As racial tensions continue to be at an all-time high following the recent bailout of Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot and killed Chicago teen Laquan McDonald, KRS-One discussed police brutality, racism, politics, and the intertwinement of the previous three in a new interview with CNN.
The rapper, known for detailing longstanding racist institutions and the struggle of the oppressed in his music, told the news outlet that though 22 years have passed since the release of his single “Sound of Da Police,” the condition of race relations and police brutality in America has not improved.
“Things have gotten worse because we have an African-American president and it seems like racism in the United States is overflowing,” he said. “This is the problem with the United States, there’s no leadership.”
The Bronx native, real name Lawrence Parker, said that this lack of management is obvious because a true leader recognizes that employing the term “police brutality” to describe the excessive use of force is oxymoronic.
“A leader would say, ‘Police brutality is an oxymoron, there are no brutal police. The minute you become brutal, you’re no longer police,’” he explained. “So, what we’re not dealing with police. We’re dealing with a federally authorized gang,” he finished.
KRS-One also discussed the upcoming presidential election and said that the candidates who seek residency in the White House are leaving behind the African American population and its hip hop subculture by “never coming to the hood.” The rapper said that the candidates are hoping that the political “ignorance” of voters will help them win the election.
“You have to be educated to vote,” KRS said. “And if you don’t know your country’s history, how the economy works, what the law is, you’re not an educated voter. This is what a lot of these candidates are actually banking on. They’re banking on the ignorance of the American citizenry.”