President Donald Trump has remained defiant this week in his feud with athletes who take a knee during the National Anthem, insisting that NFL owners should fire players who engage in this protest.
But while Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to take a knee last year to protest police brutality, has been ostracized, shunned and relentlessly booed on the football field, in hip-hop there seems to be nothing but love for the former NFL quarterback.
Hip-hop artists like Jay-Z and J. Cole have been vocal about their support for Kaepernick — who has not been signed by an NFL team this year — and several artists, including Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, have referenced him in their lyrics.
The former San Francisco 49ers star had been name-dropped in hip-hop lyrics before he took a knee, but some of the most memorable mentions came over the past year as artists rallied behind his message. Here’s a list of some of the strongest Kaepernick lyrics:
1. “Had a heart attack and dropped dead / Started fallin’ back with it / And got slapped with a Colin Kaepernick practice sock.” – Eminem
In Eminem’s “Campaign Speech” — an explosive eight-minute freestyle released in October 2016 — the Rap God skewers President Donald Trump, his supporters and references Kaepernick in a violent verse where he describes slapping a dying cop with a “Colin Kaepernick practice sock.”
2. “Yellow tape tied around the street / Colin Kaepernick was more than worthy.” – Kendrick Lamar
In his feature on Mary J. Blige’s 2016 cover of “American Skin (41 Shots),” Kendrick Lamar gives Kaepernick a shout-out while rapping about police brutality: “Yellow tape tied around the street/ Colin Kaepernick was more than worthy.” The song is a remake of Bruce Springsteen’s “American Skin (41 Shots),” which was originally released more than 15 years ago and inspired by the 1999 police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. Blige originally sang the song while having an Apple-sponsored conversation with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and some fans mocked Blige for holding Clinton’s hand while singing it. She later released a version of the song with Lamar’s verse.
Check the full list on CNN.