Four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force, three ere acquitted Of all charges. The case brought national scrutiny on law enforcement and the continuing patterns of racism and police brutality of black males. Over the years, hip hop music has been an outlet for the black community, especially the black man. Rap music gave the black man a voice to express his frustrations and bring light to their injustices. 991, platinum recording group NNW known for their outspoken, yet violent lyrics in the height of the tension surrounding the Rodney King case put out a song called, “Always Into Something”. In the song, member Easy E is quoted in eying, “And as we roll on I see the patrol on scrip so we get ghost because they beat me and Rene in De black CE”. That lyric directly references the two members being harassed and beaten by the LAP. Back then police violence was such an everyday occurrence that black men purposely avoided law enforcement. Most cases of police brutality likely go unknown.
In today’s hip hop music, rap artist such as Chief Kef have also been known for his expressive lyrics detailing his distaste for law enforcement. Taking a more aggressive tone, he is quoted in saying in song, Aimed At You, “So get your top roped, like a drop top. If you calling the police you gone get a cop dropped cause he peel peel like a fox, anti talking to the cops”. This level of total disregard of authority and respect for our men and women of law enforcement could be the reason why our black men are at higher risk to being met with violence during encounters with the police.
I want to look at the progression in negative rap lyrics with the rising rate of excessive force being used by law enforcement. Along with surveying police officers from precincts working in urban areas I will also survey black males ho listen to hip hop. By doing this study, it could persuade our hip hop artists to change the lyrics to in turn change the mentality of young black males who see law enforcement as the enemy versus the authority.
How many black males have had negative or violent experiences with police? Do law enforcements see black males as a higher threat when using excessive force. This study is a great way to determine what causes and what eliminates hostility between law enforcements and our black community. This will also help to educate our youths on the proper ways to interact with law enforcement. My qualitative question is, “What is today’s youth’s perception of the quality of our law enforcement”?
Quantitative question states, “Does the current message portrayed in hip hop music directly affect the increase in police brutality’? And my mixed method question states, “Can finding from a survey about police brutality be elaborated by interviews with young black males and new/old police officers”? Hopefully, this research will bring awareness to the influential need to change certain tactics used by police and the detrimental causes that today’s hip hop lyrics have on black males leading to police brutality.