In the latest edition of the Village Voice, the
New York Police Department has finally admitted that there is indeed a "Hip-Hop
Task Force" that exists within the NYPD.
Until now, the NYPD consistently denied following
rappers and keeping tabs on their associates. But the founder of the unit, Derek
Parker, has gone public and is very vocal about the department’s existence.
"Miami is getting a lot of heat, with Derek
Parker coming out and there being a smoking gun," Dasun Allah told AllHipHop.com.
Allah wrote the Village Voice piece that features the admission from the NYPD.
"Parker was revealed several years ago, but now its coming to the mainstream.
"We have an intelligence division and we
have detectives that monitor the music industry and any incidents regarding
the music industry," NYPD spokesperson Officer Doris Garcia admitted. "And
in regards to Miami P.D. we did exchange information, and that’s it."
The NYPD paid more attention to the rap industry
after the 1997 murder Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace,
in Los Angeles.
"We prevented certain crimes because when
you started talking to rappers and you knew they had hits on them and you were
on to them, people wouldn’t go and shoot them or rob them if they knew
you were around," said the unit’s founder, Derek Parker. "Most of
the time, it’s not the rappers, it’s the guys in their entourages that cause
The department’s activities have become a hot
issue, so hot that Hollywood has come calling.
Interscope’s founder Ted Fields’ movie company
Radar Pictures is backing a movie titled "Hip-Hop Cops," which is
about the inner-workings of the NYPD department.
Those involved in the rap business are taking
the notion of being monitored and scrutinized without just cause seriously.
"A very dangerous precedent has been set,"
said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, CEO of the non-profit Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
(HSAN), founded by mogul Russell Simmons. "It needs to be exposed, and
we’re going to take legal action against these police departments for violating
the constitutional rights of hip-hop artists."
"Its a matter of keeping heat under the
pot," Allah concluded. "People have consistently stayed on it. We
have to be consistent. In the words of Sonny Carson ‘We have to consistent,
persistent and resistent. That’s CPR.’"