Hip-Hop Cops: Not just the name of an ill-fated movie franchise. The NYPD apparently has a specialty unit assigned to the rap stars and hip-hop artists that it deems particularly likely to be involved in a violent incident.
The elite, “shadowy specialist unit,” which has existed for some time, has stepped up efforts to monitor Drake, Chris Brown, and other stars in the wake of last weekend’s Suge Knight shooting, the New York Post reports. According to an unnamed source, “All New York club owners are required to inform the Hip-Hop Police in advance if anyone on the watch list is coming in. They want to be there to monitor the crowd in case any trouble starts.”
The Hip-Hop Police are plainclothes officers whose job is to go to a ton of rap concerts and attempt to curtail violent activity there. Though their vigilance may have stepped up in recent months, the squad has been around for quite some time. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported on the NYPD’s attempts to build cases on gang-related shootings by scrutinizing rap videos by up-and-coming artists.
While there’s an element of racial profiling going on there—we’re willing to bet that there won’t be anyone in the unit assigned to an Iggy Azalea concert—the Post‘s source says that most hip-hop artists are in favor of the secret squad. “It’s better to have them on hand. They’re not there to bother any of these artists, but make sure things run like they’re supposed to run,” the insider said.