Photo by Cheney Orr.
Recently, I caught up with my friend Wilsonman. A member of the rap group the Stone Rollers Stone Gang, he’s spending his golden years cruising the streets of New York, laying down smooth rhymes, and frequenting the New York City party scene. Unfortunately, NYPD officers recently beat up Wilsonman when he was leaving a club. I called my man Wilsonman to talk about these cops, America's police brutality problem, and how this violent event will affect his music.
VICE: What is a typical day in New York City like for Wilsonman?
Wilsonman: A typical day in the life of Wilsonman consists of recording with the homies of either the Krust crew or Elitetisc Records, smoking at parties that don't allow it, ratchet behavior at open bars, and skating in the hood or the Lower East Side.
What does ratchet behavior at open bars entail?
Smoking in the cut, puking, getting kicked out, and waking up on the couch. Mostly just having a good time before you wake up and you're 30.
What went down the night the cops attacked you?
I dropped my plug ear gauge and was then kicked out of the club. When I went to retrieve my property from the club, the bouncer swung at me because I was refusing to leave without my belongings. Then the cops showed up. I told them that I have the right to retrieve my property from a residence or business I can't enter or occupy. However, they told me to leave the block, which I attempted to do by hailing a cab. They hailed one for me when I told them they were violating my rights. They then slammed the door on my foot, and then I opened it; my lace was stuck in the door. I was calling my friends that were inside the club, and the cops saw me on my phone, pulled me out of the taxi, and proceeded to savagely beat me after I was handcuffed. Then they pepper sprayed me, lifted me by the cuffs, and brought me to the hospital—without ever telling me what I was arrested for. When I tried to tell the hospital staff, they had me sedated. So basically, I was kidnapped by the NYPD.
Photo by Taji Ameen and Wilsonman.
Has this experience changed your view of the NYPD?
Hell yeah. It woke me up, and I now see New York as a police-run state of hell. I can't even enjoy law and order anymore.
Has this inspired any of your new songs?
Yeah. I've been writing a lot of antipolice lyrics, because a lot of people have seen what happened with Trayvon. Personally having an incident like this can really push you. I mean, I can let this drag me down and lash out, or I can use this as fuel for my creative fire. I'm going to say there are a few good cops out there, but the NYPD seems to be plagued with a lot of fuckboy cops—especially in areas with high crime rates, like the East New York hood I come from.
Thanks for the full story, Wilsonman.
Previously – Meet the Legends of the Lower East Side