EMA covers Sinéad O’Connor’s “Black Boys on Mopeds” — listen

Singer-songwriter Erika M. Anderson reflects on Ferguson and police brutality

We’ve heard a number of artists reflect on the political unrest that’s consumed Ferguson, Missouri for the last seven months. Atlanta’s Raury penned a tribute to Michael Brown; De La Soul and Chuck D teamed up for a protest anthem; ASAP Ferg and Clams Casino joined forces to challenge racism; and Lauryn Hill pleaded audiences for peace. Now, singer-songwriter Erika M. Anderson, aka EMA, offers her own thoughts with a cover of “Black Boys on Mopeds”, Sinéad O’Connor’s 1990 song about police brutality.

While EMA previously showed ferocity on the politically-charged “False Flag”, here she takes on a more somber demeanor. Her quiet, vulnerable vocals, washed over with softly crackling drone sounds, make for a powerfully poignant affair.

Read EMA’s accompanying message:


I recorded this version of the Sinead O’Connor song “Black Boys On Mopeds” during the winter, before Christmas. I did it late at night during a power outage, straight onto the laptop in a cold house filled with candles.

I meant to release it over the holidays but for multiple reasons it just didn’t happen.

Now an investigative report by the DOJ has confirmed a history and pattern of racially-based discrimination and harassment amongst the law enforcement of Ferguson, MO.

I’ve chosen to leave the “season’s greetings” motif unchanged, even though I consider this issue to be ongoing.



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