LISTEN: Protest Songs For Kelly Thomas by Julian Porte and BNF
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
As more information from the July beating death of Fullerton homeless man Kelly Thomas by six police officers surfaces, two new songs by local singer-songwriter Julian Porte and rapper BNF give their perspective on the subject of police brutality.
Singer-songwriter Porte, 25, a Santa Fe Springs resident who makes a living as a street musician, wrote "The Ballad of Kelly Thomas" in the wee hours of last Thursday morning. It inspired him after having a conversation with his mother about the case that has riled up many Fullerton residents for weeks. (Listen to it after the jump.)
"I looked at footage [of the Kelly Thomas beating] with my mom and I felt really sad about the whole incident," he said, "I read a bunch of different articles such as the $900,000 settlement and the alleged coverups. If Kelly Thomas had his rights, he would have lived, but the [police officers] had to beat him because the adrenaline and that they were frustrated with the complaints [by certain people]. They put an end to it, but they didn't know who they were messing with."
The Dylanesque piece, a four-minute guitar and harmonica ensemble, tells the story of Thomas' fateful July 5 encounter with Fullerton police with lyrics like this:
"Resisting arrest, they beat him down to the floor/He cried out for help, so they beat him down some more."
When asked about how his song could bring awareness to the Thomas case, Porte, who performed the song at last Saturday's protest in front of the Fullerton Police Department, hopes that the "Ballad of Kelly Thomas" will arouse people's attention.
"Music drives towards the social consciousness and motivates people to get out there and see exactly what's going on," he said.
In addition to Porte's folk song, another song inspired by the Thomas' beating death directly criticizes the actions of not only the Fullerton Police Department, but also local elected officials like Mayor Dick Jones.
Rapper BNF expresses his contempt of the police officers who killed Thomas and the money funding such brutality in his song "6 Lil Piggies (Justice for Kelly Thomas)". The song, with a very catchy hook, even got the attention of Tony Bushala's "Friends for Fullerton's Future" blog.
The Mayor, Doc Jones, called Fullerton the New Wild West
A mil & a half in taxes is paid for them to use excess
Kelly Thomas, was deprived of his natural last breath
Dug an early grave by the FDP Evil Axis (FDP Evil Axis, so go & tax this, BITCH!)
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