The Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs About Police Misconduct

The Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs About Police Misconduct

Though artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Baby Huey spoke on police corruption, it wasn't until the dawn of the rap era that the message in the music began to convey the anger and frustration of people who had been systematically disenfranchised and brutalized since the United States was founded. In honor of the spotlight on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy—which has particularly affected men of color ages 18 to 24—SOTC decided to compile a playlist. Get your bail money together and let your lawyer know a riot charge is on the horizon—here are 15 songs that address abuses by police departments actross the country.

1. Brand Nubian, "Claimin' I'm A Criminal" Lord Jamar and Sadat X speak on the crimilization of an entire community. On this, soulful lament that samples Luther Ingram's "I'm Trying To Sing A Message To You," Jamar takes listeners through his arrest for speaking out while X talks about those already in the system.

2. NWA, "Fuck Tha Police"

Capturing the mind-set of a generation tired of police brutality and corruption in just three words, this song was the soundtrack to the LA riots and probably every uprising since.

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3. KRS-One, "Sound Of The Police" Before KRS became a pompous windbag, he made thought-provoking music. On SOTP he addresses the usual misconduct the police engage in regularly, but he really gets ill when he compares a police officer to a slave overseer. Need a little clarity? Check the similarities!

4. OC, "Constables" This song was made after OC was chilling on his stoop in Bushwick, house shoes and all, and talking on a cordless house phone when he was assaulted by police. He was dragged off the stoop, cuffed and kicked. After the aforementioned incident, OC felt a song condemning such police brutality was due.

5. Geto Boys, "G Code" The hook has really good advice—don't talk to the cops. Ask any defense lawyer worth his weight in court papers. And everything you say can and will be used against you, so the less you say the better.

6. Tupac, "Where Do We Go From Here?"

More of an interlude than an actual song, Pac adds a haunting reverb to his voice while advising his listeners "to continue to outthink and outsmart" the cops.

7. Jeru Da Damaja, "Invasion" The intro to the song sounds so real, I still wonder if it is. In Jeru's East New York neighborhood, 90% of residents were stopped and frisked by police in 2011. He probably has plenty of personal experience to draw from regarding overzealous policing.

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