In the wake of the L.A. riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King, the hip-hop community pulled together to see what it could do to better the lives of disenfranchised youth. One project in the works was a benefit single put together by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh.
“Basically what we’re doing is putting together a record and all the proceeds and benefits will go to Pop Warner football and basketball and stuff like that in our community, since a lot of recreational things have been cut out of the neighborhood,” DJ Pooh said. “Everybody sort of wrote they own thing. It may be about the Rodney King verdict, or some of it might be things that we need to do to try to put the community back together.”
“I wrote about the police,” Ice Cube said. “That’s where it all comes down. That’s what it all boils down to, is the police that’s out here acting a fool, and what you have is people sick of the police. Not only blacks, not only Latins, but you got white people sick of the police, too. Pretty soon it goes from the police to the government and that’s when you got a revolution on your hands. We protesting an injustice. It’s not just Rodney King. It’s all kinds of things. Injustices in jobs and everything. That’s what we protesting.”
Meanwhile, another Los Angeles hardcore rapper, Ice-T, laid down his response to the riots. The MC hooked up with the reggae group Black Uhuru to record a new version of an old song of theirs called “Tip of the Iceberg.”
“The song is saying that the problems that you see on the streets now is just the tip of the iceberg,” Ice-T explained.
” ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ is like a message to show the world that if they don’t take heed, dangerous things can happen,” Black Uhuru’s Don Carlos said.
“L.A. could be a real great place if we could get some unity here,” Ice-T continued. “And I’m really hoping for that and that the kids don’t grow up indoctrinated with that gang thing.”
Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot had a #1 hit on his hands back in 1992 with his paean to ample backsides, “Baby Got Back.” Here’s what he had to say about the track.
” ‘Baby Got Back’ is a song I did that’s about black women,” the MC said. “Not necessarily about black women, but about how black women are as opposed to what white America wants them to be. One other video station said ‘Baby Got Back’ was actually racist ’cause it said the track implies all black women have big butts. But black women are naturally curvy women, and I think if you ask any brother in the house today right now they’ll tell you straight up that’s what we like, curves. That’s what ‘Baby Got Back’ is all about. But for some reason it’s been called sexist. Any time a rapper mentions sex, any time a rapper mentions a body part, nowadays it’s like we’re under a microscope.”
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