Fuck tha Police

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"Fuck tha Police"
Song by N.W.A from the album Straight Outta Compton
Released1988
Recorded1988
GenreGangsta rap, protest song, political hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length5:43
LabelPriority/Ruthless
WriterIce Cube, MC Ren, Eazy-E
Producer

Dr. Dre, DJ Yella


Audio sample
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Straight Outta Compton track listing
"Straight Outta Compton"
(1)
"Fuck tha Police"
(2)
"Gangsta Gangsta"
(3)
 
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"Fuck tha Police"
Song by N.W.A from the album Straight Outta Compton
Released1988
Recorded1988
GenreGangsta rap, protest song, political hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length5:43
LabelPriority/Ruthless
WriterIce Cube, MC Ren, Eazy-E
Producer

Dr. Dre, DJ Yella


Audio sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
file info · help
Straight Outta Compton track listing
"Straight Outta Compton"
(1)
"Fuck tha Police"
(2)
"Gangsta Gangsta"
(3)

"Fuck tha Police" is a protest song by the gangsta rap group N.W.A that appears on the album Straight Outta Compton as well as on the N.W.A's Greatest Hits compilation. Despite not being a single, it ranked #417 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1]

The song even provoked the FBI to caution N.W.A's record company about the lyrics.[2]

Since its release in 1988, the "Fuck the Police" slogan continues to influence pop culture today in the form of t-shirts, artwork, and even transitions into other genres as seen in Rage Against the Machine's version.[3]

Contents

Impact

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

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.

Censorship

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.[4]

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 Tauranga during an inspection of the club by the police.[5][6] 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.[7]

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 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.

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.

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

Cover versions

This song has proven popular enough to be covered by such acts as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and their version was later added to the 20th anniversary edition of Straight Outta Compton [1]. It has also gained popularity with rock bands, including Dope. [2]

In 2009, Suburban Noize Records released a cover of the song by rappers Judge D, Saint Dog, and Daddy X on the mixtape Blast from the Past.

References

  1. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". rollingstone.com. 2004-12-09. Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20080622142703/http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs/page/5. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic: NWA Biography". http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nwa-p77/biography. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  3. ^ "YouTube: Fuck tha Police (RATM cover)". Rage Against the Machine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S8Wc26XowM. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  4. ^ "30 Years of Triple J - Censorship and NWA's Fuck the Police". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2005-01-21. http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/30years/stories/s1286179.htm. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
  5. ^ "Tiki Taane arrested after chanting 'Fuck the police' at gig". http://www.3news.co.nz/Tiki-Taane-arrested-after-chanting-F-the-police-at-gig/tabid/418/articleID/206422/Default.aspx.
  6. ^ "Tiki Taane case adjourned". http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10729352.
  7. ^ "Tiki Taane - new poster boy for freedom of speech". RadioLIVE, MediaWorks NZ. 2011-04-13. http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Tiki-Taane---new-poster-boy-for-free-speech/tabid/506/articleID/19700/Default.aspx. Retrieved 2011-04-13.