Yes. Yes I have heard of this song. Heard. I never actually in my life listened to it. Its reputation I feel definitely colored some of my preconceptions of it.
This infamous protest song about police brutality and racial profiling in 90’s Los Angeles from everyone’s favorite African-Americans with attitude begins with a power fantasy. It flips the convention of police and courts being racially biased and typically unfavorable toward black people by giving NWA all the power. The people responsible for the racial profiling are now forced to answer for their crimes, and it’s not surprsing that they aren’t too happy about the ones being judged as opposed to being the judges.
Ice Cube is the first witness to testify against the flawed justice system claim that he is being treated unfairly “because I’m brown,” and that police think that they “have the authority to kill a minority.”This made me harken back to some other lyrics from much older songs we covered like Big Bill Broonzy’s. MC Ren and Eazy E then give their testimony regarding how police have unfairly treated them, even going so far as to claim they maced and beat MC Ren without provocation. With all of this evidence against the police, the honorable Judge Dre concludes that they are guilty of “being a redneck, white bread, chickenshit motherfucker” the exact sort of spurious, unfounded, claim that would likely be used to convict a poor black man. The police officer is then taken away as he shouts, “Wait! That’s a lie! I want justice!” His futile cries ring hollow, much like those of the profiled and wrongly convicted people that he had placed behind bars.
I think I liked Ice Cube’s verse the best while I liked the other verses ok. I felt like his was the most impacting and strong. All in all I didn’t think it was a controversial as everyone made it out to be. That may be however due to the span of time from when the song was written until now