Today marks the 50th anniversary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
As the world celebrates a man whose vision and legacy continues to be more relevant than ever— particularly given the current political and cultural disarray the nation finds itself in— artists have chimed in on his impact as well.
"I pay resPEcts to the Honor or Dr Martin Luther King Jr ..Assassinated April 4 1968 in Memphis TN USA …50 years later what are you gonna do to rid the climate hate festering in so many right now by these four recent generations?" Chuck D asked on Twitter.
Of course, music has long been connected to the legacy Dr. King in a myriad ways—from artists paying homage and name-dropping the justice seeker (see: Kendrick Lamar's "HiiiPower," J. Cole's, "No Role Modelz," Public Enemy's "By The Time I Get to Arizona") to their involvement in various celebrations honoring his legacy.
Killer Mike, who like King, is also from Atlanta, has long been adamant about keeping his legacy alive, and ensuring that King's role as an agitator isn't sanitized to push a convenient narrative what protest looks like.
"He was better than we deserved. Let’s be better than we are. God bless the dead. God help the living," Mike wrote on Instagram.
Common posted a series tweets leading up to today, which took a look at King's movement, and shared his words, including the following quote from King: "We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live."
Take a look at artists paying tribute to King on the 50th anniversary his assassination.