Photo credits: David Corio
At the opening of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s new Manhattan headquarters, President George H.W. Bush criticized rap musicians who “glorify” the murder of law enforcement agents, calling such comments “sick.”
On June 29, 1992, Bush gave a statement in response to the notorious LA riots, which broke out when many corrupt LAPD officers who had been seen on camera beating an unarmed black man named Rodney King were found not guilty. After listing the successes of his administration in the fight against drugs, Bush criticized rapper Ice-T and record label Time Warner for the song “Cop Killer,” which some have claimed encourages young people to murder police officers.
“I also stand against those who use films or records or television or video games to glorify killing law enforcement officers. It is sick. I don’t care how noble the name of the company is, it is wrong for any company to issue records that approve of killing law enforcement officers,” President Bush said according to United Press International.
The song “Cop Killer” is a cut from Ice-T’s album titled Body Count, a project he did with his heavy metal band of the same name. At the time, Ice-T’s music was distributed through Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Records Division. However, eventually, political pressure got Ice-T removed from Time Warner, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“The decision to end this seven-year relationship was a difficult one for all concerned, but in the final analysis, we believe that this was the best way to resolve our creative differences,” said Mo Ostin in a statement. Ostin was the former chairman of Warner Brothers Records.
Regardless of that one loss Ice-T experienced against the powers that be, the rapper/actor went on to have a long and successful career, which is still ongoing.
“Also, the government caused a lot of the problems by vilifying me and letting the people take off on me. When the president is yelling your name on TV, it’s crazy,” he said in a 2017 interview, Yahoo Music reported.