Newark based punk rap group Ho99o9 just released a new self-directed music video for their new single “Pigs Want Me Dead,” according to The PRP. The video was shot entirely on the widely popular video game Grand Theft Auto V, a highly controversial video game franchise that has been criticized for trivializing violence and police brutality.
After opening with a disclaimer narrated by the band that ends with “don’t watch it if you’re a fucking kid,” the song begins with an ominous narration and piano riff before exploding in a distorted fueled outcry against police brutality. The heavily distorted bass creates a chaotic ambiance that pairs perfectly with the nonsensical violence and destruction taking place within GTA. The video, while disturbing, can be interpreted as a reflection of the frustration and anger felt by so many around the country who have expressed their feelings about the treatment against African Americans in this country.
The song is not Ho99o9’s first musical critique regarding the issues of police brutality; the band released a new EP with singles “Christopher Dorner” and “Pray or Prey” last month, which raised money for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Campaign Zero, Advancement Project and the National Black Disability Coalition. The songs deal directly with issues of criminal justice black identity in America. The band also teamed up with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker to cover Bad Brains’ hit “Big Takeover,” which was a part of the Black Power Live stream that took place earlier this month.
In February, Ho99o9 played a show with Mr. Bungle, Scott Ian of Anthrax and Dave Lombardo of Slayer at the Forum in Los Angeles. This was the band’s last live appearance before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the live music world.