Longshot Credit: Andrew Doench

In a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio host Andrea Swensson, rapper Chad Heslup (aka Longshot) talked about his history of involvement in protest movements since moving from Chicago to Minneapolis 11 years ago. He was inspired to join his first march after Minneapolis police shot and killed 24-year-old Jamar Clark in November 2015, and he returned to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. “My energy felt like I wanted to be up front with this,” Heslup told Swensson. The spirit that got him marching also drives his efforts on the mike throughout the new I’m Saying (SureShot Productions). Floyd’s death catalyzed Heslup’s ruminations about police brutality, the racial stratification of society, and Black life and death in the U.S., and he’s pledged to donate proceeds from Bandcamp sales of I’m Saying to Chicago and Minneapolis organizations dedicated to ending police brutality and social injustice. Heslup hates being forced to live in a country that prioritizes financial rewards over the lives of its Black citizens, and on the grimy, dramatic “P.O.P. (Profit Over People),” that grief and anger are palpable even in his quietest bars.   v