Ice Cube Says Hillary Clinton Created ‘Justification’ for Police Brutality

Cube says Clinton planted poisonous rhetoric in the 90s, with repercussions still being felt.

Ice Cube, one of the first rappers to speak out against police brutality, is pinning some of the blame for the current crisis on Hillary Clinton.  The rapper pointed to 1990s-era efforts to step up police enforcement and combat urban gangs, with extremely damaging rhetoric that affected poor, marginalized communities.

That includes the use of words like ‘superpredators’ to describe gang members, a buzz-term employed by Clinton at the time.  “To call your own citizens ‘superpredators’ is pretty harsh and a pretty big indictment,” Ice Cube said during a recent Bloomberg interview. “It’s really not solving the problem, it’s just making it worse.”

“Now the authorities feel like their justified in how they treat these so-called ‘superpredators.’”

The comments closely follow Ice Cube’s refusal to stop performing his 80s-era classic, ‘F*ck Tha Police,’ penned with rap group N.W.A to address issues of police treatment against poor, largely African-American citizens.  That has drawn controversy in the wake of a string of retaliatory shootings against police officers.

Ice Cube, whose career surged beyond rap and into film after the group split apart, recently enjoyed a refreshed surge of popularity following the release of ‘Straight Outta Compton’.  Cube, a critical member of N.W.A, pushed a gritty, unapologetic ‘gangster rap’ to the forefront, one that raised rap to an entirely new level and was documented in the film.

Throughout, N.W.A and other ‘gangster rappers’ received heavy criticism for their unvarnished, gritty lyrics, with violence, misogyny, and anti-police rhetoric central themes in their music.  That controversy helped to sell more records, though Cube traces the anger back to what was happening in the streets at that time.  The frustrations then, like now, often involved law enforcement.  “The LAPD did a war on gangs,” Cube said. “But if I’m a black kid that’s not in a gang but I look like a gang member to this white officer, than it’s a war on me.”

“That’s the problem with a term like ‘superpredators’.”

Suddenly, these issues are front-and-center in a contentious presidential election, with many wondering just where Clinton stands.  But unlike earlier periods, a growing number of artists are weighing in on the issues, a group that includes superstars like Beyonce.  That level of activism has been largely absent for decades, and according to Ice Cube, has never been rewarded by labels, radio stations, or other gatekeepers.

For Cube, neither party can duck the blame for the current crisis.  “And for some reason, the Democrats feel they’re exempt from these [Black Lives Matter] protests like ‘we’re Democrats, why are you talking to us like this, go talk to the Republicans,’” Cube continued.  “No, no.  Everybody’s a little guilty of turning their back or passing bad legislation and everyone should be called out on it.”

“If [Hillary Clinton] becomes the president of the United States, we need to know what she’s thinking, how does she think, how she’s going to handle, how she’s going to fix this.  She helped create it, in a way.”

2 Responses

  1. Air America

    Anyone who visited LA in the late 80s early 90s knows that there WERE superpredators all over the city. The causes for gangbangers running loose were society’s, but the only solution was law enforcement, and putting a lot of people in prison was what slowed the crime rate from a roar to about a third of what it was, and it has stayed at that level.

    You can’t argue fairly on this topic unless you are open to both sides of the story. And NWA wasn’t just talking about police brutality – they were openly celebrating criminality. I know personally black people who came to me and said that ‘NWA wasn’t helping the situation’ akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. Public Enemy never pushed criminality.

    Of course the Clintons are corrupt to the core. Arkansas was a major trans-shipment point for tons of cocaine that came into the USA, and was then distributed to urban kingpins like Ricky Ross to sell as crack. Once those criminals were unleashed however, they needed to be stopped, and sure, it’s corrupt all around. That’s what Cube needs to be talking about, but even he doesnt want to go there.