UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | Fuck The Police State of Mind
A year short of 25 years old, today marks the anniversary of N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton. One of hip-hop’s most defining albums, its release was the genesis of the “gangsta rap” genre. With one fell swoop, the album was responsible for the slow shift from East Coast dominance. “The World’s Most Dangerous Group” single-handedly changed the game as they literally burst through the “I Have A Dream” sign in their popular “Express Yourself” video. Straight Outta Compton, which offered up three official singles, is touted for becoming the first album to reach platinum status with no airplay support and without any major tours. (It went double platinum in ’92). Penned mostly by Ice Cube and MC Ren, alongside Dr. Dre beats, the album set the foundation for the West Coast Sound and introduced the world to a side of California that most had never seen, one beyond the Hollywood sign. Without a doubt the album’s most notorious cut was the rebellious protest record, “Fuck Tha Police.” The riotous, outspoken track focused its anger towards the LAPD years before the Rodney King beating. The song was so powerful it even provoked the FBI to caution Ruthless Records about the lyrics.
So in paying homage to the anniversaries of the album and the explosive “Fuck Tha Police,” UpNorthTrips lined up 10 other great hip-hop records about cops, for your listening pleasure.
Jay Dee – “Fuck The Police”
Breakdown: Probably one of Jay Dee’s most well-known songs as a solo MC, this joint isn’t a cover, but rather a tribute to the original. Dilla reveals that the struggle of being black in Detroit was his motivator for the record. In keeping with the spirit of the O.G. song’s message, the 12″ sleeve cover for Dilla’s single includes pictures of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Rodney King.
Quotable: “Now tell me who protects me from you? I got people who buy Tecs and weed from you.” – Jay Dee
Brand Nubian – “Black & Blue”
Breakdown: Featured off the second Brand Nubian album, Sadat and Jamar narrate two ill stories about crooked cops parading through the ‘hood. Sadat’s verse describes the saga of a neighborhood hustler turned cop and Lord Jamar drops a tale of a black cop who profiles young blacks. But Brand Nu let’s you know that if you’re acting foul — cop or not — you’ll all get left “Black & Blue.”
Quotable: “Now he’s feeling like Superman/ To the trooper stand with an Uzi in his hand.” – Lord Jamar
Cypress Hill – “Pigs”
Breakdown: Take a guess who else hates cops? Cypress Hill. (Duh.) Over the funky guitar-looped DJ Muggs track, B-Real speaks his mind about the po-lice. Anybody like pork chops? How ’bout a ham sandwich?!
Quotable: “Well, this pig’s standing eating donuts while some motherfuckers out robbin’ your home.” – B-Real
Geto Boys – “Crooked Officer”
Breakdown: “Mr. Officer, Crooked Officer, why you wanna put me in the coffin, sir?” Over this N.O Joe produced track, Face, Bushwick & Big Mike offer an open challenge to all the low-down dirty cops out there.
Quotable: “I’m lettin’ freedom ring from the hole in my Glock for fuckin’ off Rodney King.” – Scarface
House of Pain – “Who’s The Man?”
Breakdown: On the lead single from the movie of the same name, House of Pain explains what it’s like to be a dirty cop on the run. Sticking up hustlers, letting off shots, and being a cop locked up are a few of the places their stories visually bring us.
Quotable: “Runnin’ for the ride, I can’t go inside/ I’d rather that I died, I got too much pride.” — Everlast
Ill Bill – “How To Kill A Cop”
Breakdown: Taking his cues from Redman’s “How To Roll A Blunt,” Brooklyn’s Illest Hebrew MC brings us explicit step by step instructions on how to blast a pig.
Quotable: “And now the real fun begins, son/ You kill these ten cops, the best part, you walk away with ten guns.” – Ill Bill
KRS-One – “Black Cop”
Breakdown: KRS’ solo debut birthed two anti-police anthems, this and “Sound of the Police.” The Blastmaster, always one to speak exactly what’s on his mind, makes it clear that he’s aiming this directly to the black cops out there aiming their hatred towards their own race and community.
Quotable: “You can’t play both sides of the fence/ 1993, mad kids are gettin’ tense.” — KRS-One
Tim Dog – “If I Was A Cop”
Breakdown: The title is an obvious one, here. Tim Dog transforms on wax into the life a beat-walking peace officer. With an outlook that is sometimes criminal, sometimes political, it’s clear how The Dog really feels when the famous Cypress sample, “sawed off shotgun, hand on the pump”, comes on.
Quotable: “If I was a cop I wouldn’t fuck with Gotti, I’d fuck with Clinton and the congress party.” – Tim Dog
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – “Deep Cover (187)”
Breakdown: Famously debuting Snoop’s rapping skills, this soundtrack-spawned joint proved a major success for both Dre and Snoop. The beat in itself has been freestyled over hundreds of times, and the chorus interpolated throughout endless lyrics.
Quotable: “Kicking dust as I bust, fuck peace and the motherfuckin’ punk police.” – Snoop Dogg
N.W.A – “Fuck Tha Police”
Breakdown: The only way to end this mix is to remember where it all started. At the time of its release, this was easily one of the most controversial records of hip-hop’s young history.
Quotable: “Ice Cube will swarm on any motherfucker in a blue uniform/ Just cuz I’m from the CPT, punk police are afraid of me/ A young nigga on the warpath/ And when I’m finished it’s gonna be a bloodbath of cops dyin’ in L.A.” — Ice Cube