'F--- tha Police' Is Obama Campaign Celeb's Favorite Song
January 27, 2009 - 5:45 PMDef Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, who campaigned extensively for President Barack Obama last fall, told CNSNews.com at an Inaugural event sponsored by the Hip Hop Summit that Simmons' favorite song is "F--- tha Police" and that he does not see anything wrong with explicit rap and hip hop lyrics.
When asked if Obama’s election would spur rappers to be less explicit in their songs, Simmons said some rappers are still going to protest and he does not see a problem with the vulgar lyrics.
“Every time you see an inspiration, it makes you shift some,” Simmons told CNSNews.com. “And so some artists, of course, they see his [Obama’s] example and they say, ‘Look at what black excellence can do. Look at what that kind of energy can do.’ But some people are going to protest still, you know?
“Some people still see the suffering and the ignorance in the communities and the lack of opportunity – educational opportunity – lack of funding for health care and these things,” said Simmons, “or if they still feel the police are an occupying force, they make a good song. My favorite song is ‘F--- tha police.’ Right? Listen, I’m old. I like that song.”
“F--- tha Police” was released in 1988 by the “gangsta’ rap” group N.W.A. (N----- with Attitude) on Priority/Ruthless Records and criticized for its explicit references to murdering of police officers.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, the FBI sent a letter to Ruthless Records expressing concerns about the song encouraging violence against police officers. In the song, N.W.A. member Ice Cube raps:
Ice Cube will swarm/On any mother f----- in a blue uniform.
Just cause I’m from the CPT, punk police are afraid of me.
A young n---- on a warpath/And when I'm finished, it's gonna’ be a bloodbath
Of cops, dyin’ in LA.”
MC Ren, another member of the group raps:
Smoke any mother f----- that sweats me/Or any a--hole that threatens me.
I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope/Takin’ out a cop or two, they can't cope with me.
Simmons told CNSNews.com: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anything they said. They are not saying anything that’s not true.”
“While they point the fingers at the rappers, they continue – not only all the smart people, the sophisticates – continue to bomb innocent people, ignore the poor,” he said. “They continue to, you know, God knows how many horrible things we support.”
Simmons also referenced the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks during the interview with CNSNews.com.
“We forget there’s almost 20,000 Africans dying a day from lack of clean water, and we still talk about the 3,000 people that are buried – or died (I’m sorry) across the street – from where I live right now and lived then. So, we have to have a bigger consciousness,” he said.
“Rappers are poets. They look inside. Throughout history, people point their fingers about the way they deliver important messages, but they are the ones that see the contradiction,” Simmons added.
“Their language never offended me,” said Simmons. “What they said never offended me. It’s the conditions that caused those lyrics are ones that need to be addressed. So I don’t have a problem with it. In fact, if they stopped talking the way they did, I’d be disappointed. I’d probably stop representing hip hop, you know? I like those rappers, and I like what they have to say.”
According to Politico, in October 2008, Russell Simmons campaigned with hip hop star Jay-Z and NBA star LeBron James on Obama’s behalf in Philadelphia, Northern Virginia and Greensboro, N.C., in an effort to reach young African-American voters. Simmons also campaigned with James in Cleveland, Ohio.
According to the Associated Press, Simmons participated in several “Get Out the Vote” rallies for Obama in Miami just two days before the election. The Obama campaign also offered students at Virginia Union, Virginia Commonwealth, and Virginia State Universities a chance to meet Simmons and Jay-Z.
On Oct. 30, 2008, The Indianapolis Star reported that more than 300 young voters participated in a rally with Simmons at the Madame Walker Theatre in Indiana. Simmons referred to them as the "hip-hop generation” and discussed the importance of their vote.
"This choice matters as much for you as an individual as it does for the country and the world," Simmons said.
Despite several inquiries by telephone, the White House declined to comment as this story went to press.