Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Part II” is considered a hip-hop classic to many, but those that follow the political landscape may take notice of the songs meaning. MSNBC’s Ari Melber hosts The Beat and according to Genius, uses hip-hop lyrics in his segments to help explain political concepts in a way that could be understood. So on Friday (March 2), Melber used the lyrics to “Shook Ones” to explain that President Donald Trump’s aides are actually using and abusing executive privilege:  this same abuse of privilege led to President Richard Nixon’s downfall and eventual impeachment.

Visit for more information

Transcribed from Genius:

“[Nixon’s impeachment case is] worth bearing in mind as the Trump White House now stonewalls investigators, but insist it’s not really invoking executive privilege, or it’s trying some kind of modified halfway executive privilege.”


Here is the quote that used the “Shook Ones” lyrics rapped by Havoc of Mobb Deep. Of course, Melber used the song’s most quotable phrase “halfway crooks.”

“But there’s no such thing as halfway privilege, just as there’s no such thing as halfway crooks. We know that truth from the great poet Havoc of Mobb Deep who observed that true criminal minds are always thirsty for recognition, but you don’t see longevity from halfway crooks, ‘cause they always end up shook. And that’s the big problem facing any White House pursuing a cover up with halfway privilege.”

“Shook Ones” chorus alluded to those who attempt to be about it, but in reality, are just shook.

Son, they shook
‘Cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks
Scared to death, scared to look, they shook
‘Cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks
Scared to death, scared to look

Melber is alluding that Trump and his aids are just halfway crooks. Because in the end, they won’t be able to survive because they really aren’t about that life. With the death of one half of Mobb Deep Prodigy this past summer, it’s great to see that the group’s signature song is still remembered.