Brand Nubian’s 1993 song, “Black and Blue,” released on the album In God We Trust, addresses some of the tensions and contradictions inherent to Black police officer identity. The lyrics excerpted here highlight the artists’ assertion that any allegiances implied by a shared racial identity were superseded by assumptions that police officers hold about the Black people in the communities they’re tasked with patrolling.
Note: Though all categories are far from “complete,” the sources originally selected by the Buell Center research team and comprising the category of “Arts & Culture” deserve particular acknowledgement as such. Many songs were drawn from Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists, by Sacha Jenkins, Elliott Wilson, and Jeff Mao (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999). Limited by time and individual expertise, the Center’s hope was always that subsequent contributors might build out all categories (and add their own)—“Arts & Culture” especially.