Mayor Rudolph Giuliani keeps getting mentioned in rap songs lately. But the rappers aren't singing his praises.
One song is titled "Who Shot Rudy?"
The soon-to-be-released song, by a group called Screwball, imagines Giuliani being gunned down at City Hall to the delight of the minority community: "Nobody cried--it was real, like, some Jews celebrating when the Pharaoh got killed."
Last year, the rap song "Bucktown U.S.A." by Cocoa Brovaz objected to the mayor's so-called quality-of-life initiatives, which have targeted such people as jaywalkers and sex shop owners. The result, the song laments, is the relative absence of "dice throwin' " and "weed blowin' ."
Two other songs also ridicule the mayor, and one uses an expletive when his name is invoked.
The songs can be traced to the mayor's troubled relationship with the city's blacks and Hispanics. Tensions have been running especially high because of recent cases in which white police officers killed or brutalized minorities.
Akiba Solomon, national affairs editor at the hip-hop magazine The Source, explained that rap--like folk and rock--has a tradition of political commentary, including criticism of public figures.
"Hip-hop in general is how young, urban, mostly African American and Latino people feel," she said. "Giuliani definitely fills a role. It's not necessarily him personally, but what he represents."
The mayor, an opera aficionado, reacted to the latest song with some humor.
"The one about shooting me? I didn't like that one too much," he said, smiling. "I did not consider it one of the better songs of the year. The others I haven't heard." He added: "I stopped worrying about threats and stuff like that a long time ago when I was U.S. attorney."
Giuliani said the violent lyrics of "Who Shot Rudy?" are troubling, particularly if children hear the song.
Kyron Jones, the 24-year-old who wrote "Who Shot Rudy?," said the song arose from his own troubles with the law, including a stint in jail.
As for the mayor, Jones said: "I don't want anybody to go out and shoot him. I'm just voicing the thoughts of my people."