Rapper YG’s song “Meet the Flockers” is back on YouTube but is edited to remove anti-Chinese lyrics.
The rapper’s debut 2014 album, My Krazy Life, was briefly removed from streaming platforms. That’s because the album contains references to targeting Chinese neighborhoods during robberies. The album has now returned to digital streaming services with a new version of the song that no longer contains the words, “Chinese neighborhoods.”
“First – you find a house and scope it out / Find a Chinese neighborhood / ’cause they don’t believe in bank accounts,” the rapper says in the original version of the song. “Second – then you find a crew and a driver / someone to ring the doorbell / and someone that ain’t scared to what it do.” The song’s title itself, “Meet the Flockers,” refers to a gang robbery the lyrics describe.
Last week, employees at YouTube called for the song’s removal from the platform. That’s because a spate of anti-Asian violence has sprung up in the wake of the global pandemic. YouTube executives denied the request to remove the song over anti-Chinese lyrics from the platform in an email on March 22.
“We’ll start by saying we find this video to be highly offensive and understand it is painful for many to watch, including many in Trust & Safety and especially given the ongoing violence against the Asian community. One of the biggest challenges of working in Trust & Safety is that sometimes we have to leave up content we disagree with or find offensive,” that email reads.
The email also notes that the lyrics violate the platform’s hate speech policy, but it would stay up. The reasoning provided is that the song is covered under the educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic exception clause. YouTube executives said they are worried about setting a precedent that would lead to the removal of more music videos.
The song has been edited to remove anti-Chinese lyrics, but it’s still about group robberies. Obviously, the song was offensive enough for these platforms to tell distributors that an edited cut is needed. The song now no longer contains references to specifically targeting Chinese neighborhoods as robbery targets.
“Meet the Flockers” is a deeper album cut, and it lacks an official YouTube music video. The music video version of the song features a mugshot of YG and the song has more than 110,000 views on YouTube – but has since been removed and replaced with the new version.