This music video for 16-year-old high school student, Queen McElrath’s “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” may only be nearing 25,000 views on YouTube but a ripped re-upload of her song has gone viral on Facebook with over 2.2 million views. McElrath deserves the attention. The song is lyrically well done and the message is on point. The media and mainstream consciousness paints black youth as violent animals that sell drugs and all manner of criminal activities. Queen raps “but I don’t do that and my friends do do that”. It is a statement that falls on the deaf ears of America at large. Most black people or black youth don’t fit that stereotype. Let’s just take it in that a teenager in high-school in America needs to make a song with a hook that includes the protest chant “Hands up don’t shoot.” and clarifies that “We ain’t got no guns” and “We ain’t got no drugs”.
Let’s give Queen McElrath and vocalist Destiny Anderson their props and the attention that they deserve for using Hip Hop to deliver a skillful and positive message.