The Outsider and the Inner Circle
I got a letter recently. It said: “On behalf of my colleagues in the U.S. Senate, it’s my privilege to invite you to accept membership in the Republican Senators’ Inner Circle. I believe your accomplishments prove you’re worthy of this important organization.” It was signed Sen. Robert Dole.
Most likely, he wrote because not long ago I gave a large donation to the City of Hope. But does he really know who I am? I’m the one who started N.W.A., the band that got a letter two years ago from the FBI “taking exception” to our song “F--- Tha Police.” The band from Compton where nobody ever gets invited to join inner circles. The band that knows all about what’s going down with Rodney King and the LAPD.
Everybody around the world has seen that video of King getting stomped, and they seem so shocked. I say, “Come to Compton.” Nobody’s shocked down there. We’ve been saying for years this is typical. But nobody listened. People said N.W.A. was a disgrace, that we were just criminals with microphones stirring up trouble. Now who’s the criminal?
Last Monday, I went to Washington for this Inner Circle dinner. I saw the politicians. I heard the President speak. And all the time I thought how wild it was, me sitting there with these people. Lots of smiling and handshaking.
What would they think if they knew a couple of months ago, I was driving down the freeway after appearing on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Suddenly, 10 police cars and an LAPD helicopter chase me down, pull me over, and make me lie face down on the asphalt with shotguns pointed at my head. What did I do? Seems my BMW matched a description of a stolen car. I wonder how many blacks get that kind of service when they report a stolen car?
When we said “F--- Tha Police,” people put us down. Now they say we were ahead of our time. It took a video shot by accident to do it, but now the truth is out. Rodney King nearly had his eyes beat shut, yet he opened up the eyes of the world.
I know there are good cops and bad cops. I even have some friends who are cops. But we have a serious problem in L.A. and in every other city too. Brutality goes on all the time. People have tried to change things for years, but I don’t think anything’s going to help. The problem is too deep.
But you do what you can. I’m going to ask King to be in our next video, a new version of “F--- Tha Police.” When he gets better, we’re going to try to get together.
That letter I got from Sen. Dole inviting me to Washington ended with the words: “I’m especially excited about your nomination because we will have the chance to be with you.”
By the way, I never did meet him.
Get our Essential Politics newsletter
The latest news, analysis and insights from our politics team.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.