YG is catching heat for a song — again — but this time it’s for his 2014 song “Meet the Flockers.”
“We find this video to be highly offensive and understand it is painful for many to watch, including many in Trust & Safety and especially given the ongoing violence against the Asian community,” an executive from the Trust & Safety department reportedly said in an email.
After reviewing the track, YouTube decided removing the song would force the site to change its entire policy, leading to more widespread censorship. As a result, it decided to let “Meet the Flockers” remain on its platform.
“While we debated this decision at length amongst our policy experts, we made the difficult decision to leave the video up to enforce our policy consistently and avoid setting a precedent that may lead to us having to remove a lot of other music on YouTube,” the company explained in an email obtained by Bloomberg.
“YouTube has an open culture and employees are encouraged to share their views, even when they disagree with a decision,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ll continue this dialogue as part of our ongoing work to balance openness with protecting the YouTube community at large.”
YG formally introduced himself to mainstream hip-hop with the classic debut album My Krazy Life. The project was riddled with tales about YG’s life before rap, including felonious capers like home invasions. On “Meet the Flockers,” YG suggested Chinese-American homes were the easiest targets when explaining how to perform a robbery in the song.
“First: You find a house and scope it out/Find a Chinese neighborhood, ’cause they don’t believe in bank accounts,” YG raps in the song’s opening line.
Although there is no official video for the song, it is visualized in YG’s 2015 short film, Blame It on the Streets. In the movie, YG, the song’s featured artist TeeCee4800, and two other accomplices make it a point to rob a home in an Asian American neighborhood while the song is playing in the background.
“Meet the Flockers” has been under scrutiny and subjected to protest from the Asian American community since the album’s release in 2014. Activists in the community (and beyond) believe the song promotes violent crimes against Asian Americans.
Although this may not have been YG’s intention, the song did serve as the inspiration for a string of Los Angeles-area robberies in 2017. Now, with attacks against Asian Americans on a horrific rise, “Meet the Flockers” has once again been thrust into the spotlight.
Pulling that song from YouTube would set a dangerous precedent. The company made the right decision.