“Why Madoff can take off with billions, but children of the ghetto in several cases get casings of metal?” the raspy-voiced Chicago MC Tree asks in the middle of the soulful boom-bap of “Police Mon.” While the names might be new, or newer, the question and the idea it gets at aren’t. In 1968, the President Johnson appointed Kerner Commission found: “Our nation is moving towards two societies: one white, one black — separate and unequal.” And damn if it still doesn’t feel that way. Tree gets at that in “Police Mon” when he pits his white friends feelings with his actual reality. He could end up six feet under if he steps six inches the wrong while interacting with a police officer. Or he could end up in a debtors’ prison, which wreaks its own sort of havoc. “I am no threat,” Tree spits near the song’s end. Of the litany of grievances he airs, that might just be the realest. There’s nothing he’s done to deserve this.
Tree also shared a note regarding the track which is well worth reading:
“this song is a real conversation starter. after working with tye hill in the studio for a few sessions of freestyling and punch recording, i began to get back to the old tree. the one who had something to say that was relevant to us all. in that session i came up with this hook that was both socially conscious and an obvious understatement. with all thats going on with our urban communities involving the police, i thought it be only right to say how i feel. and more than that i began to have debates days before with my white friends about their take on the issue of constant killings of young black men by police officers in america and the world. truth is i do have white friends and counterparts that i both adore and value and i’m positive that the feeling is mutual. what i found in conversation with these white friends is yea they definitely think somethings wrong or not right and somehow unfair, they just dont know how to help or be effective.. some even ask what can i do, what can i say?? who can i talk too.. at that moment were both often presented with an uneasy silence because i dont have the answer either. but what i can and often do tell them is say something!! denounce it on your social media’s and have these discussions with other like minded civil people who will do the same. so in conclusion of these experiences i was compelled to put it in song thus titled “policemon”… in this song i ask the question as we all should meaning people of color.. how do my white friends feel about the fact that im a target here in america. who do my white friends feel about the fact that after i leave a bar or restaurant with you guys how its a real fear and possibilty that i can be pulled over and shot on the side of any street in america for all the wrong reasons and the recoil and consequence in whatever measure is unwarranted unjust and 99% of the time unrectified or dealt with by the police and justice department as well as congress… i also go into detail about how i know people and have been at a time or two on the other side of the law, but in a world of limited avenues and opportunities for some there is still no reason to kill shoot or maim an individual because of their surroundings and condition. if a cop chases you and you run , that doesn’t give them the right to play god in the ghetto! executioner and judge of the projects is a crime . so with that here is my song… i hope you all start healthy dialogue and speak out because the community is at risk and we cant do it by marching and looting. are white friends have to speak out!!”