Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

straight outta compton

Is 'F*ck tha Police' still a watchword in the US?

NWA were told not play the song, has anything changed?

THE LONG AWAITED movie on iconic rap group N.W.A., “Straight Outta Compton,” premièred in LA on Monday.

The film shows the meteoric rise of members Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, but it also holds a mirror up to events dominating the news cycle today, like the latest unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and numerous stories about excessive force used by police.

One of N.W.A.’s first big hits on their 1988 debut album Straight Outta Compton was “F**k tha Police.”

The song became a rallying cry for youth living in urban areas of the country — like N.W.A.’s home turf of Compton, California that constantly endured police brutality and racial profiling.

In fact, the film depicts the birth of the song following the police harassing the group when standing outside of a recording studio.

Later in the movie they are ordered not to play “F**k tha Police” at a concert in Detroit. They do not abide and gun shots ring out while they perform the song, once more causing them to be handcuffed and taken to jail.

19660239183_99be9a18d0_k Eazy E is played by his son Jason Mitchell. Flickr / Ma_Co2013 Flickr / Ma_Co2013 / Ma_Co2013

Chants of “F**k tha Police” have now changed to ‘Black Lives Matter’ over the last year, but the tension between those living in urban areas of the country and the police are as high as ever.

Particularly since last weekend in Ferguson. Following the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Sunday, protests in Ferguson have carried on that have led to arrests and gunfire between citizens and police.

Universal Pictures UK / YouTube

“Police in our society are trained to win at all costs. They’re not trained to uphold the law, to know your rights, to protect,” Ice Cube told The Daily Beast while doing press for Straight Outta Compton, in which he’s a producer.

“Their thing is to win —win the argument, win the struggle, win the scuffle. Win. And if you have to violate somebody’s rights, so be it. Win on the street—we’ll deal with it afterwards.”

While other movies may have attempted to put a positive, uplifting spin on the situation by the end of the movie, “Straight Outta Compton” doesn’t let you off the hook.

The Rodney King beating, trial (where all the officers involved were found not guilty), and eventual riot are laid out front and centre.

PastedImage-26416 Youtube / Universal Youtube / Universal / Universal

By the end of the movie you leave with the sobering reminder that in the 27 years following the release of the Straight Outta Compton album things haven’t gotten better when it comes to police relations in urban areas.

And as Ice Cube went on to tell The Daily Beast, it’s one of the points in the movie they wanted to drive home.

“The same thing happened before I was born; there was a riot in ’65 in Watts with the police,” said Ice Cube. “It happened when we were doing records, and it’s still happening today. It was important to show that nothing has changed.”

“Straight Outta Compton” is released in Ireland on 28 August

Read: Police believe this video shows Ferguson suspect was armed >

Read: ‘Bankrupt’ rapper 50 Cent has a 24-bathroom house with a nightclub in it >

Published with permission from
Business Insider
Your Voice
Readers Comments
51
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.