5 days later I have returned with my follow up to the Papoose post. Hit the jump for the rest of the post.
It seems every few years hip-hop has these novelty topics that consume the attention of fans, media, and artists. These topics are dissected, researched, and at times overanalyzed. The last couple years it has been the Illuminati, “who has sold their sold to the devil?”
Before that it was the “death of hip-hop”/Hip-Hop Police/Stop Snitchin.
I’d like to focus on the “Hip-Hop Police,” the special task force of police officers, federal agents, and other law enforcement officers who target rappers for alleged criminal activity.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a documentary on Netflix entitled, Rap Sheet: Hip-Hop and the Cops. The film was released in 2007 at a time when this topic was being discussed everywhere. Over a period of three years, director Don Sikorski interviewed rappers, label execs, former FBI agents and NYPD officers, and attorneys, to get their opinions on the subject. He was sent a 500 page dossier used by the NYPD with information (SSI numbers, vehicles, aliases, etc.) regarding big names in hip-hop like Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Nas.
From what I deduced in the documentary, in the eyes of rappers, moguls, and people in the industry the hip-hop police are unfairly targeting rappers. Russell Simmons brought up the point that the “poets” are being targeted for their poetry. In some ways I agree with him on that notion since the majority of rappers are merely telling tales. On the other side of the fence, if you’re the police or someone who doesn’t understand the music and you hear rapper talking about “moving keys” and “murking n*gg!s” that gives them some incentive to at least investigate. It’s not difficult to see why rappers are being targeted.
In summation, I feel that everybody should take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others. If you’re a rapper making millions, there is no need to propagate and actually live a lifestyle that isn’t necessary for survival anymore. If you’re not about that life then don’t rap about it!
Also check out Smoke DZA spitting a short freestyle on the documentary, around the 17 minute mark.
Related Reading: NYPD’s Secret Hip-Hop Dossier [The Smoking Gun]
Note: The time periods of these “novelty topics” are by my estimation, so if you feel like they should be or are actually are different just let me know.