MC Zumbi Responds to Oakland Violence
- Words: Jennifer Marston
News stations have been abuzz lately with the slayings of four Oakland, CA police officers at the end of March, but not everyone views the situation—or Oakland’s violent history in general—as a black-and-white, good guys-versus-bad guys scenario. Zion I's MC Zumbi—an artist often known for his politically conscious lyrics—is digging a little deeper into the matter with a new track he created alongside Trackmasters producer ARE as The Burnerz, but there’s more to "Cops Hate Kidz" than its pointed name lets on.
Zumbi and ARE penned the track in response to the aforementioned slayings, but also as a rebuttal to the January murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was unarmed and shot execution-style at an Oakland public-transit station. “We feel that the tragedies that we are witnessing can be attributed to the long history of police brutality experienced in the black and brown communities," explains Zumbi of the track, that, through its heated lyrics and ARE’s hard-hitting beats and rhythms, exposes the double-sided nature of the situation.
"It is our hope to fuel discussion about ways that the police can better 'protect and serve' the community, rather than abuse and exploit their power," Zumbi continues. “As we move towards a 'new America,' it will be important that we learn to work together. The old models are falling before our eyes. This is our opportunity to engage change."
He’ll likely share more of his message this spring, as Zion I is currently on a North American tour that runs until mid-May. In the meantime, you can hear “Cops Hate Kidz” right here:
Stream: "Cops Hate Kidz"
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