Music News

Boston Marathon bombing suspect was a rap fan: Ten song lyrics Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tweeted

Time and distance provide perspective -- isn't that what they say? Sure enough, the further removed we are from the recent Boston Marathon bombing, the more the picture appears to be coming into focus of the two brothers alleged to have conducted the terror plot.

From analyzing their online presence, more than a few pundits have deduced that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother who was killed last week, was the diabolical driving force, the mastermind who had become "radicalized." Dzhokhar, on the other hand, appears to have been a typical nineteen year old kid who was into Breaking Bad and rap before he inexplicably morphed into evil incarnate on April 15.

From his tweets, Dzhokhar -- better know as @J_tsar on Twitter, or simply as Jahar to his friends -- seems like a sarcastic college student with a pronounced affinity for rap, even dabbling himself, apparently ("#imamacbookrapper when I'm bored," as he put it).

While his Twitter timeline contains some incendiary tweets ("I was going to make a joke about Hamas but it Israeli inappropriate"), and is otherwise littered with enough irony to fill a War and Peace-sized tome ("ahaha the shit that comes up when i type in my name in google..," reads one tweet, and "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing," he tweeted a month before the bombings, in addition to flippant allusions to 9/11 and the Aurora theater tragedy), really, his tweets resemble the mindless, innocuous, idle chatter of any other kid his age.

It's the rap references sprinkled throughout, however, that caught my attention. The New York Times has already pointed out his references to Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z (he tweeted lines from "Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love)" the day after the bombing), but those aren't the only rappers he nodded to. Besides dissin' Chief Keef, he invoked rhymes from Dr. Dre and Eminem, 50 Cent, Nas, Joey Bada$$, French Montana and J Cole.

Now before folks start indicting the rap world: I don't know if I'd really read too much into any of that. It's just an interesting aside to an evolving narrative that most of us have been following. For what it's worth, he also referenced the Starland Vocal Band (twice) and Chris Rea. Keep reading to see the tweets.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera

Latest Stories