In the year of 1989 the gangsta rap group NWA went on a tour throughout the United States for their album Straight Outta Compton. One song on the album tilted “Fuck Tha Police” had garnered a lot of attention by the United States populous and their government. Throughout the country communities that were predominantly African-American had started to report riots due to the feelings the song stirred up about the police. Eventually the riots became so bad that the group had received letters from the FBI requesting that they no longer play the song for the safety of police officers everywhere.
The song was written by NWA members, Ice Cube and MC Ren, based off their personal experiences with police brutality in Compton. The song is based around a mock trial with NWA member Dr. Dre acting as the judge. Ice Cube’s, MC Ren’s and Eazy-E’s lyrics are a testimony against the brutality of the police force. The song ends with Dr. Dre declaring the police officer is guilty of being a “redneck, white bread, chickenshit motherfucker”.
Before the group went on their tour they promised their producer that they would not perform Fuck Tha Police on stage because of the riots. The concert in Detroit was the first time the song was played during the tour.
Before the group went on stage, the Detroit Police addressed them and told them that if they performed the song that they would be arrested. When the group went on stage the crowd repeatedly chanted “Fuck Tha Police.” Eventually the group gave into their demands and performed the song. The Detroit police immediately responded, pushing their way to the front of the crowd. One officer set off fireworks in the crowd causing the group to scatter off the stage.
The group was able to avoid the police and make it back to their hotel rooms however, once they traveled back to the lobby to meet their groupies the police greeted them instead and they were promptly arrested.
Hinds, Julie. “Did ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Get That Detroit Scene Right?” Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press, 22 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.