As a teenager in the late 1980s, James Dewitt “J Dilla” Yancey worked as a junior police cadet for the Detroit Police Department. Several years later however, after suffering through one too many many incidents of police harassment and racial profiling as young adult, his opinion of the police would change as he would record “Fuck the Police” in 2001.
In an interview years later, his mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, gave further detail on Dilla’s reason and motivation for the song: “That song was totally true. He caught so much flack from the police for being a clean young man. The police department was down the street from where we lived, and every time he pulled off they’d stop him and harass him. They even tossed the car once looking for something; because he was young and clean-cut, they thought he was selling drugs. [D12 rapper] Proof was at the house one evening when James had another run-in with them. He had only gone to the gas station which was three doors away. I told him not to get upset because he was hurt to tears. He was so angry and just tired of being harassed, so I told him, ‘Look, this is what you do: you go downstairs and make a song about it, and you laugh in their face.’ And that’s when he came up with the 'F the Police’ thing. And people are still singing it today! Every time I go somewhere, that’s one of the songs they play.” [+]