N.W.A’s “Fuck Tha Police” Relevance Today
In 2015, Straight Outta Compton, a very popular movie in the hip-hop world, was released into the world and also introduced me into the famous N.W.A. The music group N.W.A, also known as Niggaz Wit Attitude, was a very famous rap group in the late 80s, early 90s, from Los Angeles, California. The rap group consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Easy E, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren. N.W.A had many hits in the late 80s. For example, Straight Outta Compton, Fuck tha Police, Express Yourself, and Gangsta’ Gangsta’. Fuck tha Police is a personal favorite. In 1989, N.W.A was on the tour and on every show they performed that song. But when they got to Detroit, Detroit Police Department warned the group to not perform that song during that concert. They performed the song anyways, disobeying orders that were given from Detroit police. But why did they disobey them? Because you cannot hide the truth. I believe that the song is very relevant to people of color because police brutality towards minorities is a huge problem in the country.
Fuck Tha Police was an amazing song to me. I love the meaning of the song. The first verse is Ice Cube and he starts with the lyrics, “Fuck the police! Comin’ straight from the underground. A young nigga got it bad ’cause I’m brown. And not the other color, so police think. They have the authority to kill a minority. Fuck that shit, ’cause I ain’t the one. For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun. To be beating on, and thrown in jail” N.W.A was known for the explicit lyrics and raw rap that people were afraid and saw them as terrible people. But, N.W.A didn’t make music for everyone to enjoy, they made music for people who wanted to listen to nothing but the truth. The background of the song is where based on the Los Angeles Police. N.W.A originated from Los Angeles and black lives were being discriminated by the police and doing random ‘stop and frisks’ to minorities without probable cause. In the movie clip, there’s a scene of the artist being forced in a stop and frisk and being harassed for standing outside of their manager’s office. I believe that song needed to be heard because at the time a lot of police officers around the nation violate minorities without any probable cause. I think this is a conflict in country still.
Ice Cube, a well-known member of N.W.A, was interview by Billboard on Police Brutality. In the interview, the questioned asked was, “What significance do you think “Fuck Tha Police” has today?” He responded with, “I think it just shows the problem at hand. The problem is, first of all the police are trained to win no matter what. Win an argument, win a situation — that’s how they’re taught. You add racism to that and it’s just an evil combination, and people are starting to recognize that. The camera phones, social media, everybody’s more in tune with each other. Things are shown instantly, so it’s really up to the prosecutors and the judge and the politicians to start holding these officers more accountable. Even captains, lieutenants and chiefs have to hold their own officers more accountable for what they do and not always [have] just tons of excuses.” He, as an artist from the song, gave the opinion that there’s a reason for people to enjoy the song.
Even though Ice Cube gave the background on the song and it’s relevance today, there are people that think the group is the world’s most dangerous group. Asawin Suebsaeng and Jack Holmes point out “When N.W.A Terrified White America.” They mention that, “N.W.A was at the center of a running debate over whether the rappers were inciting violence or merely describing existing social conditions in urban neighborhoods. Police unions came out strongly against N.W.A’s “obscenity-filled message for law enforcement.” The article also includes a news article from the 1990’s that include a special segment about N.W.A. It mentions that the rap group has haunted law enforcers by having lyrics that ‘urge violence towards the police’ and they’re too explicit to be repeated on T.V. The rap group was known for the first artists to have the parental label to warn everyone about the explicit words that were on the album.
This topic is very relevant today because the of the Black Lives Matter movement. When Straight Outta’ Compton (the movie) released in 2015, it came out at the right time. Recently police brutality has become an issue again in the world. This made black people furious and scared of the police because just being black makes you a bigger target and being a male makes you an even bigger target. In an article from The Atlantic, Adrienne Green includes, “Straight Outta Compton reminds viewers that N.W.A. became famous for not holding back about what it was like to be young and black and terrorized by the police. And they did so at a time when the music industry was beginning to figure out how to sell rap music to a broader audience.” Police Brutality is a problem in America and this movie brought the conflict back to life. I appreciate the movie so much because it helped a generation that didn’t live of their music that there were people that felt that injustice acts to minorities are REAL. And if you don’t think it is, remember that Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland all were unarmed, young black people that do not have a future because of police brutality. The song, “Fuck Tha Police” has a ton of relevance today and for that, I thank N.W.A.