Fifteen years ago Belizean Emcee, Shyne Po was sentenced to ten years in prison for attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment following a shooting in a Manhattan nightclub. No one was killed although three people were injured (not necessarily shot) in the incident. Shyne recently took to his Instagram account to share his peace with the situation as we are in the midst of a similar situation with Troy Ave. Hip Hop Culture being the brainchild of young people of African descent has always had an issue with police ranging from brutality, setups, shakedowns, and even deaths. The involvement of the judiciary system in our culture has ended the careers of a lot of young Rappers and has left us with unanswered questions in the murder cases involving legendary and iconic members of the culture. The slave patrol or police department still has its hand in the lives of our Rappers no matter how far they or we think they “made it.”
Meek Mill has been under a microscope dealing with court system in Philadelphia. After donating hundreds of gallons of water to Flint, Michigan and doing other community service work Meek recently learned that his probation has been extended because the community work he did was unauthorized. I’m no parole officer but as someone who does work in the community regularly a person usually gets information on what they have been assigned to do. So Meek Mill was never assigned, told, or informed on what community service he can and cannot do? The work that Meek Mill was doing in the community wasn’t a secret so his parole officer didn’t want to let him or his management know that none of what he was doing would count towards the necessary hours needed to satisfy the requirement? The police and the judiciary system have been terrorizing Rappers and those involved in the culture for decades.
Graffiti writers have definitely dealt with the harassment over the years as Graffiti is the only element with legal ramifications depending on where an artist writes. Dee Jays had to utilize street light poles to power their turntables. The judiciary system is always evolving and adapting laws that impede on the culture. If Bobby Shmurda is in jail for Rapping about a crime that he did not participate in that makes other young Rappers turn into people like Slim Jesus. That way they can say that they are just fabricating their raps to avoid legal consequences. No one was killed in the Shyne incident and Meek Mill supported the water crisis in Flint. Troy Ave may not have killed McPhatter but he died nonetheless. No matter what a young person of African descent does the system is designed to keep us from succeeding and becoming independent in every sense of the word. Ever wonder why a young Black man or woman can’t get a job; because the jobs have been moved overseas and into private prisons. We can live without them but they can’t live without us! The police and the judiciary system will continue to watch the social media accounts of those involved in Hip Hop Culture from the mainstream to the local and underground. They just can’t stop, and they won’t stop.