Five Spot: The Proper Way to Phrase a Cop-Killing Song
Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. It's five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to email@example.com.
How much does this suck: Antavio Johnson, some no-name rapper from a place that isn't Houston, just got sentenced to prison for two years for his song "Kill Me A Cop" ( Listen to the song here .) The song is standard stuff really, save for one unfortunate mistake. See, you can mention killing cops in a song all you like (see: every gangsta rap song), but apparently you can not name specific cops. Houston has churned out a few anti-cop songs - all of our artists were smart enough to address the cops, and not a cop - including the one that will forever be sampled in anti-cop songs for the rest of time. So for your perusal, and for Mr. Johnson's edification, here's how it is supposed to be done. Geto Boys, "Crooked Officer": Hands down this is the best, most instinctive anti-cop song to come out of Houston. And doesn't it seem like Scarface had perfected that grown man preacher rap way too early in his career? That alone should serve as proof that there is a God. We mean, how else could that have happened? It's like he came out of the womb doling out sage advice and making crisp social observations.
Z-Ro "Crooked Officer": One of the things that makes Z-Ro so meaningful is his relatability. It's clear that songwriting is cathartic for him, which makes his contradictions becoming. Sure, one minute he's talking about slaying dudes and the next he's a "True Hero Under God," but it doesn't matter because that's how everybody is really. Nobody's one way all the time. His music captures that without undercutting itself.
Ganksta NIP, "Now Watch 'Em Drop": His overtly gruesome lyrics are NIP's calling card, but when he scales them back and just raps, he's pretty darn good. We suppose that's kind of like saying when you scale back Charles Manson's crazy, he's a pretty good guy. It's all one and the same.
Devin the Dude, "Go Fight Some Other Crime": Only Devin could make an anti-cop song sound so loveable and charming. Dollars to cents Devin could write a song about how ugly your wife is and how he's going to molest your children and then come to your house and play it for you in front of them and you'd be like, "Aw, Devin, thank you," and then everyone would give him a great big hug. He's just that likeable. Juvenile, "Set It Off": We know, we know. No, Juvenile isn't from Houston. And no "Set It Off" isn't really about cops. But this remains to be our favorite "Crooked Officer" interpretation (just barely edging out Jay's in "Jockin' Jay-Z") so it gets the nod. Plus, Juvey is our favorite Louisiana rapper of all time. "Ha" just has to be considered a genius song. It just has to be.
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