It seems like almost every day we’re forced to hear another story of gross police misconduct and undue force, particularly when it comes to people of color in low-income neighborhoods. Though hip-hop used to be one of the loudest voices of dissent against the boys in blue’s abuse of power, MCs rarely tackle the issue these days, even though it’s just as prevalent as it was in the 80s and 90s.
Enter Texas-based rap trio Ghost Palace and their latest cut “Piggy.” The instrumental, crafted by beatmaker Progeny and assisted by bass player Rob Castro, hearkens back to the days of angry protest rap in the vein of Public Enemy or Ice-T. Lyricist Evolve tells a tale that we know all too well, except this time it’s from the point of view of a racist cop who has been taught to feel invincible: “As long as this badge and gun protect my name, I’ll keep pumping bullets in bodies with no fucking shame.” He also makes note of the fact that many of the police officers who have victimized people of color not only get away with it, but often make a profit: “Piggy killed an unarmed citizen, no regret/Piggy wrote a book about his exploits and got a paycheck.”
There’s no doubt that hip-hop has evolved from its earliest forms as a rebel yell from the ghetto into its status as music for the masses. But “Piggy” proves the genre can still pack a defiant punch when it comes to tackling the social ills of the country that birthed it.