OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The Chinese-American community in Oakland is outraged over the lyrics of a rap song that encourage home invasion robberies in Chinese neighborhoods.
Some see it as freedom of expression, but others call it an open invitation.
The song is by the popular rapper YG aka Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson. He’s known for such hits as “Who Do You Love,” featuring Drake, and “FDT” which takes aim at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
It’s the lyrics in one of his lesser known songs, “Meet the Flockers,” that have incited protests by Chinese-Americans across the country.
First, you find a house and scope it out.
Find a Chinese neighborhood, cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.
Critics say way too many Asian families have already been robbed and burglarized. They feel the song provides a step-by-step blueprint and encourages even more criminals to target Chinese families.
Second, you find a crew and a driver, someone who ring the doorbell. And someone that ain’t scared to do what it do.
Third, you pull up at the spot. Park, watch, ring the doorbell and knock.
City leaders and Chinese-Americans protested against the song in Oakland’s Chinatown Saturday afternoon. A similar protest was planned for Philadelphia later Saturday night, where YG was performing in concert.
“Not only that people will be losing properties, but may get hurt or killed,” says community leader Carl Chan. “It’s not about you or me, it’s about us. So let’s work together”
Hot Boy Weez is a Berkeley rapper who has been convicted of robbery. He says this is about freedom of expression and songs are often a reflection of their own experience.
“If he can’t speak freely, what’s the point of rapping? You can’t use your creative side,” he insists.
Oakland Councilwoman Lynette Gibson disagrees.
“Even if you are coming up from a life of crime, you don’t want to glorify it. You want to talk about ways to eradicate it,” she says.
Community leaders want YG to apologize and remove the song. They say even though the song speaks about one specific group, it’s part of the bigger, decades-old debate of whether gangsta rap incites and glorifies violence.