From drunken hookups to Ice Bucket Challenges, lap dances to expanding the English language, and hosting the ESPYs to incurring NBA fines, Drake may not be a 100-percent perfect role model for today’s youth, but the reformed child actor otherwise known as Mr. Aubrey Graham seems pretty effing far from anybody’s idea of a safety threat. Unless, of course, that “anybody” is the New York Police Department.
About a decade ago, we learned the Big Apple’s finest keep a secret rapper dossier — then including the likes of Jay Z, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Diddy, and Nas — plus a corresponding “Hip-Hop Police” task-force to keep tabs on “urban” music’s most dangerous. According to a Page Six report, that task force is still in action and its updated watch list includes Drake, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, Young Jeezy, Fat Joe, Jim Jones, and Lil Wayne.
Is this some kind of proof you’ve made it? Like XXL‘s Freshman Class but with racism and arrest warrants? An unnamed source says, “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 … 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 unnamed source tells the gossip outlet that these plainclothes cops are well-known in the industry, going to clubs and shows with full access, monitoring beefs, telling event promoters to change set times based on potential conflicts, and working to keep the peace.
“It’s better to have them on hand,” that second source says. “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.”
There was that one time Drake and Brown had it out in a bar, as Gawker reminds us, so of course this is all well warranted and doesn’t seem like profiling at all. Meanwhile, we’re stuck wondering what other music-based task forces there are. We’d be suspicious of Hipster Cop if we didn’t already know he hates music.