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Playing With / Anti-Police Song

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Basic Trope: A subtrope of the Protest Song, specifically protesting the police or other law enforcement, and/or their behavior.

  • Straight:
    • A song calling out police as brutal/corrupt/useless/all of the above and more.
    • A song calling for retaliatory violence against violent police or telling a story of someone who engaged in it.
  • Exaggerated:
    • A song calling for all police officers, everywhere, to be killed in a mass genocide based on occupation.
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    • A song questioning the very need for police or law enforcement.
  • Downplayed: Like Get Your Riot Gear in the main article: a song specifically about a given incident and police department responsible for it.
  • Justified:
    • As a protest against Police Brutality, the Corrupt Cop, and the like.
    • To give victims of police brutality and corruption and uselessness a voice.
    • To vent anger against the police.
    • Even in the songs that advocate violence, free expression of the artist's opinions and calling attention to the fact that some police act in ways that make police officers seen as Acceptable Targets among some.
    • The song is actually about the secret police.
  • Inverted:
    • A song that is an absolute paean/tribute to the police.
    • A song demanding support for the police.
  • Subverted: A song that seems to be protesting police brutality, then turns into an exultation about how enjoyable beating minorities and using drugs in the evidence room is.
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  • Double Subverted: A song that's from the Corrupt Cop and Rabid Cop's perspective, celebrating beating minorities and doing drugs in the evidence room - as an Anti-Police Song using a Villain Protagonist.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: At first the song seems to be (and maybe is) protesting Police Brutality or the Corrupt Cop, but then it protests/complains about criminals or people who don't know how to deal with even reasonable police officers. Then the song turns around to proclaim that the way the police behave, it has made everyone a criminal and that innocent or merely stupid people shouldn't need to have special training to deal with the police and come out alive and free.
  • Averted:
    • The song isn't about police or police issues at all.
    • The song is about police issues, but is neutral or respectful to both sides of the matter.
    • The song is about how cops should be judged as individuals & not as a group.
  • Enforced: In some genres where conflict with authority or reference to news and current events is important inspiration.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "The police suck, and here's another song about that."
    • "There goes the LAPD again, every time they hit someone I have a new hit single."
  • Invoked: The song title or primary chorus is protesting or insulting or calling for retaliatory violence against police.
  • Exploited:
    • To so offend and anger the police that they pursue trumped up charges against the singer/rapper/writer/band. Lots of publicity is achieved via this, and if what the police did to the artist(s) was egregious enough and obviously spiteful enough, lots of money via a lawsuit probably will be too.
    • To tap the feelings of anger and resentment and emotion in order to connect with the audience enough to make the song a hit, especially among those people who feel most angry at/oppressed by the police, and sometimes among those who just want to feel badass by identifying with the outlaw theme.
  • Defied:
    • The songwriter likes the police (or a specific police department/police officers) and therefore doesn't write such songs.
    • The song doesn't get major airplay or sales or other promotion because of Executive Meddling and Moral Guardians.
    • The songwriter is a police officer himself or herself or was once one, and is not a Defector from Decadence.
    • The songwriter sees writing such songs as capitalizing on tragedy as opposed to speaking out.
  • Discussed:
    • "I think I'm going to write a song about what those cops did to that poor guy on the news. All he was doing was smoking a cigarette in the park when they tased him ten times and beat him into a coma."
    • "Another ticket? Man, that pisses me off... hey wait, I could make a song about this."
  • Conversed:
    • "You know, I wonder what ''Why Popo Beat My Ass" is about?"
    • "Why do people seem to think the only genres that can do a song about the police are punk and rap? If someone wrote a pop song about how abusive the cops are, it might get more attention..." "That's because punks and rappers tend to have more firsthand experience than a pop idol, before she turns 18 anyway. And no one would sell it."
  • Implied:
    • The album cover or track list has a title that sounds like it belongs to one of these.
    • The artist is discussing a new song "inspired by what the cops did, did you hear that on the news?"
    • The song itself doesn't directly mention police, cops, sheriffs, etc... it refers to repressive authority and may occasionally drop the name of a victim or the time when the incident occured or similar.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The topic itself becomes boring and overdone, to the point that no one wants to hear protest songs about the police, or even protest songs much for that matter at all anymore, preferring escapism in their music as to anything referencing current events or painful realities. The songs themselves are, for better or worse, seen as insulting and threatening hardworking police officers for the sake of publicity and making money off the actions of "a few bad apples."
    • Someone makes a song that points out how not all cops are bad, and how a blanket indictment of all cops is not the answer to the problem. It asks listeners to support those good cops in order to help root out and expose the bad ones. It also argues that further demonizing police in pop culture will only make things worse for the people who suffer most at the hands of corrupt police officers.
  • Reconstructed:
    • A new Anti-Police Song is written expressly to point out bad actions by the bad cops, and includes express messages bemoaning that these guys are making it worse for all of the police everywhere and that they're ashamed of brutality and corruption.
    • A horrific incident of Police Brutality occurs, and for various reasons including Executive Meddling or fear of people being tired of songs about police brutality, the mainstream Glam Rap industry won't touch mentioning it. An underground or foreign Heavy Metal band has no such qualms, its lyricist finds the event inspiring - and introduces an entirely new genre to the concept of protesting the police.

I hate the cops / and they hate me / let's take all the cops with you and me / back to Anti-Police Song

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