Prodigy of Mobb Deep once declared “there’s war going on outside no man is safe from.” As we’ve learned in recent weeks, there is in fact a war much bigger than the one envisioned on “Survival of the Fittest”. It began as a war on drugs, partially waged on American soil, and led to the funding of military grade arms to the police force. Then it was a war on terrorism, fought in the Middle East and Afghanistan, in the name of democracy and our safety. Once again, we further armed the police force on the home front.
Now, there’s a war against peace and justice being carried out by the men and women hired to protect and serve by the taxpaying citizens. This week in an editorial penned by Killer Mike, the rapper declared, “Whatever this country is willing to do to the least of us, it will one day do to us all.” With news feeds flooding with stories of black children and adults being senselessly murdered in the streets by police officers, clipping. released “Knees On The Ground”, a track that turns the preemptive door-banging of cops before unwarranted invasion into a percussion sound and the oppressor’s catchphrase of “knees on the ground where they belong” into a hook. Producer William Hutson included a lenghty missive with the Soundcloud link, explaining clipping.’s departure from its definition as a “decidedly-not-an-activist-project”, admitting fault in the timeliness of the song, and ultimately determining it was the only song the group could make as it watched “a police response better suited to a war zone than to an American city.”