In hip hop, fans and critics often marvel at and put a premium on the supreme soloists or groups who can craft classic songs and bodies of work while remaining the central figure. However, the most electric moments in the culture occur when multiple emcees collaborate on a track with the sole purpose of asserting themselves as the most lyrically gifted by delivering an epic rhyme spill that outclasses the others. Throughout the years, the songs -- which are generally referred to as "posse-cuts" -- have become some of the most memorable in the genre's history, as rap's most legendary stars team up on wax and bringing the most rabid of rap fans' fantasies to reality.
In celebration of these historic songs and what they mean to the culture, REVOLT presents: 'Tale of the Tape,' our series in which we break down the greatest posse cuts of all-time and rank the verses from worst to first.
In our latest installment of the series, we'll be revisiting "Fuck Tha Police," one of the most controversial songs in music history. In 1988, N.W.A. was in the midst of their hostile takeover of the rap world off the strength of their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, which helped establish Los Angeles as the next epicenter for rap. The album, which helped pioneer gangsta rap as we know it, was unlike anything most rap fans had ever heard -- from the rampant profanity to the nihilistic violence and misogyny depicted on the tracks. However, while the group caught backlash from media, political pundits, and even fellow rap peers; N.W.A.'s willingness to address serious topics affecting the black community enhanced their appeal.
One song from Straight Outta Compton that has come to define the group's legacy is "Fuck Tha Police," a song disparaging law enforcement in reaction to recurring instances of police brutality within the black community. Produced by Dr. Dre, with appearances from group-members Ice Cube, MC Ren and Eazy-E; "Fuck Tha Police" held no punches about N.W.A.'s disdain for the LAPD, who had a reputation for excessive force, racial profiling and harassment. The song would prompt the FBI to send the group a letter voicing their displeasure with the song, a response that displayed rap's increasing reach. This became one of the genre's most watershed moments.
Without further adieu, check out our ranking of the verses on "Fuck Tha Police."
3. MC Ren
On this outing, MC Ren unleashes his fury on law enforcement with a stanza that finds him recalling an intense encounter with LAPD during a traffic stop. After being pulled over in his vehicle, the N.W.A. spitter goes toe-to-toe with the cops, urging them to take off their uniform and handle their differences like men. However, Ren -- who is riding around with a firearm stashed in a secret compartment for instances like this -- has other plans. These plans include gunfire and a police officer meeting their demise.
Standout Lyrics: "Fuck the police! And Ren said it with authority/Because the niggas on the street is a majority/A gang is with whoever I'm steppin'/And the motherfuckin' weapon is kept in/A stash spot, for the so-called law/Wishing Ren was a nigga that they never saw/Lights start flashing behind me/But they're scared of a nigga, so they mace me to blind me."
Joining his N.W.A. cohorts, Eazy-E takes on the task of closing out the proceeding, lending his high-pitched vocals and maniacal thirst for violence to the track. Reveling in the thought of doing bodily harm to an officer, Eazy-E is particularly trigger-happy, and name-drops Uzis and AKs. Famously asking, "Without a gun and a badge, what do you got?" the diminutive rapper delivers the answer to the question in a manner so nonchalant that it helped strike a chord among law enforcement nationwide.
Standout Lyrics: "They put out my picture with silence/'Cause my identity by itself causes violence/The E with the criminal behavior/Yeah, I'm a gangsta, but still I got flavor/Without a gun and a badge, what do you got?/A sucker in a uniform waiting to get shot/By me, or another nigga/And with a gat, it don't matter if he's smaller or bigger."
1. Ice Cube
The chief lyricist for N.W.A., Ice Cube was responsible for multiple standout moments on Straight Outta Compton. But, none had the cultural impact of this incendiary rhyme. Touching on the plight of being a minority in the inner-city and the license he feels it gives law enforcement to assault and harass him, the man who helped put the Oakland Raider cap on the map claps back with a vengeance. Turning in his second most memorable verse from his tenure as a member of N.W.A., Ice Cube helped lead the charge in hip hop's push back against police brutality with this iconic performance.
Standout Lyrics: "Fuck the police! Comin' straight from the underground/A young nigga got it bad 'cause I'm brown/And not the other color, so police think/They have the authority to kill a minority/Fuck that shit 'cause I ain't the one/For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun/To be beating on and thrown in jail/We can go toe-to-toe in the middle of a cell."
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