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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
3/11/2004 5:14:16 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Nas and DMX.

POLICE in Miami have revealed they keep a six-inch thick dossier of information on superstar rappers like 50 Cent as a spying aid to snuff out potentially violent clashes.

In a stunning Miami Herald report, officers claim keeping tabs on the likes of 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Nas and DMX helps protect the rappers as much as the general public.

Most of the rappers are tracked from the moment they arrive at the airport, the paper says.

All of them either live in the South Florida haven or frequently visit for parties or work.

The binder is kept by Miami and Miami Beach officers and features reams of information on a number of rappers, including any past arrest records.

Bitter feuds between rival artists such as 50 Cent and Ja Rule - who bookend the list of names in the dossier - have produced a vicious cycle of violence in the rap world.

50 Cent is arguably as famous for being shot nine times in one such stand-off as he is for musical gems like In Da Club and P.I.M.P.

"We have to keep an eye on these rivalries," Assistant Miami Beach Police Chief Charles Press told the newspaper.

"The last thing we need in this city is violence."

Not surprisingly, the billion-dollar hip-hop industry has taken exception to the intelligence gathering, claiming it stereotypes their stars and culture as a gangland rife with criminal activity.

Some claim the police have used the slayings of major stars like Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G. and Run DMC's Jam Master Jay to justify their tactics, while others have labelled it more bluntly as "racial stereotyping".

But local police believe most rap artists, if not all, belong to some sort of gang and by tracking them, their past records and those of any associates, they are simply doing their job and protecting the peace.

"What would law enforcement be if we closed our eyes?" Chief Press told the paper.

The binder was handed out by the New York Police Department at a "hip-hop training day" in May last year, an event also attended by police from Los Angeles, Atlanta and other major US state capitals.

Other lessons taught included teaching officers to look for clues to potential rapper rifts in their lyrics.

Even that training, though, has brought the ire of rap followers.

Papa Keith, a DJ on Miami radio's 103.5 Tha Beat, said: "If they're (police) saying they're trying to learn about hip-hop, then hire more brothers and put them in the ranks and let them help you in that respect.

"Why do you need to send a bunch of cops to New York?"

Miami police records reveal that only 26 of the force's 226 serving officers are black, and only one of 97 supervisory officers in the Miami Beach force is black.

Find out more about 50 Cent. Other items you may find on 50 Cent include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...

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Find out more about Jay-Z. Other items you may find on Jay-Z include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...

Find out more about Nas. Other items you may find on Nas include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...

Find out more about DMX. Other items you may find on DMX include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...

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