The NYPD’s “Hip-Hop Squad” has a number of rappers and stars — including Drake, Chris Brown and French Montana — on a special watch list and is stepping up surveillance on their New York parties in the wake of the Suge Knight shooting in LA, the Post we’re told.
The shadowy specialist unit, known locally as the “Hip-Hop Police,” keeps a list of rappers and hip-hop stars whose shows and night club appearances are closely monitored. It also includes Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, Fat Joe, Jim Jones and Lil Wayne.
A source told them: “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 and in case any trouble starts.” The insider added, “They don’t want any situations like the Suge Knight shooting. If something does go down, they want to already be on the scene.”
Another source tells them the hip-hop cops are well-known in the urban music industry, and “if there is a show going on, they are there. Their job is to investigate crimes and curtail violence in the hip-hop industry. So when they find out there is a beef between rappers, they monitor it. They are plainclothes cops, they go to clubs and shows. They were at J.Lo’s show in The Bronx because French Montana and Fat Joe were coming.”
The source added that the hip-hop cops are welcomed by most in the business: “Let’s say there is a show… and they know there’s a beef going on that could escalate to a fight or shooting. The police may say they need to change set times and they don’t want two artists like French Montana and Jim Jones to perform too close together. Then they’ll go and watch. They’ll go backstage.”
Their spy elaborated, “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 other part of it is, there’s a lot of really street-leaning gangster guys on the fringes of the industry… The police task force keeps tabs on who is around certain rappers and what movements they are going through.”