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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
If you are a longtime fan of hip hop, this is a must read. Takes you behind the scenes,cuts through the gossip and gives you an inside view of the industry and its players/characters. On the flip-side, this is a tale of an undercover cop that gained the trust of many people, surveilled and reported their every move to authorities even if they were not committing a crime. Overall it was a very informative read for me.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
As a former record industry exec in rap and hip-hop, I give Parker kudos for his indepth account of the hip-hop nation - from the perspective of a police detective. However, many of his theories are a bit overly dramatic, especially about the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. Parker was THISCLOSE to solving Biggie's murder but chose to focus on the more colorful alleged "East Coast-West Coast rap feud". The real motive, known by industry insiders, isn't as interesting as the tale Parker relates. Parker just didn't interview the right people. (The REAL "coastal feud" had less to with Death Row and Bad Boy than the lack of cooperation between the LAPD and NYPD.) This is a great story about his days as the first "hip-hop cop" with the NYPD, tempered by Parker's repeated chest-pounding about being the ONLY "go-to" person for "hip-hop crime" in law enforcement. He makes himself sound like some hip-hop superhero ("And that's where I come in!" proclaims Parker). Parker may know more than the average police officer about hip-hop "crime" but a lot less than those of us who are really in it. There's always been a link between rappers and gang members/drug dealers. Most of these kids are from the 'hood - it's hard to break old ties, but no RICO-style conspiracy exists. At least not to the extent that Parker claims, otherwise other hip-hop meccas like Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and St. Louis would need "hip-hop crime intel units". Narrator Richard Allen is the perfect choice for this book. He's voice is mesmerizing, elevating what could be an otherwise sordid ghetto tale to a whole 'nother level. My biggest complaint is the recording quality of this book. The sound drops out in places with so much reverb that the narrator sounding as if he's in the bathroom. But, overall, this is a very enlightening and entertaining read for people who aren't in the music biz.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful