Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Friday, April 20, 2007

Street Code and Rapper Cam'ron

The folks at FYBY and Street Soldiers are always talking about the destructive code of the street. Here's an example in today's NY Daily News where a rapper articulates a part of the code of the street, "Don't snitch." These are the folks our kids look up to. As I've said before, we have to seperate the rap form and expression of rap music from negative role modeling and image projection that negatively impact young people.
Harlem-raised rapper Cam'ron says in an upcoming TV interview that he would never cooperate with cops - even if he knew his neighbor was a serial killer.

The 31-year-old millionaire entertainer, founder of his own record label, says helping the police solve crimes goes against his "code of ethics" and is bad for business.

"If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me? I wouldn't call and tell anybody on him. But I'd probably move," Cam'ron, whose real name is Cameron Giles, tells CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

"I'm not going to call and be like, 'The serial killer's in 4E,'" the rapper tells correspondent Anderson Cooper.

Cam'ron has practiced what he preaches. He refused to cooperate with Washington cops in 2005 when he was shot in an attempted carjacking of his Lamborghini.

He maintains a wall of silence with the cops even though he has lost friends to gun violence, including famed Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G.

"It would definitely hurt my business, and the way I was raised, I just don't do that," the platinum-selling artist tells Cooper.

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children's Zone, says on the program that rappers like Cam'ron care more about their "street credibility" than the safety of their streets.

"It's one of those things that sell music and no one really quite understands why," Canada says.

"It is now a cultural norm that is being preached in poor communities...It's like we're saying to the criminals, 'You can have our community...Do anything you want and we will either deal with it ourselves or we'll simply ignore it.'"

New York police have accused other rappers of stonewalling investigations of violent cases.

Busta Rhymes has refused to cooperate with police probing the slaying of his bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, who was shot dead in February 2006 outside a Brooklyn recording studio.

1 comment:

  1. you know, i still run into this issue with individuals who have embraced a change but struggle with the deep roots of this code that they grew up with. I wonder how much more of a hold this 'code' has on their willingness to tell the truth than we are aware.