NYPD Commissioner Blames Rap Music For Irving Plaza Shooting

Last night, during a T.I. show at New York’s Irving Plaza, three people were wounded and one was killed in a shooting. One of those wounded was the New York rapper Troy Ave. This is a huge news story, of course, and it appears that the New York Police Department has not wasted any time in making rap music the scapegoat for the killing. This morning, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton gave a phone-in interview on the New York news station WCBS, and he explicitly blamed the shooting on the culture surrounding rap music, as HipHop-N-More points out:

The crazy world of the so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that are basically celebrating the violence that they’ve lived all their lives — unfortunately, that violence oftentimes manifests itself during their performances, and that’s exactly what happened last evening…

This world has not reformed. It’s unfortunate, the backgrounds that a lot of these young people that are significant artists in that world, if you will… they continue hanging out with the same people they hung out with when they came out of that world of desperation, poverty, and crime…

The music unfortunately oftentimes celebrates violence, celebrates degradation of women, celebrates the drug culture. And it’s unfortunate that, as they get fame and fortune, that some of them are just not able to get out of the life, if you will.

The NYPD has a storied history of targeting and harassing rappers, and Bratton even specifically mentions Bobby Shmurda, the young rap star who was arrested on a number of charges a year and a half ago and who is still awaiting trial. (Bratton simply calls him “a character.”) You can watch footage of the interview here: