(AllHipHop News) When Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old teen from East New York, was murdered in 1989, the death nearly tore Brooklyn apart, igniting racial tensions between the African American and Italian American community that still exists today.
No one could have suspected, that one of the persons involved with his race-based killing has been hiding in plain sight — not in politics, education, or in the police force but in Hip-Hop.
According to a new HBO documentary called Storm Over Brooklyn, Pasquale Raucci aka Paddy Duke, Hot 97’s Commercial Production Director, allegedly was with the wicked perpetrators who killed young, Hawkins.
On August 23, 1989, Hawkins and three friends, Luther Sylvester, Troy Banner, and Claude Stanford, went to Bensonhurst to check out a car that one of them was interested in purchasing $900.
The young white teens, a mob of over 10 people, attacked the quartet believing that one of these Black boys had been dating a neighborhood girl, a storyline used in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever as an Easter egged tribute to this horribly bigoted sociology.
As they surrounded the boys with baseball bats and vile racial hate, the boys anticipated getting jumped.
No one expected that Hawkins would be shot two times in his chest and once in the heart on Bay Ridge and 20th Avenues on that Wednesday night 31 years ago.
According to the New York Daily News, the police detained ten young Italian men who were being accused of the crimes against Hawkins, naming Keith Mondello as the instigator and Joey Fama as the shooter. The pistol that was used is now gone.
One of the boys, who was arraigned in the state supreme court with Mondello, is Paddy Duke. The Daily News printed a picture in 1990, with his face.
The documentary sheds light on the crime, but also shows how Paddy Duke, who was able to reinvent himself and create a career at a radio station that many consider just as influential in the proliferation of Hip-Hop as the major artists that they play on air.
How did he build a career on the coattails of people that years earlier he was invested in abusing?
Raucci was a producer and on-air DJ for the Angie Martinez show from December 1994 to January 2003. From 2003 until now, he served as the Commercial Production Director at Hot 97.
Lead personality Ebro spoke about the documentary, earlier in the summer but did not mention Paddy Dukes’ connection. Perhaps, he did not make the connection.
Ironically, fans have called on Hot 97 to not only speak about Yusef Hawkins’ murder but also comment on their employee — pushing for him to make a statement.
Please revisit the Hot 97/Paddy Duke conversation.
— Ya Boy (@yaboybill) August 21, 2020
Hot 97 did respond. He no longer works there.
“After watching HBO’s Storm over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action. Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97. The march for social justice continues,” the station said via Twitter.