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NYC Rappers Are Not Jacking Mayor Adams

Drill rapper Bobby TooTact is not a fan, and neither are Wiki and MIKE.

9:36 AM EDT on September 29, 2023

Mayor Adams presented Diddy with the key to the city on September 15. (Caroline Rubinstein-Willis / Mayoral Photography Office)

Given Mayor Eric Adams's public statements about drill music, New York's single current transgressive artistic scene, it shouldn't be too surprising that young hip-hop artists are not his biggest fans. 

For Stereogum, Jayson Buford interviewed Bobby TooTact, a Senegalese American drill rapper who self-describes as the "face of Afro Drill." Afro Drill, at least as TooTact's producers make it, puts samples of Afrobeats songs like J Hus's summer delight "Who Told You," over chimeric drum patterns that accent a typical Afrobeats rhythm with drill-y flourishes. Following up on a line from the song "Who Told U," where TooTact says "Fuck Mayor Adams," the artist confessed to Buford that the mayor "can suck my dick, for real." A friend of his chimed in, "I’m not jacking that bald-headed motherfucker."

But drill rappers aren't the only hip-hop artists starting to voice their displeasure with the mayor. Wiki, whom you might know from his solo career or remember from the 2010s group Ratking, and the wordy and worldly MIKE, who raps like he's on a phone call that woke him up from a depression nap, released "Mayor's a Cop" last week. Producer The Alchemist put them over some trumpets that sound like they're heralding a misty morning, not to get too music writer-y about it. The sentiments at the beginning of Wiki's opening verse are some you've probably felt before: muted despair at a ballooning police budget that's been chosen over schools, parks, or keeping people cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Eric Adams may be giving Diddy the key to the city (and calling himself "the bad boy of politics" while he's at it), and on the list for a gala at the Brooklyn Public Library's central branch next week celebrating the extension of The Book of Hov (which will close the library to the public on Monday again, by the way), but rappers who form the bedrock of hip hop's present are not, as they say, "jacking" the mayor's policies. 

Despite Adams's coziness with rappers who left the neighborhoods his NYPD patrols years ago, it's obvious why artists in rap and beyond feel overpoliced and underserved by a mayor that has presided over a worsening and historic housing affordability crisis, public transit that's more expensive, and severely delayed public services. And besides, as someone I met at Shaka Shaka Tiki (the best bar in Brooklyn) put it the other night, "He's the kind of guy that didn't get let into the club in the '90s." Times change, but even things that hip-hop's old guard forgot, the young ones still remember. 

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