042314 NY Rappers

Eight local rappers have filed joint lawsuits in Manhattan Federal Court against the city and 17 cops for claims that the NYPD has violated their rights to sell their music with a slew of phony arrests.

“They don’t want us making money out here,” says rapper Andre Jackson. “I’ve been arrested over 30 times.”

NYPD confirms this number.

But authorities say the rappers aggressively shove their CDs at pedestrians, block the sidewalk, and follow potential customers down the street, resulting in charges for disorderly conduct and aggressive begging.

The rappers claim they obey the rules, including one where they’re required to stand next to tables to sell their CDs. But they’re simply treated differently than the other vendors because no one else is getting arrested.

“I want it to stop,” Jackson says. “They never arrest the spray-paint guys. They never arrest the guys who draw pictures of people. That’s considered art? My music should be considered art, too.”

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  • Anthony

    Where I live has issues too, but you can keep NYC!

  • vintage3000

    1) I didn’t know people still buy CDs. I get they are trying to make a name for themselves, but are they really making money like this? It’s messed up if the quiet, Asian caricature artists are making more money than them-lol

    2) If someone has been arrested say, 10 times–why wouldn’t they stop doing what they are doing before the next 20 times? I have seen rappers ‘aggressively begging’ in midtown–Even if i liked rap music no way I would stop and buy anything from them.

    • Anthony

      I can see someone getting arrested multiple times if they feel it is a matter of principle.

    • vintage3000

      I guess I just don’t understand the mentality of being ok with a two page rap sheet because I want to sell rap CDs. Marching against brutality, injustice, yes–every other young Black male in Brooklyn wants to be a rapper but this isn’t the 1980’s. Hip hop is everywhere now, they need to find new ways of marketing their “art” other than shouting like carnival barkers in midtown Manhattan.