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That's famed Pittsburgh hip hop artist Jasiri X in the video above rapping the #10FRISKCOMMANDMENTS, a video that is debuting today at http://10friskcommandments.com in affiliation with Brooklyn comedian Elon James White's award-winning web series This Week in Blackness. (You can read Jasiri X's lyrics below the fold.)

The song and video sprang from a conversation White had with Jasiri at Netroots Nation in June. Target: the stop-and-frisk laws of New York City, Philadelphia and some other large cities. These policies allow cops to stop, question and search anyone they think is suspicious. Proponents say such laws reduce crime by finding weapons, especially firearms. Foes argue that they encourage racial profiling and violate Fourth Amendment rights. Stop-and-frisk policies create an atmosphere of martial law and worsen tension between police and citizens. While authorities say police are looking for weapons, mostly firearms, critics have complained that an increase in misdemeanor marijuana arrests has accompanied the stop-and-frisk policy in New York.

An analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that people have been stopped, interrogated and patted down on the street in New York City more than four million times in the decade since the policy was imposed. Nine out of 10 of those stopped and frisked have been completely innocent. And nine out of 10 have been African American or Latino. In 2011, for instance, according to the NYPD’s reports, New Yorkers were subjected to stop-and-frisk 685,724 times. Nine percent were white, 53 percent black and 34 percent Latino. Half were between the ages of 14 and 24.

Last month, thousands of New Yorkers turned out for a silent march in the city to protest the stop-and-frisk policy. They were joined by several high-profile public officials, including the Manhattan borough president.

Jasiri X is perhaps best known for his “Free the Jena Six,” the song named 2007 Hip Hop Political Song of the Year, which built support for youth jailed in Jena, Louisiana. He is president of LYRICS, Inc. (Leading Young Rappers In Career Success) and a founding member of One HOOD, an organization of men working against violence in black communities.

White—who Melissa Harris-Perry has called “the perfect comedian for the Obama era, talking race while exploding racial stereotypes”—explains how #10FRISKCOMMANDMENTS came about:

Actually it was at Netroots this year that the idea was birthed. I had just finished doing my radio show on the Exhibit stage and I had joked about my only understanding of what to do when stopped by the cops was Jay Z's song "99 Problems." When I got off stage it clicked in my head that Biggies's "10 Crack Commandments" would be a GREAT way to explain something that's NOT how to sell crack.

I ran over to Jasiri and pitched him the concept. He started to shake his head saying "That could work." I told him if he wrote the song I'd direct and shoot the video here in Brooklyn as soon as possible. He gave me the song last Tuesday and we shot the video this past weekend. Jasiri is one of best rappers out there that's actually TALKING about something. His work on the Trayvon Song, We Are The 99, and his latest Do we need to start a riot? are prime examples of his passion and why the progressive community loves what he does.

Jasiri X performing #10FRISKCOMMANDMENTS
I been stop and frisked for years they treat us like we animals
I'm so use to it I wrote me a manual
A step by step booklet so you can get
Through your stop and frisk before they cock and spit

Rule Number 1 never carry a gun
Even if ya got a license it might be a crisis
if you make a move for your waist just the slightest
they'll empty every round of they clips till you're lifeless

Rule Number 2 in fact make no sudden moves
Don't you know these bad boys use violence to silence
They'll treat you like ya highness (a king)
I done seen mad kids get they wigs cold busted over nothing

Number 3 never trust no police
These cops will set a brother up gun them up then cover up
Whenever they run a muck and come to bust on one of us
Its never Justice cause it's always just us

Number 4 I know you heard this before
Always comply and pray to God you survive

Number 5 never talk back when they talk smack
If even they call you a nigger man be the bigger man

6 think you can run & jet quick dead it
They'll catch you and beat you so bad you won't forget it

Number 7 this rule is so underrated
Always try to stay in places well lit and populated
Cause when the streets is watching police get cautious
So you might survive without getting beat and hauled in

Number 8 any weight that you carry's a risk
They catch you with a nick they beat you like you hustling bricks

Number 9 should have been Number 1 to me
Every time you get stopped always film the police
Cause if you get a whippin they ain't trying to listen
You be sitting in prison if they don't see it with they vision

Number 10  a strong word called the constitution
Or does it apply then to only white men?
Is being black or brown probable cause hell no
So why do we get stopped rain sleet hail snow

Follow these rules you'll have more days to wake up
If not cops could pull out and shoot ya place up
Slugs hit ya temple watch ya frame shake up
Caretaker did ya make up
When you passed those cops they ain't even break up
No charge they ain't miss a day or get a pay cut
It's only us that get stopped but they say it ain't racist
Gotta to go before the po po come and take us

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 08:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unfortunate (6+ / 0-)

    that radio programmers are scared of songs like this.

    Remember Pink's "Dear Mr. President?" Written by the Indigo Girls.

    Change the lyrics to that to something apolitical and it would have been a MAJOR hit.

    But no one was playing that, anywhere.

    No one had the stones.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:12:04 AM PDT

  •  I like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    Jasiri X's stuff -- esp. Real Gangsters -- though it's worth noting, as that video suggests, that he's a defender of Farrakhan and a member of the Nation of Islam.

  •  BTW, mayor lee in SF wants S&F (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, Meteor Blades

    I'm not exactly into rap, but the video is awesome!

    Sorry for the slight tangent, but since Jasiri X mentions it in the video...

    With stop and frisk in the news so negatively, how is it possible that mayor ed lee wants to do this in San Francisco? Perhaps he hates certain classes of people?

    Stop and frisk is all about oppressing people of color and/or little means. How can anybody who isn't a racist asshole be for it?

    •  Does he "have to do something" about crime? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga

      I remember that being the excuse for some pretty strange stuff in my hometown. Then again, I'm from the South.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lee says he (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, rebel ga

      "wants to go after the guns."

      which is why he favors something like S&F.  Today, he is quoted as saying that he would never implement something that was "racially biased."

      Which makes Lee a first class idiot.  But there you are.

      He is getting major blowback from many directions.  I believe that most of the SF Board of Supervisors has told him to give it up on this.

      But it is sad that in a town such as SF the idea would even come up.

      •  Statement recently release by Lee. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga

        http://hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com/...

        “The month of June in San Francisco experienced a spike in shootings and homicides in our Southeast neighborhoods. This is unacceptable and while I take this issue extremely seriously, I want to be clear that I have not considered implementing a policy in San Francisco that would violate anyone’s constitutional rights or that would result in racial profiling. I have stated that I am willing to look at what other cities are doing to reduce gun violence, including cities like New York and Philadelphia that both have stop and frisk programs.

        I have been meeting with community leaders, have attended services to meet with congregants and have met with law enforcement about this issue. We share grave concerns about gun violence and its disproportionate impact on communities of color and youth in San Francisco. We need to do more.

        Public safety can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership between law enforcement and the
        communities we all serve. Community policing and community development efforts have important roles to play in the prevention of violence, and I will continue to meet with community leaders and faith based organizations to advance these priorities.

        I want to be very clear. As a former human rights director and civil rights attorney, I hold the individual protections afforded to us all under the 4th Amendment as sacrosanct. As we continue our discussions to reduce violence and get guns out of our communities, I will not support, nor will I put forward any proposal that will
        violate any such protections, but I am willing to move forward with bold ideas that get to results.

        I will continue to work with the community to end gun violence in San Francisco.”

        •  Privacy is not a Constitutional right. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rebel ga, a2nite, jpmassar

          Privacy and to be secure in one's person is a human right. We set up governments to deal with people who abuse or fail to respect human rights.  When the agents of government violate them themselves, then justice is undermined.
          Respect for human rights is hard to come by.  After all, the original Constitution, before the ink was dry, had relegated some humans to a subordinate status as slaves.  And children, as the property of their parents, still have no guarantee that their human rights will be respected.

          (The Senate has refused to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child).

          The only rights properly addressed by the Constitution are the rights of citizens to participate in governing and even those had to be guaranteed piecemeal.  Universal suffrage for all adults did not arrive until 1971.  So, we are still at the beginning of popular government and the royalists are resisting.

          (I'm using "royalist" to refer to people who believe in a ruling hierarchy.  That the office holders are selected at the ballot box for a limited term in office does not necessarily conflict with their exercise of absolute power. "I am the law" is a royal attitude).

          My point is that when public officials refer to "constitutional rights" their commitment to human rights, including the right to parambulate unmolested, is suspect.

          Also, when public officials are not mentally equipped to manage public resources and assets, they resort to the promise of providing protection. Protection is a racket. It's not possible for anyone to prevent the first criminal act by another.  What we can expect, because it is possible to accomplish, is the prevention of repetition.
          Most crimes are perpetrated by a few bad actors.  However, our agents of government, who perceive that their employment depends on a fearful citizenry, actually have an incentive NOT to put the perpetrators away. That's why we have investigations of criminal organizations going on for decades.

          Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage"

          People to Wall Street, "let our money go."

          by hannah on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:46:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Try another way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        Stop and Frisk 4th amendment violations only find illegal guns .15% of the time (yes, there's a decimal point there). That is a dismal record. Not worth imitating.

        "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:09:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sad thing is it's politically untenable (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga

        to actually go after the pipeline of illegal guns.

        So instead, we'll just stop and frisk every (mostly male) person of color under 40.

        "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:52:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I cannot imagine how horrible it would (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, Scott Wooledge, slowbutsure

    be to endure this day in, day out.

    As a priviliged, white, upper-middle class professional looking guy, my encounters with the NYPD have been uniformly (hee hee) terrible.

    I hate this policy and have incredible sympathy for those affected by it.

    •  As a middle class white female, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slowbutsure

      who's encounters with the NYC police where mostly during the 60's through 90's. My encounters were always beautiful.

      Except one time (late 80's); when I fell asleep in a  car, I had a headache and took two aspirin. I was hanging out with people I didn't really know, not smart and woke up on 125h St in Harlem, to cops ordering us out of the car.

      They had us stand by the trunk and pointed a magnum at us. Right at my head! I thought I was going to faint, but I was afraid if I made any sudden moves they would shoot me!

      I do not recognize today's NYC police! Pepper spraying people and beating them up. Young people, and women too! These are not the NYC Police I grew up with and know!


      The Greater Newark/New York Fresh Air Fund
      Seeks Supporters To Send Children To Camp

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:49:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finally, a new rapper I can enjoy! (4+ / 0-)

    I've been bored with rap ever since its heyday in the early '90s. Nothing compares to the days of Public Enemy, N.W.A., Erik B & Rakim, The Beastie Boys, and KRS-One. This harkens back to those good ol' days of decipherable, intelligent rap with soul, meaning, and attitude. Thanks, Meteor Blades, for the introduction.

    Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

    by liquidman on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:45:02 PM PDT

  •  so there was more than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, rebel ga

    the pub quiz going on...

    excellent development.  Thanks for letting this old fogey with no hip hop sensibility know about this.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:46:59 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for posting about this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moviemeister76, rebel ga, slowbutsure

    Jasiri X is the TRUTH and I am so glad that he continues to rap about socially relevant issues.  He should be much better known than he is.  He is also a committed activist working directly with young men of color through his media academy. Glad to see him featured on KOS.

  •  Thanks Folks (8+ / 0-)

    ...for the support. It's really appreciated. It's awesome when work like this gets pushed in progressive spaces like this one...

    •  Thanks for doing your show (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, slowbutsure

      Seriously, your show is awesome. I've learned a lot while laughing.

      And thanks for promoting #10FRISKCOMMANDMENTS. I am white, so I have a very different perspective on this. Even if I lived in an area that practices it, I know it would likely never, ever happen to me. I've been angry about police brutality for over half my life, and I am relieved to finally see more and more folks like myself finally paying attention and realizing there's a problem.

      Though I certainly never thought I'd see this on the front page of Kos. Nice to see we've made some progress.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NYPD's Stop and Frisk policy is a disgrace (6+ / 0-)

    and an embarrassment to our otherwise very fine City. Glad to see it hear on the FP. I joined the marchers last month. LGBT rights groups coordinated with NAACP and turned out a fine contingent to oppose this discriminatory and shameful practice.

    "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:05:45 PM PDT

    •  *clutching pearls* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, slowbutsure

      LGBT worked with the NCAAP?!?!?  I'm feeling faint...

      The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

      by lcj98 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:10:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rhea Carey of the Nat'l Gay & Lesbian (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rebel ga, slowbutsure

        Task Force seems to have a close relationship with Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP. He was a featured speaker at the Task Force's Creating Change conference this spring. He spoke mostly about the infringement on voting rights, to a enthusiast reception.

        For the march, Task Force and all the big players, GLAAD, HRC, Stonewall Dems and others endorsed and pushed out the event. The march definitely had a lot of grassroots support too.

        "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:38:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, slowbutsure

    Yeah, so I had to a couple of those commandments here in Utah a number of times, just as recently as this past Saturday.

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:08:13 PM PDT

  •  I was really struck by the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, slowbutsure

    "Stay in well lit, well populated areas"

    I mean, its common sense for anyone, but that extra level of concern that its not just criminals you may catch a beating from. :(

    •  I was struck by the ninth commandment (4+ / 0-)

      which is always to keep it on tape. This is one we are very keen on in regards to political activities here in Wisconsin. In something like the Solidarity Sing-Along or Overpass Light Brigade, we have two cameras rolling to record and deter hooligans and abusive cops. IMHO, the deterrent effect is just as important as documenting abuses. Cops don't like the public to see them beating people up.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 01:25:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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