The unspeakable shooting that took place at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday evening (June 17) will not soon be forgotten. Nine innocent lives were taken by a gunman who opened fire on unsuspecting churchgoers without warning.
Like many Americans, this incident struck a particular nerve in Nas‘ heart. While at the premiere of the upcoming hip-hop fashion film Fresh Dressed, VIBE spoke to the legendary rapper about his thoughts on the tragedy.
“Mental illness is something that I wish we could detect earlier on — from birth,” Nas said off the bat before addressing the racial issue about the shooting. “So we don’t have to worry about who’s who? Who are we walking around? Who are the people that we are living around us that are sick? That really need help.”
However, he didn’t offer up his opinions about the lack of mental health care in America as an excuse for the heinous murders. Instead he helped shed light on a huge issue in this country that oft gets ignored.
“We have to live our life in this zoo. How do we heal the people that are mentally ill today? How do we make them more respectful of each other no matter what race they are? Racism is rotting America. It’s been rotting America since [its] inception. So this is a very serious time that we’re moving into in 2015.”
“Prayers to the families and family [members] that had to witness such a horrific [situation]. My prayers are with yall,” says Nas with heartfelt conviction.