Professor Viator Explains How Bay Area Hip-Hop Has Fought Police Brutality Since the '90s

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

SFGATE -- “As a comparison to something like ‘F--- the Police,’ ‘Punk Police’ is taking it a step further, because he was specifically calling cops out by name and what they were doing. Essentially charging them with framing people,” says Felicia Viator, a former Bay Area DJ who performed under the name Neta, currently works as a social and cultural history professor at San Francisco State and recently released a book on hip-hop history.

Although the Bay Area never had an anti-police anthem as literal as “F--- the Police,” there is a long legacy of songs that addressed the subject. Viator cited other tracks like Paris’ “The Devil Made Me Do It,” whose video shows stark images of police brutality, and “Blue Bird” by RBL Posse, with a coy hook that called to retaliate against law officers.