Artist: Book ReviewTitle: Notorious C.O.P. (Book)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Sidik Fofana
When the NYPD decides that it’s going place heavy surveillance on a culture of black musicians, to say that an explanation is warranted is a ripe understatement. With the almighty dollar as a wonderful lubricant, retired NYPD detective Derrick Parker teams up with journalist Matt Diehl to shed apparency on what would otherwise be a riot inspiring case of racial profiling. Notorious C.O.P. (St. Martin’s Press) is centered around the Miami Herald’s discovery of a NYPD dossier which detailed the criminal activity of numerous rappers and their affiliates within the Hip-Hop industry.
Notorious C.O.P. makes its readers petrifyingly aware that New York is a city which in some ways is still governed by crime. It is a city where many law offenders not only commit multiple crimes, but they also use the knowledge of their criminal surroundings as currency to lessen their own sentences. Derrick Parker gives shocking reflections of a city with a rotting skeleton of criminal behavior occurring at the most prestigious midtown bars and at the most humble Washington Heights villas alike.
It is clear from the chapter “White Lines” that Hip-Hop crime has been a horrible mutant of the music’s incestuous relationship with the drug world. In fact, for most of the rappers profiled in the book, crack was the initial investment that subsidized their career. Derrick Parker explains that laundering money into the rap industry is not uncommon, just like the whole druglord turned record executive phenomenon. Yet, Parker maintains that his book is not another work demonizing the rap community and also goes as far as to portray rappers themselves as victims of crime. Still, it is difficult to ignore that Hip-Hop has become violently siamesed with crime, leading to some of the most severe martyrdoms of our time, allegedly.
Notorious C.O.P. is an intriguing book for the grown-up Hardy Boy type crowd who love holding the magnifying glass over both solved and unsolved cases. For Hip-Hop heads, it might be hard to swallow because Parker tends to disturb the sanctity of the dead. For one, he claims it was Biggie himself who ordered Tupac’s 1994 shooting, and he also claims that Jam Master Jay was involved in a drug deal gone awry before his death. Notorious C.O.P. is a great story of what’s really going on in the industry from a cop’s viewpoint, but even the NYPD itself will tell you: examine the motive.