Ever since its Sunday edition went into circulation, the New York Post has been slammed with criticism for the "disgusting" and "immoral" front-page attack on Brooklyn rapper Ka, who is also a fire captain in the New York Fire Department.
In the article, which coincidentally published on the same day the paper issued a separate story titled "American journalism is collapsing before our eyes," writer Susan Edelman attempted to "out" the rapper, born Kaseem Ryan, for leading a double life as an FDNY veteran and "hip-hop artist whose songs are peppered with the N-word, drugs, violence and anti-cop lyrics."
With so many other real incidents going on out there, like the recent rash of shootings plaguing residents in Brooklyn, the paper instead chose to open the week with a sensationalized piece targeting hip-hop and its shaky history with law enforcement. Implying that Ryan promotes a "ghetto life, a world of guns, dope and despair," Edelman goes as far as getting a quote from a Sergeants Benevolent Association official, who states, "The biases he portrays through his music are indicative of what he believes or feels." In a 2013 interview with Noisey, Ka, who has not kept his rap career a secret, said of his full-time job, "I haven't ever spoken about my job, and I try to keep it about music. I let people think what they want to think. I do have a job, and it pays for the freedom I have with my art. I'm so lucky."
For a place that could have better used its resources for discovering an actual issue or reporting on a solution, it's a shame NY Post would go center its influential power on "outing" a musician. And not only that, but blast him, his character, and reputation for all to see on the front page as if he is a criminal.
But even with their harassment, we can't be surprised by the NY Post's action. After all, this is the same paper that once called Michael Jackson the "King of Poop" and released nude photos of Melania Trump from her modeling days for its Sunday cover last month. With all that said, it didn't take long for fans and friends to rally behind Ka in defense against the editorial attack.
Not going to repost @nypmetro hack job on Ka. Don't imagine anyone who works at Post in 2016 is capable of shame but, really, shame on them.— Zachary Lipez (@ZacharyLipez) August 21, 2016
Salute to @BrownsvilleKa for who he is, contradictions and all. Article is clearly a hit job. His crime is 1 of holding a common BK opinion.— Eric Nord (@ericjnord) August 22, 2016
Reacting to the outpour of love following the story, Ka wrote the following:
With love comes hate...can't have one without the other. Be prepared for both.— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) August 21, 2016
Rarely does one get to witness this kind of love while alive. I appreciate all the concern, feels good to know the art has affected so many— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) August 22, 2016
His latest album, Honor Killed The Samurai is available now on iTunes.