Ice Cube, Snoop talk race re­la­tions with po­lice

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

ICE Cube co-wrote one of the defin­ing protest songs against po­lice bru­tal­ity and, at a mo­ment of soar­ing ten­sion with US law en­force­ment, the rap le­gend did not hold back. “The po­lice tried to tell us what we can’t play!” Ice Cube, likely re­fer­ring to past rather than present bids to muz­zle him, told a rain­soaked crowd Satur­day night at Que­bec City’s sum­mer mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Ice Cube ripped into “Fuck tha Po­lice” and, to the de­light of the pre­dom­i­nantly youth­ful and white fans, asked them to raise their mid­dle fin­gers as im­ages of armed of­fi­cers flashed on a screen.

The 1988 song by his for­mer group, gangsta rap pi­o­neers NWA., ini­tially stunned lis­ten­ers with its mer­ci­less in­dict­ment of po­lice treat­ment of African Amer­i­cans yet has be­come one of the best-known songs in hip-hop.

But Ice Cube’s de­ci­sion to play the song was es­pe­cially de­fi­ant two days after a sniper shot dead five of­fi­cers in Dal­las amid demon­stra­tions over the lat­est two killings of African Amer­i­cans by po­lice.

Ice Cube on so­cial me­dia has kept the fo­cus on po­lice bru­tal­ity, shar­ing sto­ries of abuses and urg­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to rein in po­lice, declar­ing his cam­paign with the hash­tag #The­o­ri­sa­tion.

Yet Ice Cube rel­e­gated “Fuck tha Po­lice” to early in his set in Que­bec City – which he af­fec­tion­ately called “QC” – as he fo­cused more on en­ter­tain­ing and prov­ing his bona fides. “I don’t care about the rain; I can do this all night!” the 47-yearold rap­per turned ac­tor said as he showed off his strut.

Ice Cube in­vited “the ladies” of Que­bec City to dance to Kool and the Gang’s in­fec­tious “Jun­gle Boo­gie” and, after per­form­ing his clas­sic “It Was a Good Day”, left the stage to James Brown’s “The Boss”, an ap­pro­pri­ate clos­ing song with its blend of funk and au­dac­ity.

The Dal­las killings have brought con­dem­na­tion from the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and a num­ber of artists who have cham­pi­oned the pro­test­ers.

Pop su­per­star Bey­once – who had urged fans to con­tact law­mak­ers to end the “war on peo­ple of colour and all mi­nori­ties” – voiced grief for the slain of­fi­cers, say­ing, “No vi­o­lence will cre­ate peace.”

“To ef­fect change we must show love in the face of hate and peace in the face of vi­o­lence,” she wrote to her more than 77 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers.

Snoop Dogg, who like NWA emerged from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s gangsta rap scene, led a peace­ful march to the Los Angeles Po­lice Depart­ment and ap­pealed to new re­cruits for di­a­logue.

“Let’s talk about it, be­cause once the talk­ing is over with, there ain’t noth­ing to talk about,” he said.

Pro­fes­sor Griff of Pub­lic En­emy, along with NWA a defin­ing po­lit­i­cal force in hip-hop, force­fully de­clared that he does not ad­vo­cate killing po­lice after a photo, ap­par­ently a selfie, emerged of him with Dal­las shooter Micah John­son.

Pub­lic En­emy front­man Chuck D voiced out­rage at the sug­gested con­nec­tion, say­ing it was no dif­fer­ent than blam­ing The Bea­tles after Cal­i­for­nia com­mune kil­ler Charles Man­son seized on their song “Hel­ter Skel­ter”.

“Per­son­ally I have al­ways had some re­spect for po­lice of­fi­cers as hu­mans. But their sys­tem of law is flawed,” Chuck D tweeted.

The fes­ti­val, known in French as the Fes­ti­val d’ete de Que­bec, runs for 11 days across the his­toric city. The com­ing week will fea­ture pop star Se­lena Gomez, funk rock­ers Red Hot Chili Pep­pers and Bri­tish pop all-stars Du­ran Du­ran.

Satur­day was de­voted to hiphop, with other acts in­clud­ing Mis­sis­sippi brothers Rae Srem­murd who man­aged to put on their fast-paced, leg-con­tort­ing dance rou­tine amid per­sis­tent rain.

The evening be­gan with Belly, the Pales­tinian-born, Ot­tawa-bred rap­per who in May can­celled a cov­eted ap­pear­ance on late-night US show Jimmy Kim­mel Live be­cause pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump was present.

Belly – who would be af­fected if Trump is elected and goes ahead with his vow to close the United States to for­eign Mus­lims – in­vited the Que­bec crowd to raise their mid­dle fin­gers and shout a pro­fan­ity against the bil­lion­aire.

Among the lesser-known but hard­est-work­ing acts at the fes­ti­val, Toronto punk band The OBGMs also led a chant against Trump as front­man Den­sil Mc­Far­lane as­sid­u­ously whipped a mostly unini­ti­ated crowd into a frenzy. –

Photo: Face­book/Ice Cube

Ice Cube has made a ca­reer of coun­ter­ing po­lice ac­tiv­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.