighborhoods or any of those places that we call home, and if you see  something suspicious, whatever your action is towards that, if it’s confronting someone, physically defending yourself, defending your home, defending your friends and people, or calling it in because it looks suspicious, I think that’s the time for that, to guard your home, to keep your places safe, and also to uplift the folks that may have lost a business in this process, the folks that may have lost family, resources, livelihood, income, whatever it may be. Lift those folks up.

On top of that, lift up the folks that are the closest to you. Also, if we can, try and get some sort of downtime. I think all of us have been consistently glued to our phones, the television, and constantly updating each other with what’s new, or what’s next, or what’s coming down the pipeline with this. It’s just hard. It’s hard to see. I’ve just been in a lot of conversation, and as I talk more, I get more emotional about it, because it’s just sad. We’re finding ourselves, again, in this place of having to defend our humanity, defend our rights, defend our ability to belong as human beings, first and foremost, and having to defend our place, the places we live, the places we frequent, our resources, and all of those things that we consider home and consider to be a part of our lives.

We’re constantly defending that just because of the bodies that we live in, or the bodies that we use to maneuver this world, that we’ve been given. It is really heartbreaking, so I send a lot of love to my friends, peers, that are artists, that are in support of justice for George Floyd, for the communities being repaired and rebuilt, and just for a sense of togetherness. If you’ve got community, or if you live on a certain block, ban together. Be in conversation, and let’s all in our own way, sooner or later, hopefully soon, with some elected officials come up with some real plans to make some serious change for the future. I’ve talked a lot, but I’m just in a place of anger, confusion, sadness, and something’s got to give. This has to change, what’s going on. This definitely has to change. It’s really hard.

Since a child, having to think about these things and deal with these things, and constantly seeing them, it seems as if everything stays the same, from the riots back in the 60s, to the Rodney King beating, Philando [Castile], Amadu Diallo, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin… I could name so many different names who have been victims of white supremacy [and] corrupt law enforcement. I really just hope our elected officials step up and just tell it like it is. I think people are tired of the fluff, the ponying, and the dancing around. It’s like, we need to call these things what they are, and we need to handle them for what they are, as well, and move around on this thing on the way it needs to be moved around.

I’m lost for words. I’m holding back a lot of stuff that I want to say, but I say all that to say that I send a lot of love to everyone in the state of Minnesota, across the US, and once again, to the family of George Floyd, his loved ones, folks that have lost businesses, resources, so on and so forth. I hope that whatever’s been destroyed can and will be rebuilt. I love you guys, and hopefully once everything turns around, in the near future, I’ll see some of you all soon. Until then, I send you all love. I send good energy. Be well. Peace.