Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
4/6/2004 2:03:34 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Damon Dash.
Damon Dash, longtime partner of rap icon Jay-Z, is the CEO of a Hiphop empire that includes the brands Roc-a-Fella and Roc-a-Wear, and produces music, films, clothing, and vodka. He also is a man known to travel with an entourage of family and friends, the kind of company police rap intelligence has been watching and documenting in recent years. Interviews with former detective first grade Derrick Parker, who claims to be the founder and architect of the New York Police Department's rap intelligence unit, reveal that in the 1990s Parker thought it was important to monitor people who were starting to "latch on" to rappers and entertainers, some of whom, Parker says, may have been known to him as "a shooter, or a strong-arm guy."
"To a degree you got to understand where we are from," says Dash, "and once we become famous and get in a place where we don't have to hang out where we are from, we didn't dis any of our friends [from those areas]." The entourages are shaped in part by socioeconomic realities, he says. "If you don't have enough money to take the proper precautions to where you know you're safe, you still kind of live like a criminal because you're still dog food for the wolves," says Dash in reference to rappers being preyed upon by parasitical elements. "You're the one who has more than the next, so people can come at you in that kind of way. A lot of these dudes roll with entourages because they feel safer like that."
But Dash finds the criminalization of an entire industry objectionable. "What [our friends] are doing on their own personal time shouldn't actually affect people's opinions of us as a whole and definitely shouldn't make it to the point where we are getting all kind of [police] pressure put on us."
This is from the Village Voice. The article goes on to talk about Tupac, Biggie and JMJ. Click HERE to read the entire article.
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