Sound of da Police

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"Sound of da Police"
Single by KRS-One
from the album Return of the Boom Bap
B-side "Hip Hop vs. Rap"
Released December 6, 1993
Format CD single
Recorded 1993
Genre Hip hop, Conscious hip hop, Protest song
Length 4:18
Producer(s) Showbiz
KRS-One singles chronology
"Outta Here"
"Sound of da Police"
"MC's Act Like They Don't Know"
Music sample

"Sound of da Police" is the second and final single from rapper KRS-One's first solo album, Return of the Boom Bap. The song begins with KRS-One whooping twice to evoke a police siren (the "sound of the police"); this recurs several times throughout the song. This song was used in the trailer for Cop Out. "Sound of da Police" was released as a CD single featuring a b-side, "Hip-Hop vs. Rap". The song is produced by Showbiz from DITC.

The lyrics refer to the police in places like Bronx, New York, which have a history of institutionalized racism, oppression and violence against the black community, and equate the modern police "officer" with a slavery-plantation's "overseer".

"Hip-Hop vs. Rap"[edit]

The b-side of "Sound of da Police" was the song "Hip Hop vs. Rap". The song contains samples of "The Bird" by Jimmy McGriff and "Ain't No Sunshine" by the Gregory James Edition. However, the song is known for KRS-One's various interpolations of songs starting halfway through the song and continuing until the end of the song. These songs, in order of appearance, are:

In other music and culture[edit]

  • Neg Dupree from Channel 4's Balls of Steel show uses the song as his entrance music, and hollers "Woop-Woop!" during the stunts although he claims that he started howling "Woop-Woop!" before the "Sound of da Police" was released to the public in 1993.
  • "Sound of da Police" was later sampled by Fatboy Slim in his song "Mad Flava" and Girl Talk in his song "Too Deep".
  • Jay-Z sampled KRS-One's vocals in his song "Takeover".
  • The b-side "Hip Hop vs. Rap" was later sampled for KRS-One's "MC's Act Like They Don't Know", The Black Eyed Peas in their song "Bend Your Back", O.C. in his song "Constables", The Alkaholiks in their song "2041", Will Smith in his song "Pump Me Up" and Kanye West in his song "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been) (DJ Premier Remix)".
  • Used in the trailer for Cop Out
  • Canadian producers Excision and Downlink used the vocal hook in their collaborative song "Blue Steel" from their Existence EP
  • Remixed by Cut Killer in a scene in the French Film La Haine with a new name "Assassin de la police"[1] by Suprême NTM.
  • Skindred used the first few lines in their song Babylon
  • Sonic Boom Six use the 'whoop whoop, that's the sound of the police' in their song 'Piggy in the Middle'
  • Sampled in "S.O.D.P." and "S.O.D.B." by Born To Funk Featuring Tyree Cooper in 2007.
  • British comedy panel game show Never Mind the Buzzcocks occasionally features a round entitled "Whoop Whoop! Dat's Da Sound Of Da Police" in which each team will be shown a clip of a band or singer and must guess how the artist got in trouble with the police.
  • Used in a scene for the movie Attack the Block
  • Rage Against The Machine have performed a cover of the song during live performances.
  • Headmaster Shaquille "Simon" Fraser sings this while he "apprehends" teacher Alfie Wickers in Bad Education
  • American hardcore/gabber DJs Delirium and Hypertech sampled the song in their track Sound of the Beast in 1996.
  • The two French mash-up DJs from Beat Torrent (DJ Pfel & DJ Atom) have made a remix of "Sound of Da Police" in the 2008 Live Set.
  • It is sampled by the Polish Raggamuffin band Jamal in their song "Policeman"
  • Used for 2014 Comedy Movie "Ride Along" Theatrical Trailer Music, featuring Ice Cube, and Kevin Hart.


  1. ^ Video on YouTube