When researching the meaning of 12 in rap, it was surprising that this slang is widespread, especially in urban communities. The term originates from the “10-12” police code, which means to standby or stay. What does it mean?
12 is slang for cops, police, or officers. It might be used in a secretive or berating manner. You might hear some of your friends say it this way:
“The 12 were on the scene late as usual.”
“The 12 are usually getting into trouble with the media.”
You will often hear rappers cursing out the 12 because of their distrust, hate, and affinity towards violence.