New York Hip-Hop artists better be a lot more careful with what music videos and songs they release these days because new reports say local authorities have decided to try a new strategy for taking down gang-related rappers.
According to reports, detectives in New York have decided to closely examining and use rappers’ music videos and songs as tools to take them to jail.
In December, for instance, investigators said that a case against 11 gang members had been aided by a music video, produced by a minor group called Dub Gang Money. The video, according to a police lieutenant, Peter Carretta, provided evidence that those arrested were part of an established gang and associated with one another. The Police Department’s interest in music videos coincides with a broad shift in patrol strategy: as the department de-emphasizes stop-and-frisk tactics, it has assigned scores of street officers to patiently pursue longer-term investigations against neighborhood gangs, particularly the youth gangs known as crews or sets. (New York Times)
This new strategy the New York police have decided to implement is apparently saving them time and helping them speed up the criminal cases.
The risk that the police might be listening is something of a professional hazard to the rappers. “It’s a double-edged sword,” said Patrice Allen, 35, who currently manages Mr. Nelson and another A.T.C. member, K-Dot, whose name is Karon Stanley. Both are under felony indictment in a Brooklyn gang case. “If you have that much passion and love for the music, I guess you have to deal with it. That’s just what comes with the music. It’s the bitter and the sweet, you know?” It once could take months or years to translate the raw tales of street life from demo tapes to record deals, airtime and music videos. But rappers are now releasing lyrics and videos directly to YouTube, giving local talent — and local beefs between gangs — much wider audiences. (New York Times)