From Publishers Weekly
Parker's career with the New York Police Department from 1982 to 2002 paralleled the rise of hip-hop music and related crimes, and as a member of a "specialized, clandestine 'Rap Intel' squad" within the NYPD's elite Gang Intelligence Division, Parker investigated firsthand almost all the most famous hip-hop–related shoot-outs. This wealth of experience makes his book (the title is a play on hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls) a powerful and fascinating—if often repetitive—account of what Parker calls "the truth about the rap music industry" as well as "the mechanisms within the NYPD and how law enforcement deals with hip-hop from the inside." He is not afraid to name the people he thinks were responsible for the still unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur, Smalls and Jam Master Jay of the rap group Run-DMC, and he also provides new details of crimes involving Puff Daddy, Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent and Lil' Kim. Parker proves his assertion that there is a "seemingly insurmountable divide between the NYPD and the hip-hop world," but his accusations alone should ensure the book a large reception within the worldwide audience for rap music. (July)
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Parker was the NYPD's semi-official "hip-hop cop," an appellation he wears with pride. Rising fast as a case-breaking detective, he parlayed an affinity for rap and rappers into a niche specialty of which he feels the department never took full advantage. He fingered "a plausible suspect" for the confounding murder of Jam Master Jay before witnesses in his recording studio. When the department failed to follow up, and after spending more than 100 hours, gratis, on the investigation, Parker declared himself "done trying to help." Elsewhere he names the Crip he suspects was trigger man in the murder of hip-hop god Tupac Shakur and a candidate for the probably retributive slaughter of Notorious B. I. G. Full of engaging detail (e.g., Bloods-affiliated record mogul Suge Knight's office carpet is red to signify his gang loyalty), this is a gritty trip to the nexus of big-money rap and ongoing gang rivalries that Parker equates to the old time Mafia in terms of reach and power. Essential stuff on this turf. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved