Darryl McDaniels, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rap artist known for being in the hip-hop group Run-DMC, said Friday New York Police Commissioner William Bratton should apologize for his comments which labeled rappers as thugs following a shooting at a concert earlier this week.
Bratton’s comments came Thursday after one person was killed and three others were wounded at a Manhattan concert hall where rapper T.I. was scheduled to perform Wednesday night. Bratton blamed the shootings on “the crazy world of the so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence that they live all their lives."
McDaniels said the comments were unfair to rappers like Will Smith, LL Cool J, De La Soul and J. Cole. He added that the shooting wasn’t a “hip-hop problem.”
"He needs to apologize to all the rappers who have come from (the) streets but have never put out anything negative (and) disrespectful to break down ... and destroy their community," McDaniels, 51, told the AP on Friday.
"(Bratton) was upset and pointing a finger and getting to the root and not thinking about the people he would hurt by saying what he said," McDaniels continued. "Him as the commissioner saying it did so much damage (and) pushes hip-hop back — that's why he should apologize."
Bratton responded to McDaniels’ comments late Friday.
“I meant what I said about the thugs who call themselves rap artists, and shoot up crowded clubs, and in this case, kill and wound people."
But he said in a statement emailed by his spokesman that he understands rap has become "an important vehicle for storytelling in urban America" and that there's a segment of "gangster rap" that often overshadows rap's most important messages.
Bratton said his comments about the shootings were “misread as a reference to all of rap and hip hop, which it was not." He said he's concerned about the "subset that not only glamorize violence but some who employ violence like a prop for 'street cred.'"
Rapper Roland Collins, as known as Troy Ave, was arrested in the shooting at Irving Plaza. He will face attempted murder and weapons charges. He was also shot in the leg. Ronald McPhatter, who died, was a member of Collins' entourage and had been there to provide security, according to his family.
In an interview with WCBS radio, Bratton said rap music "oftentimes celebrates violence, celebrates degradation of women, celebrates the drug culture."
"It's unfortunate that as they get fame and fortune that some of them are just not able to get out of the life, if you will," he said.
McDaniels said his words are "totally, totally, totally unacceptable and false."
"There's a million rappers who come from the hood who do not portray, promote or produce products that celebrate or legitimizes any forms of negativity," he said. "The commissioner, he knew better than that. I respect his job, I know it's hard and all of that, but he should have known better."
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he thought Bratton was "talking out of frustration."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.