Recently an encounter between a few underground artists and the cops caused a stir within the underground desi hip hop scene. The police are merely puppets obstructing real art. My personal experience with the system has been gruesome whether it is about art or their functioning. Hip-Hop cannot be controlled by the system and their policies, Hip Hop is independent and resides within us.
You cannot demotivate artists, only delay them. In this piece I’m counting down three rebellious tracks which were made purely to express feelings towards the functioning of the police all round us.
NWA – ‘Fuck The Police’
A Hip-Hop classic. This track is a protest project and was released in 1988. Till this day, we see cases of police brutality, nothing has changed whether it is India or any other country, and to this date this song is relevant. A cult classic beat by the west coast OG, Dr Dre, is so fucking amazing and the vocals by everyone from the group capture the essence of the theme. NWA has had numerous run-ins with the system and they overcame them each time.
Tupac – ‘Trapped’
“You know they got me trapped in this prison of seclusion
Happiness, living on the streets is a delusion
Even a smooth criminal one day must get caught
Shot up or shot down with the bullet that he bought
Nine millimeter kickin’ thinkin’ about what the streets do to me
Cause they never talk peace in the black community
All we know is violence, do the job in silence
Walk the city streets like a rat pack of tyrants
Too many brothers daily heading for the big pen
Niggas comin’ out worse-off than when they went in”
Tupac being the street poet that he is, has had his share of run-ins with the system and has been to prison numerous times, so you know for a fact he has had some real bars born straight out of personal experiences. He protests the functioning of the system using rhymes influenced by his own reality and the situation faced by his people. The greatest rapper of all time on a smooth beat. This is a classic for sure
Vic Mensa – ’16 Shots’
This one is a personal favourite. A trap beat and a conscious artist feeds the soul of those disturbed by the system. This is a protest track, a politically charged track that tackled the country’s ongoing issue with police brutality. The song was inspired by and dedicated to 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot 16 times by the police in 2014. Rest In Peace Laquan McDonald
Also do check out these tracks as well.
Tupac – ‘Fuck The Police’
Killer Mike – ‘Don’t Die’
Dead Prez – ‘Cop Shot’
NWA – ‘Express Yourself’
and of course
KRS One – ‘Sound of Da Police’