Norway police release 'Gangsta’s Paradise' parody in protest at reforms

The Local Norway
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Norway police release 'Gangsta’s Paradise' parody in protest at reforms
File photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix

A quirky music video made by Norwegian police to protest against unpopular government reforms has been released, featuring edgy shower scenes and language-bending satire.


The makers of the video, Jonathan al-Saqqa and Keyvan Rad, told broadcaster NRK that they did not expect the type of video they ended up producing when asked to participate.

“There has been at lot more censorship on our part than that of the police," al-Saqqa told NRK.

Police wished to express their frustration over government reforms reducing the number of police stations and districts.

But the police department in Skien chose an unusual method to bring their dissatisfaction with the reforms into the public domain.

The video, which is based on gangster rapper Coolio’s 1995 hit Gangsta’s Paradise, includes police reform documents being buried in a coffin and naked shower scenes, with police singing that the job is “taking them from behind”.

"There were even edgier scenes that we had to cut because it all became a bit much," al-Saqqa told NRK.

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The video, which is called “Close Police Reform” (a direct translation of the phrase nærpoliti-reform, by which the reforms are known), mixes the original lyrics from Coolio’s hit with Norwegian police jargon, deliberately nonsensical translations and reworked rhymes.

“Keep spending most of my life working in the Gangsta’s Paradise//They've been spending most of their lives watching TV and Hotel Paradise,” rap police officers, referring to a popular Norwegian reality TV show.

“It’s a kooky look at something that concerns us in the police – the reform, with relocation of services and people. And we want to visualise a few aspects of the reform with humour and a twinkle in our eyes,” Commanding Officer Stefan Moldvær, who had the idea for the video, told NRK.

Police made the video in their spare time.

“We want to point out that we can cope with change and that we are trying to create enthusiasm and positive feelings. We can laugh at ourselves, joke and have fun. I think it is good for people to see another side of the police,” Moldvær said.

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The video’s young producers said they came in for a few surprises during the making of the video.

“We’ve seen the police in a different context and it makes them seem a bit less dangerous. They’re here to help people and prevent trouble after all,” Rad told NRK.

Police district chief Kristine Fossen of the Sør-Øst district told NRK that she saw no problem with police expressing their concerns over reforms in a humorous manner.

“We as a police district and police employees face a quite demanding reform, so we must accept that some of our staff choose to take a humorous approach to it,” she said.

The video currently has over 30,000 views on YouTube since being published there Saturday and 140,000 views on NRK’s Facebook page. 


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