The cops used to come around in my neighborhood
“Alright, you kids, stop having so much fun, move along!”
Oh they’d arrest me, you know, especially at night
They had a curfew, niggas had to be home at 11, negros, 12
And you’d be trying to get home, doing your crew runs
And they’d always catch you out in front of a store or something
‘Cause you’d be taking shortcuts, right
Cops, “Ree, put your hands up, black boy!”
The track starts off with a snippet of Richard Pryor’s 1972 Stax Records benefit concert, Wattstax, a stand-up special talking about cops harassing black youth. The sample ends with the words “…put your hands up Black Boy!” then the beat drops with a repetitive vocal sample “Cop shot the kid” from Slick Rick’s 1988 iconic Hip-Hop parable “Children’s Story” off his debut album, “The Great Adventure Of Slick Rick.” The sample serves as is the song’s chorus.
Both samples help underscore the song’s heavily publicized subject matter, Police Criminality in America, particularly against young black men. In the last few years cases in which blacks were killed by the police or died in police custody – Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Raynette Turner, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott and many more – have risen to national prominence and increased racial tensions, often prompting demonstrations around the country, by groups like Black Lives Matter. Nas gives the urban community epidemic a worthy soundtrack!
Cop Shot The Kid appears on Nas Escobar’s long-awaited 12th album “Nasir” which has officially arrived, featuring Kanye West once again delivered an impressive array of samples as the project’s executive producer. Ye’s use of the Slick Rick sample turns Rick’s raps into the song’s backbone: “The cops shot the kid/I still hear him scream.”
Kanye’s verse is reminiscent of the black liberationist lyricist we first fell in love with before the fame and his hopeless appetite for luxury goods turned him into one of the world’s preeminent narcissists and hip-hop’s most conflicted personality. A time when the Backpack Rapper first made it big and used to drop relevant lyrical socially aware commentary in his rhymes.
Stay tuned up and down your timeline
This fake news, people is all lyin’
Money is bein’ made when a mom cries
Won’t be satisfied ’til we all die
Tell me, who do we call to report crime
If 9-1-1 doin’ the driveby?
On the album’s second track “Cop Shot The Kid,” As an old hip-hop head who came out in the golden era of Hip-Hop and covered Hip-Hop for several years for the Source and Vibe and several other publications, I must say this reminds me of the Hip-Hop, I would go on to have a long love affair with before she broke my heart and went on to disappoint me with her recent attitude and those she choose to associate herself with.
White kids are brought in alive
Black kids get hit with like five
Get scared, you panic, you’re goin’ down
The disadvantages of the brown
How in the hell the parents gon’ bury their own kids
Not the other way around?
Reminds me of Emmett Till
Let’s remind ’em why Kap kneels
The son of a Jazz Man (Olu Dara) show why his is arguably one of the greatest to grab a Mic with other Hip-Hop Quotable on the album like “Never sold a record for the beat, it’s my verses they purchase/Without production, I’m worthless/But I’m more than the surface” on “Simple Things.”
Don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here for years. The Queens rapper’s first full-length since 2012’s Life Is Good finally see the light of day, nearly two years after claiming he’d finished his album on a song called “Nas Album Done.” The East Coast Lyricist who’s debut album Illmatic is arguably one of the greatest hip-Hop albums of all times, does not disappoint. Nasir was well worth the wait and comes at a time when many Hip-Hop Purest were just about to give up on Hip-Hop all together. His place in Hip-Hop’s Pantheon is more than secure!
The Ghetto Othello references the recent Philly Starbucks incident, Emmett Till, Jet magazine, and Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police shootings among other topics, that make you examine the social conditions around us. Across its seven tracks, Nasir raises its pro-black, pan-African fist at nearly every turn as Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones at age 44, straddles the fine line between wokeness and intellectualism. Several of these songs span the African diaspora and America’s centuries-old war against blackness.
Black Westchester gives Cop Shot The Kid “Five Fist In The Air,” and hails Nasir as a must have for any serious Hip-Hop Collection and a lesson to the New School on how it should be done! #SupportRealHipHop!