Hip hop artist to lecture in Charleston, some community members concerned about his message

An email from a concerned community member came into the News 2 newsroom about a popular hip hop artist, David Banner, coming to Charleston. Banner has started his own lecture series called “#GodBox”. One viewer, who tells News 2 they are a local law enforcement officer but wishes to remain anonymous, is worried about the message Banner could be bringing to Charleston.

In an online interview Banner says, “If anything ever happened and somebody killed me, **** peace, tear this ***** ***** up.”

It’s comments like this from Banner causing concern for some in Charleston. And the video for Banner’s song “Black Fist” shows an officer being tortured and murdered. This led one local person to write News 2 saying, “it will inspire real people in the community to actually commit these types of acts against the police here and across the country.” And, “while it can be said that all music videos are merely representations of artistic expression, and even metaphorical, his message of hate and threat is real.”

The promoter of the event, Jeffrey Nickelson, says the event is nonviolent.

He says, “We had Slager kill Walter Scott here, right up the street from where we are now, but we had a lot of situations that made the water start to boil over and I think he was just addressing his anger over the situation, and not law enforcement as a whole, but the situations as they grow.”

He says the lecture will be a cultural event.

Nickelson says, “The purpose of the lecture was just more so along the lines of cultural awareness, waking up as a people to who we are as a people and how we can play in the grand scheme of things.”

Nickelson says they will be hiring police for the event and no one of any profession or race should be afraid to attend.

He says, “We’re pro-everyone, not anti-anyone.”

The event is scheduled for July 16th at Burke High School. The Charleston County School District tells News 2 they have no involvement in this event and have not completed a contract to lease the facility.

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