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Few issues have their own distinct schematics depending on the city like police brutality.
Yet all over the world, one element of the situation is largely the same.
Regardless of what country you’re in, being a black man in today’s world means unwanted attention from the police.
From random arrests to more grievous cases like the murder of Trayvon Martin, examples abound.
Of course, those most affected have done their bit to capture their frustration in music.
Examples like the NWA’s tour-de-force “Fuck The Police” come to mind as Show Dem Camp’s “Happy Weekend”.
On “Oga Police/9-5 Interlude”, a cut from his debut album “2 Birds, 1 Stone”, rapper D-Truce addresses a reality he knows all too well with help from Paybac and Slayvelli.
Together, the trio manages to make light of the constant frustration that comes with being hounded by police while offering a pointed critique.
The song begins with Truce narrating a random scenario with him driving through Ikeja.
His alone time with the lady riding shotgun is interrupted when an officer shows up and calls him a “suspect”, a term that just about every young male Lagosian knows.
Unlike Truce, held up while looking for love, Paybac is not as innocent of all suspicion.
He’s moving through Shitta in Surulere with a new batch of herb in his socks, unnoticed by police.
Paybac uses humour to mellow out his severe critique of the police and the society that enables them.
He celebrates evading arrest on one line because, while politicians smuggle hard drugs abroad, “them wan carry me go Kirikiri ’cause of claro”.
As with the rest of the project, production is sparse, moody and ambient despite the subject matter.
And while it lets the two rappers get heard, it provides room for Slayvelli to infuse some much-needed melody as the track winds down.
The dual theme of D-Truce’s album reflects in that the track is in two parts.
The second half – “9-5 Interlude” – is the response that Truce would love to give overzealous police officers and doubters alike.
He runs through the hurdles that come with writing ads at his 9-5 “just to eat” while pushing his music on the side.
The problem is, considering the evidence, one wonders if the police would even care.
Listen to “Oga Police/9-5 Interlude” here.