The stories that surround the legendary rap group N.W.A. are as wild and as hedonistic as one can imagine. The kind of tales that are usually cast off as pure myth and debauchery reside as the kindergarten storytime for the Compton group. But, while stories of drunken mishaps, drugs, sex, guns and girls are all well and good, getting to a point of infamy that the FBI is threatening you surely has to top it all off.
That was the case for the group as their strongly outspoken condemnation of police brutality, particularly within the LAPD, saw the band become one of the most wanted groups in America. Their song ‘F**k Tha Police‘ would become a huge hit across America and take aim at the police force.
As one might expect, law enforcement did not take kindly to the song, even less so when the track became one of the hottest hits of the year. N.W.A. had done that most wondrous of things: the had captured the sentiment of a generation, nay, an entire nation. Eazy-E, Dr Dre, Ice Cube and MC Ren had drawn a line in the sand and it did not endear them to the police.
Having witnessed brutality throughout their lives, the group used their song to tell the story of their experiences. It was a song that reflected their world long before the tragic death of Rodney King, George Foreman or the protests that followed those tragic murders.
“Advocating violence and assault is wrong,” began a letter sent to the band by the FBI. “Violent crime, a major problem in our country, reached an unprecedented high in 1988. Seventy-eight law enforcement officers were feloniously slain in the line of duty during 1988, four more than in 1987,” continued to the letter, neglecting to mention the steadily increasing number of Black males who had died in police custody.
The letter concluded: “Music plays a significant role in society, and I wanted you to be aware of the FBI’s position relative to this song and its message. I believe my views reflect the opinion of the entire law enforcement community.” N.W.A.’s message in response to the letter was to consistently play the song at every show they could, no matter the protest or police presence.
You can read the full letter below.