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Notorious C.O.P.: The Inside Story of the Tupac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay Investigations from NYPD's First "Hip-Hop Cop" Paperback – October 16, 2007
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“A compelling examination of why so many rap crimes remain unsolved.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Frequently persuasive.” ―New York Times Book Review
“A powerful and fascinating account of what Parker calls ‘the truth about the rap music industry.'” ―Publishers Weekly
“Parker delivers in providing considerable illumination.” ―Time Out New York
“A gritty memoir…entertaining, and likely to hold strong appeal for hip-hop fans.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“As a sketch of a man pulled between two worlds and a look behind many of the hip-headlines, it's fascinating.” ―The Orlando Sentinal
About the Author
A twenty year veteran of the NYPD, Derrick Parker headed the first special units force dedicated to the investigation of hip-hop related crime. Now off the force, Parker serves as media's rap-related crime expert, appearing in Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Blender, Vibe, The New York Times, Newsday and dozens of other magazines and newspapers as well as shows on MTV, Fox, VH1, Unsolved Mysteries and Court TV.
Matt Diehl is a journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, VIBE, Spin, The Village Voice and Blender. He served as the music columnist for Elle magazine for four years and is currently Contributing Music Editor at Interview. He is the author of My So-Called Punk and No-Fall Snowboarding.
Top customer reviews
If I were all of you, carefully do your homework plus watch several movies, TV shows, documentaries and yes read up sources...I truly consider myself a big expert.
Also read LAbrynth, Cathy Scott's books on the murders of Biggie and Tupac, Murder Rap by Greg Kading, Welcome to Death Row, Tupac Assasssination movies, Biggie and Tupac documentary, 2 Turntables and 1 Microphone, etc. for starters.
For a hip hop fan outside of New York, Parker actually puts forth some interesting links between some of the high profile hip hop indiscretions and the gritty street-level crime that is commonplace in most big cities. He lays out descriptions of some of New York's most notorious street criminals, and shows how their world has become enmeshed with the big-dollar business of hip hop music. Parker's information reflects his inside access to informants and rumors, even if he doesn't necessarily blow the lid off of unsolved cases.
The first quarter of the book is really more of a outline of Parker's early police career rather than a discussion of hip hop crime. Nonetheless, they are good cop stories. The strength of the book builds when he begins to weave the lives of the stickup kids with multi-platinum rappers, and shows how old rivalries and greed have created such a maelstrom of violence. He discusses the highly-publicized crimes involving Biggie, Tupac, Murder Inc., 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Lil Kim, Freaky Tah, Busta Rhymes, Foxxy Brown, and especially Jam Master Jay. He doesn't bring anything shocking to the table on these crimes, but his inside opinions and information are still intriguing. Parker tries to build suspense to a crescendo of "solving" Jam Master Jay's homicide, but that climax falls a little flat in the end.
The most aggravating aspect of this book is the atrocious copy editing. I've never seen a fairly wide-circulating book have so many obvious grammatical and typographical errors. It really was a terrible editing job. The other maddening part is Parker's self-serving recollections of the way cases were handled. In Parker's opinion, he apparently knows everything about solving every hip hop crime, and every other cop is an ignorant joke. The constant narratives where Parker confronts superiors about their mishandling of cases seem contrived and self-serving; Parker is always right and the others are always wrong. The incorporation of popular hip hop song lyrics in the writing is extremely hokey, but expected in a book like this.
Parker puts forth an argument that police must be culturally-equipped to make progress on hip hop-related criminal cases, and this seems very plausible. His depiction of himself as the unerring epitome of the "culturally-equipped" cop, however, too often overshadows this argument. Overall, the information in the book is intriguing and entertaining, if you can get past all of the basic proofreading errors. I would recommend this book to hip-hop fans, especially those who were deep into it in the 1990s and early 2000s.
If you've ever wondered what is really going on in the hip-hop world, then NOTORIOUS C.O.P. is the book to read. It gives the background of the rappers as well as a vivid description of the neighborhoods and backgrounds they come from. Parker even explains why there is so much crime in the hip-hop music business. As he so realistically points out, it is going on in the regular business world also, just on a much lower key and so we never hear about it until an Enron explodes. It is a fascinating and enlightening book.
Reviewed by Alice Holman
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
In Notorious C.O.P. Matt Dieh takes he reader behind the scenes of the mayhem and pushes in the direction where the action is heading. This compelling book talks about what really happen to the Tupac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay. It is a behind the scene tales from someone who knows, a former Popo.