"In the Line of Duty"
Arts & Culture

Eightball & MJG’s 1995 song, “In the Line of Duty,” describes the state of perpetual surveillance and violence under which the artists find themselves, and expresses incredulity at the idea that the maintenance of this state would just be all in a day’s work for law enforcement.

Eightball & MJG’s 1995 song, “In the Line of Duty,” released on the album On Top of the World, describes the state of perpetual surveillance and violence under which the artists find themselves, and expresses incredulity at the idea that the maintenance of this state would just be ‘all in a day’s work’ for law enforcement. In the lyrics excerpted here, they elaborate on an analogy between the communities under surveillance and pre-Civil War plantations, where “the masters reside at the police stations.”

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 further build out all categories (and add their own)—“Arts & Culture” especially.

Entry Author
Buell Center (jrm2031)