John Maus - Cop Killer

05 Jun
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When Body Count released the song Cop Killer in 1992, it was considered so inflammatory that Charlton Heston and vice president Dan Quayle joined forces in a hysterical but ultimately successful campaign to have it banned. John Maus's song of the same name, issued earlier this year, has yet to generate a similar level of controversy; probably because Maus is a cultish synthpop crooner who's replaced the incendiary rap-metal onslaught of the original with a maudlin electronic ballad that nobody is likely to interpret as incitement to murder a policeman. Yet Maus's eerie take on Cop Killer carries just as much subversive intent. "I've always wanted to do something with that lyric," says the excitable Minnesotan, words gushing out of him in an enthusiastic torrent. "Cop Killer is the perfect way of putting over the idea that any worthwhile political or artistic agenda should be seeking an undoing of the situation as it stands. Whether the status quo is a political state or a musical language, the idea should be to kill or overthrow that. The song's not about killing a human being, but about overcoming inhumanity; destroying the machinery that turns us toward an end other than ourselves."

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