Marco Rubio’s recent controversies with law enforcement — including demeaning ICE officer Chris Crane and suggesting America’s cops are racist — could draw new attention to earlier comments from Senator Rubio about his musical tastes.
As part of an apparent effort to emphasize his “new century” and “generational” appeal, Sen. Marco Rubio has repeatedly discussed his love of rap music. In a 2012 GQ interview, Rubio spoke specifically about how he enjoys the work of N.W.A. — the rappers behind the “F*** tha Police” anthem. Last year, Rubio also tweeted about his eagerness to see a biopic about the group, declaring, the “trailer looks amazing.”
Rubio’s enthusiasm for seeing the film prompted Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke — who has been critical of Rubio’s “anecdotal claims of police racism” that echo the false narrative of progressives — to tell Breitbart News that Sen. Rubio ought to “call Obama and they can go see it together.”
In recent weeks, Sen. Rubio’s divide with American law enforcement has come into national focus, as Rubio has appeared on national television and implicitly denounced the integrity of America’s law enforcement officers.
Earlier this month in a town hall in South Carolina, Rubio suggested that there is systemic racism amongst America’s police force. “I happen to have seen this happen,” Rubio said of law enforcement targeting minorities. Rubio said that when a young black male is repeatedly targeted by American police officers “for no reason… what is he supposed to think?” Rubio’s comments prompted Sheriff David Clarke to write: “I must say that Rubio’s anecdotal claims of police racism sound more like something Democrats are falsely claiming.”
Last year, Sen. Rubio seemed to lend his personal support to the rhetoric of the anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement, suggesting that the issue the controversial protesters are fighting is “legitimate” and that the growing “resentment” of law enforcement was understandable. Rubio’s comments prompted Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson to reach out via Twitter to Sen. Rubio and request a meeting.
In recent weeks, Rubio has also attacked the integrity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council President Chris Crane — an American war veteran and ICE officer of 13 years. Rubio’s implicit denunciations of Crane came after Crane detailed Rubio’s history of treating law enforcement “like absolute trash.”
“He’s not an ICE official, he’s head of a union,” Rubio said, before implying that the U.S. Marine war veteran was pushing “conspiracy theories” about Rubio’s involvement in the Gang of Eight immigration bill.
In a separate television appearance last week, Rubio falsely told Fox News viewers that Crane’s criticisms about Rubio’s Gang of Eight bill pertained to “more kind of labor union stuff,” when, in fact, Crane was concerned about how Rubio’s bill would grant amnesty to dangerous criminal aliens and would negatively impact the safety of Americans.
In a 2012 GQ interview, Rubio praised the work of N.W.A., Tupac, and Eminem. Rubio told GQ that his favorite rap songs are “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A., “Killuminati” by Tupac, and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”
During the interview, Rubio praised the “depth” of Eminem (“The only guy that speaks at any sort of depth is, in my mind, Eminem”) as well as the “poetry” of Tupac (Rubio said of Miami rapper Pitbull, “There’s no message for him, compared to like an Eminem… I mean, he’s not Tupac. He’s not gonna be writing poetry.”).
N.W.A. are the rappers behind the “F*** tha Police” anthem — which is featured on their album Straight Outta Compton. Some of the lyrics of that song include:
Beat a police out of shape
and when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter […]
Ice Cube will swarm
on ANY motherfucker in a blue uniform…
A young nigga on the warpath
And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
of cops, dying in L.A.
Yo Dre, I got something to say
‘Fuck the police’ […]
with a fake-assed badge and a gun in your hand
But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
And we’ll go at it punk, and I’ma fuck you up! […]
“I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
Taking out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me […]”
So I’ma turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
[BOOM, BOOM] Yeah, something like that
but it all depends on the size of the gat
Taking out a police, would make my day…
Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
A sucker in a uniform waiting to get shot
by me, or another nigga
And with a gat it don’t matter if he’s smaller or bigger
In the case of N.W.A. vs. the Police Department…
The jury has found you [i.e. the police] guilty of being a redneck,
white bread, chickenshit motherfucker
Last year, Sen. Rubio tweeted about his excitement to see the 2015 biopic about N.W.A. similarly titled, Straight Outta Compton:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 21, 2015
Anyone know a good theatre in Manchester or Des Moines to catch #StraightOuttaCompton? Trailer looks amazing.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 21, 2015
In 2013, Rubio likened the work of rappers to that of investigative reporters. As Rubio told Buzzfeed:
You know in some ways rappers like reporters — especially in that era in the nineties. People kind of picked up on it the wrong way. They thought that these were folks that were condoning a certain lifestyle– maybe there’s some that in there– but mostly they were reporters and in particular at that time from the West Coast it was a lot of reporting about what life was like in South Central and in the L.A. area. They were reporting what life was like, and that’s really what you found in hip-hop… back then… So the nineties, which is when this was really taking off, was a time when this is really pronounced. In L.A., you had a real gang wars, you had racial tension coming off the Rodney King stuff in the nearly nineties. And they were reporting on that. As much as anything else, the music was a reflection of what was going on at the time back then.
“If he’s trying to prove he’s a hipster, I am not impressed,” Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke said of Rubio’s desire to see Straight Outta Compton. “He should call Obama and they can go see it together.”
Clarke continued, “If he [Sen. Rubio] has downtime, my recommendation would be for him to stay in his room and watch the DVD American Sniper or No Easy Day and learn of the bravery of men who really matter, not gangsters.”