Rap Music and Police… always a live issue


Rap Music and Police - "Cop Killer"  song by American band Body Count - Ice-T issue - hip hop - music, marketing, tbt, advertising, branding, polemic, controversy - Sound Identity blog

It was in July 1992 that controversy about 'Cop Killer' occurred.


"Cop Killer" is a song by American band Body Count, from its 1992 self-titled debut album.


The song's lyrics - written by band's lead vocalist, Ice-T – caused great deal of controversy and polemics, even negative reactions from political figures of the time such as President George H.W. Bush.


The recorded version mentions then-Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates, and Rodney King, a black motorist whose beating by LAPD officers had been caught on videotape. Shortly after the release of Body Count, a jury acquitted the officers and riots broke out in South Central Los Angeles. Soon after the riots, the Dallas Police Association and the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT) launched a campaign to force Warner Bros. Records to withdraw the album.

(Source Wikipedia - Osgerby, Bill (2004). Youth Media. Routledge. pp. 68–70.)


Ice-T stated of the song:

"I'm singing in the first person as a character who is fed up with police brutality. I ain't never killed no cop. I felt like it a lot of times. But I never did it. If you believe that I'm a cop killer, you believe David Bowie is an astronaut" (in reference to Bowie's song 'Space Oddity')

(Source McKinnon, Matthew (2006-02-07). "Hang the MC Blaming hip hop for violence: a four-part series")

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