3/20/13 OT-II A Love Letter to Witt and Loblaw

Sections of the Song

The song "Fuck tha Police" is divided into three main parts. Three members of the group, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and MC Ren, take the stand to "testify" before the judge of the court, Dr. Dre. Through the lyrics, the rappers criticize the local police force. Dr. Dre starts the song off posing as a judge presiding in the case of NWA versus the police department. By doing this, Dr. Dre takes the formalities of the judicial system and stands them on their head. He mocks the way that prosecuting attorneys use witnesses to prove their side of the story, while still respecting it, taking it on as his own way in allowing the MCs to state their cases in order to prove how the police department is focused on young black minorities, assuming that they all are drug dealers and are looking to rob or murder.


The song "Fuck tha Police", containing N.W.A's trademark inflammatory lyrics, stood out in particular from many of the songs on Straight Outta Compton. It highlights many of the tensions between black urban youth and the police. The song was prophetic in its reading the widespread resentment towards the police that later boiled over in the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King incident. The song also alleged that blacks in the police were worse than the whites, with lyrics such as:

But don't let it be a black and a white one
'Cause they'll slam ya down to the street top
Black police showing out for the white cop

Ice Cube, "Fuck tha Police"

Especially controversial were the areas of the song that appear to condone violence towards police authorities; lines such as "I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope/Taking out a cop or two, they can't cope/with me" and "A sucka in a uniform waitin' to get shot/by me, or anotha nigga" directly reference the murder of police officers.


Through their song "Fuck Tha Police," NWA addressed negative stereotypes that outsiders often have about those living in urban communities. NWA inverted the stereotype of blacks as criminals, thus addressing why "gangsta rap" was created. In the urban areas, where most blacks live, the majority of thefts are committed by whites (Staples). In interracial crimes of violence, whites attack and assault blacks more often than blacks attack and assault whites (Wolfgang). The stereotype of all blacks being criminals now seems to be completely foolish. This is the mindset that NWA had when they took on the stereotype as the theme to their song. They took on the criminal persona to tell the police simply this: "If you think we're criminals; we might as well be criminals." However, they use this in a form of mockery, rather than actually becoming criminals. Their harsh words and grotesque lyrics are the criminal persona. NWA was just the medium through which they were presented. [4] [5]


In 1989, Australian radio station Triple J had been playing "Fuck tha Police" for up to six months, before gaining the attention of Australian Broadcasting Corporation management who subsequently banned it. As a reaction the staff went on strike and put N.W.A's "Express Yourself" on continuous play for 24 hours, playing it roughly 360 times in a row.[6]

On 10th April 2011, New Zealand dub musician Tiki Taane was arrested on charges of "disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence to start or continue" after performing the song at a gig in a club in Taurangaduring an inspection of the club by the police.[7][8] On 13 April Tiki told Marcus Lush on Radio Live that the lyrics often feature in his performances and his arrest came as a complete surprise.[9]

[edit]References by other artists and in popular culture

In 1996, during massive opposition street protests in Belgrade, Serbia, "Fuck the Police", along with Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" was continually played for 2 days on a Belgrade American-funded radio station B92.

Kanye West alludes to the song in his single All Falls Down, "I say 'fuck the police', that's how I treat 'em". "Cop Killer", a song by Ice-T's metal band Body Count, also contains the lyrics "fuck the police", as does "Still No Surrender" by Bone Thugs N Harmony.

The Game references the song in his song, Doctor's Advocate off the album of the same name, expressing his shame of leaving Aftermath and going into beef with fellow rapper and former labelmate at the time 50 Cent: "I'm not askin' you to take my side in the beef, But you told me it was okay to say "Fuck The Police."

Chris Rock specifically refers to the song in his skit from The Chris Rock Show How to not get your ass Kicked by the Police: "If you're listening to loud rap music ...turn that shit off! Blastin' "Fuck tha Police" while you're getting pulled over by the police is just ign'ant."

In 2007, English comedian Adam Buxton performed a 'cleaned up' version of the song, entitled 'Help the Police', as part of the BBC3 sketch show Rush Hour.

In 2008, Lil Wayne's hit single "Mrs. Officer" specifically referenced "Fuck tha Police," but in a much more literal sense (i.e., having sex with the police).

Alternative hip-hop duo MellowHype's album BlackenedWhite features a song called '"F666 the Police".

Australian hip-hop artist Drapht references "Fuck tha Police" in the song "Sing It (The Life of Riley)" from the album The Life of Riley.

The title of "Fuck tha police," and occasionally also the verse, "Comin' straight from the underground," have been widely parodied in the Joseph Ducreux Internet meme, wherein the lyrics are rephrased in pseudo-archaic English, with interpretations such as "Fornicate the constabulary/From directly within the firmament."

That meme in turn has given rise to a separate image macro based on a drawing of a man from the late nineteenth century riding atop an early model of bicycle, eluding a policeman on horse and chariot, with the caption, "Disregard the constabulary," as seen here.

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