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History of the ‘Cops’ Theme Song: 25 Years of ‘Bad Boys’

“Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”

For 25 years now, that familiar refrain has introduced every episode of the popular police documentary series, “Cops.” But what’s the story behind the song that so many Americans can sing along to?

“Bad Boys” actually pre-dates “Cops.” The Jamaican reggae group Inner Circle released the track on the 1987 album “One Way.” Two years later, the band re-recorded it for the album “Identified.” That same year, “Cops” took the tune as the theme song for the show.

“Someone on the set was familiar with the group and the song. The producers at Langley Productions heard it and the rest is pop history,” the group once said.

Inner Circle has existed since 1968. After the death of lead singer Jacob Miller in 1980, the surviving members disbanded but reformed in 1986. Group co-founders, brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, along with Bernard “Touter” Harvey, Calton Coffie, and Lancelot Hall created “One Way.”

The exposure from “Cops” helped propel “Bad Boys” to No. 8 on the American music charts and go gold. Inner Circle then re-released an album under that same name, which ended up winning the Grammy for Best Reggae Album by Duo or Group in 1993.

Two years later, the song was used in the movie “Bad Boys” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence (as well as in the sequel). A ringtone based on tune was on the Billboard Hot Ringtones chart for over 110 weeks.

Inner Circle Proflie

Inner Circle is a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1968 by the brothers Ian and Roger Lewis in Jamaica. With Jacob Miller as their frontman and lead singer the band was one of the most popular in Jamaica during the 70′s, and one of few reggae bands that performed live. They are responsible for the 1987 song “Bad Boys,” which serves as the theme song for Fox Network’s long-running television program COPS. However, at first they covered soul and R&B hits from the United States, and then also a few reggae songs, predominantly from Bob Marley. Read more


Jamaican bred reggae legends Inner Circle and Ken Boothe have teamed up to re-create the classic song “Broken Wings”. With long standing careers in the business, both Inner Circle and Boothe have stayed true to the roots of reggae music and to this day both entertain the masses.

Ken Boothe has been dubbed the soulful singer of the “Rock Steady Era” of the 1970′s when Reggae music was becoming International. In 1966, Boothe was signed to the iconic Studio One label by Clement Dodd. Boothe reached UK success with songs like “Crying Over You” which reached #11 on the UK charts and #1 single “Everything I Own”. In 2003, Boothe was awarded the Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaican music by the Jamaican government. His latest album, ‘Love is the Ultimate’, was released in 2010 and touches on concepts of social, philosophical, and emotional love. Ken continues to travel the world promoting peace, love, and justice, for all humanity. Read more

Skateboard Legend John Cardiel aka DJ Juan Love Hosts Dub Rockers Mixtape Vol. 1

The mixtape is an extension of Dub Rockers Volume 1 (Aug 28, VP Records), a groundbreaking album merging Jamaican artists with U.S. and Europe-based reggae acts including Bad Brains & Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Slightly Stoopid, Inner Circle & Capleton, John Brown’s Body & Peetah Morgan, Rebelution & I-Wayne and more.

Professional skater John Cardiel aka DJ Juan Love has a unique connection with reggae music. In 2003, he was involved in a car accident and told he may never walk again. He began DJing and immersing himself in the genre’s deep catalog and rich history. The music became an essential vehicle during his road to recovery. Today, he is a brand ambassador for Vans, judging skate contests and DJing events around the globe. Vans suggested that it would only be a natural fit to have DJ Juan Love produce the mixtape. As he puts it “while ups and downs come and go, the Dub Rockers label always brings that positive flow.”

Hollywood directs Goodyear studio project in Jamaica

The government has yet again announced plans to use the old Goodyear factory in Morant Bay, St Thomas, with industry, investment and commerce minister Anthony Hylton telling parliament that it could become the site for a film lot. Hylton said a Hollywood studio has agreed to provide oversight for the construction of the film lot, which he said would have multiple stages, outputting at Hollywood standards.

According to the minister, Real Vibez, the Hollywood group is also in discussions with a leading music and film production school in the United States to build a campus at the 24-acre Goodyear property. Hylton also said a deal to produce five films has been signed with Steven Paul producer of the films Ghost Rider and Baby Geniuses.