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Does Every Rapper Hate the Police?

I don't want to talk about history.

I don't want to talk about politics.

I don't want to talk about race.

I don't want to talk about socioeconomic status.


Today we are going to talk about free speech.

And we are going to talk about art.


Editor's Note: Obligatory Explicit Language Disclaimer.



Last week, Rolling Stone Magazine rolled out with this terrible take:

"When right-wing pundits change the subject to hip-hop, they're pulling from an old playbook."

by Simon Vozick-Levinson


Jason Aldean's In a Small Town lyrics:

Cuss out a cop, spit in his face Stomp on the flag and light it up Yeah, ya think you're tough

Well, try that in a small town See how far ya make it down the road Around here, we take care of our own You cross that line, it won't take long For you to find out, I recommend you don't Try that in a small town


You may say, "but, but when you watch the video or hear them in context-"


Stop.


This was my succinct response on social media: "Rolling Stone is wrong again. Rappers have free speech. Death Metal singers have free speech. Jason Aldean may suck, but he has free speech too. Rolling Stone has again shown their lack of journalistic integrity and belabored the point that they’re just another partisan corporate media entity."


I am going to walk right into Simon Vozick Levinson's trap. Can you name the top rappers of all time?

Let's defer to the experts at Beats, Rhymes, & Lists for the rankings, I will add the sample COP lyrics below:


1. NAS

From the song Cops Shot the Kid

Cops Shot the Kid

Lyrics repeated over 50 times.


2. Jay-Z

From the song Where I'm From

And government? Fuck government! Niggas politic they selves

Where we call the cops the A-Team

'Cause they hop out of vans and spray thing


3. 2Pac

From the song Changes

It's war on the streets and a war in the Middle East

Instead of war on poverty

They got a war on drugs so the police can bother me


4. Andre 3000

From the song Hootie Hoo

Hootie Hoo

For the squares out there: Urban Dictionary


5. The Notorious B.I.G.

From the song Runnin' (From tha Police)

Look around, look around, punk police

Run as fast as you can, but you can't catch me

Look around, look around, punk police

Me have to blast back, 'cause they blast at me


6. Rakim

From the song I Am

I am a ghetto nigga, you can tell in a talk

On the corner selling the snort

It's hell in New York

Won't stop for a minute cops telling you walk


7. Eminem

From the song The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady

Prayers to George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery (yeah)

How the fuck is it that so many cops are dirty? (Huh?)

Stop, man, please, officer, I'm sorry

But I can't breathe when I got you on top of me

Your goddamn knee's on my carotid artery (fuck)


8. Ice Cube

From the song Endangered Species (Tales From the Darkside)

They kill ten of me to get the job correct

To serve, protect, and break a nigga's neck

'Cause I'm the one with the trunk of funk

And "Fuck tha Police" in the tape deck


Editor's Note II: Cube was the only rapper I ever saw live in concert. Man he whipped those Lollapalooza Kids into a frenzy.


9. KRS-One

From the song Sound of Da Police

Woop-woop!

That's the sound of da police!

Woop-woop!

That's the sound of the beast!


10. Kendrick Lamar

From the song Alright

Lookin' at the world like, "Where do we go, nigga?"

And we hate po-po

Wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga


11. Scarface

From the song In Cold Blood

Cops rollin up on us, my neighborhood's like a sauna

Pistol-grippin, insurin won't nobody run up on us

But if they do, fuck 'em, we murderous nickel-dome 'em


12. Lil Wayne

From the song Mrs. Officer

And she know I get high, a-bove the law

And she know I'm raw, she know I'm from the streets

And all she want me to do is fuck the police


Editor's Note III: Now a generation ago, Rush Limbaugh made one of his biggest mistakes right here. On the Rush Limbaugh Show, he read lyrics aloud to the song Big Man with a Gun by Nine Inch Nails as an example of Gangsta Rap. Hysterically, to me, someone didn't do their homework at the EIB Network. Nine Inch Nails were hardly gangsta rappers and the gun Trent Reznor was talking about was his penis.


I know Lil Wayne wasn't threatening the police, he wanted to have marital relations with a police officer. Still illegal inside of a police car.


13. Lupe Fiasco

From the song Handcuffs

Cuffed to a bench and

They playing good cop, bad cop

One of the them pretending


14. Chuck D

From the song Hazy Shade of Criminal

Police 'posed to keep the peace

But I can't trust 'em, so I keep my piece


Editor's Note IV: I would have personally put Chuck D in the Top 3, but I haven't paid close attention to rap in a while.


15. MF Doom

Basically the whole song Police Myself

The song is actually pretty clever and insightful.


16. Black Thought

From the song Can't Stop This

And it's hard, 'cause opportunity be scared to knock

And mo' people in the 'hood found dead from cops

Than guns that drop, that sprayed off random shots

But what'cha know good, people say they in the hood fo' good

You ain't a prisoner, the world got mo' to it


17. Kool G Rap

Basically the whole song Fuck a Cop

Not clever. This song goes right for the jugular.


18. Ghostface Killah

From the song Run

Ayo, I jumped from the eighth floor step, hit the ground

The pound fell, cops is coming

Running through the pissy stairwells, I ain't hear nothin'

Buggin', only thing I remember was the bullshit summons


19. Method Man

From the song A Better Tomorrow

We want justice, police supposed to protect and serve

And then they shoot us down like wild animals The nerve of them cold-hearted killers With blue suits slaying our black youth The earth cries from all the blood that's being spilled


20. LL Cool J

Freestylin' on Instagram

Jumping up and down on police cars and vex

After Chauvin killed George Floyd, we got next

Molotov cocktails, anarchy on the set

The rich took the loot so now we loot shit

Feeling like a caged tiger that’s whipped to do tricks

That’s why I started fires and yelled and threw bricks

They tried to run me over and arrest me and shit


Editor's Note V: The list goes a 100 deep, but I think I made my point. I did want to note a few "other" rappers.


35. Drake

From the song Skepta Interlude


38. Kanye

From the song All Falls Down

I say, "Fuck the police, " that's how I treat 'em

We buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom


49. Killer Mike

From the song Yankee and the Brave

I got one round left, a hunnid cops outside

I could shoot at them or put one between my eyes

Chose the latter, it don't matter, it ain't suicide

And if the news say it was that's a goddamn lie

I can't let the pigs kill me, I got too much pride

And I meant it when I said it, never take me alive


94. Brother Ali

From the song Officer Down

Out with the mindset

That we can't police ourself

'cause we savages

We don't need you

You create the problems we can see through


Off topic, I thought it was funny that Kanye and Drake were so low. Killer Mike and Brother Ali should have been much higher, and, unless I missed it Beats, Rhyme and Lists does not like Diddy, I didn't see him on the list at all.


I am going to re-iterate this once again, either all artists get free speech, or no artists get free speech. We are not giving free speech only to one side of the partisan debate.


I prefer my anti-cop songs to be a bit more tongue in cheek:


Night of the Living Rednecks by the Dead Kennedys



 

Near the end of most of my music articles, I try to sneak in a plug for my favorite punk band Alice Donut.


You're probably saying to yourself "I bet Alice Donut never sang about the police."


Well....

um....

errrr...


From 1990's album Revenge Fantasies of the Impotent

From the song Come Up With Your Hands Out

With the Disclaimer: "This story is absolutely true-

And can be verified by numerous respected and reliable sources."


These are the words that finish both the song, and the article:

...She was grinding her buttocks against the cash machine when the SWAT team finally arrived.

A man with a megaphone says, “Come up with your hands out immediately. Put the gun down.”

Her final words were “Eat shit asshole.”

She fired two shots. She was immediately gunned down dead in a typical show of massive, sudden, and decisive force.


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