And since then hip-hop has spawned a healthy list of cop critiques from Cypress Hill’s “Pigs” and KRS-One‘s “Black Cop” to dead prez’s “Police State” and even Main Source’s “Just A Friendly Game of Baseball.” (Props to The Urban Daily for remembering the latter one.)
Indie rap vet B. Dolan has indeed added a gem to the subgenre with the timely “Film the Police.”
On the heels of a series of shameful police actions against Occupy protestors,”Film the Police” could be easily co-opted as the movement’s anthem.
However, Dolan is quick to point out that filming police activity as a way to record and report police abuse is not just for Occupiers.
The concept of shooting cops with a camera is not new. And it’s even questionable what kind of benefit video evidence has when it comes to actually prosecuting cops who are caught brutalizing civilians. Ask Rodney King or Grant’s family.
Still, that perverse history didn’t deter Dolan.
Though he soon realized an instrumental for N.W.A’s original song didn’t exist, he asked producer Buddy Peace to reconstruct the beat. Toki Wright and Jasiri X soon agreed to add verses to the track and Sage added his judge intro. Between recording the new song and shooting the video, it all took about a year.
“The Occupy stuff started in September and suddenly police brutality was on the front page of every thing,” Dolan explains. “The fact is that the Occupy kids that were captured being brutalized were largely now white privileged kids and it was becoming a visible problem there and suddenly that’s a much bigger story. We just realized that we were sitting on this song that was exteremely relevant, we said let’s get this out.”
We caught up with B. Dolan recently and he shared why he decided to release “Film the Police” now and how he hopes the song can be part of the solution.
Listen below for excerpts from the first part of our conversation and watch the music video below.
LISTEN: B. Dolan explains how the idea for “Film The Police” had nothing to do with the Occupy movement.
LISTEN: B. Dolan on the different messages of “Fuck the Police” vs. “Film the Police”
LISTEN: B. Dolan discusses the pros and cons of fliming the police and what citizens should know about their rights to shoot police activity.
WATCH: “Film the Police,” B. Dolan feat. Toki Wright, Jasiri X and Sage Francis
- B. Dolan: WATCH: A New Anthem for the Occupy Movement: #FilmThePolice (huffingtonpost.com)
- FILM THE POLICE – B. Dolan feat. Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, Sage Francis [Video] (hiphopwired.com)
- “Film the Police” Rap Video Contains Better Advice Than Most Rap Videos (reason.com)