Philadelphia Firefighter Suspended Over Anti-Police Lyrics, Dismissal Likely
Philadelphia firefighter Rodney Jean-Jacques, also known as rapper Cal Akbar, has been suspended over anti-police lyrics in one of his songs. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers announced yesterday (April 30) that Jean-Jacques’ suspension would go into effect at 2:15 that afternoon, and it was likely that he would eventually be dismissed from his post. "Commissioner Ayers deeply regrets that anyone was offended by the lyrics, especially our important 1st responder partners, members of the Philadelphia Police Department," the statement read. The controversy arose over a particular line in one of the rapper’s songs in which he rhymes “I got a surprise for them cops. I hope the news is taping this, ’cause I’m gonna turn those pigs into bacon bits.” After an outcry from the Fraternal Order of Police and a condemnation by Akbar’s own fireman’s union, he was asked to apologize, but apparently refused to do so. At the time, Philly Mayor John Street and Commissioner Ayers promised an investigation. Ironically, Jean-Jacques received widespread praise in 2005 when he wrote and performed “Take It Outside,” a song meant to teach fire prevention and safety. The song was widely promoted by the Philly Fire Department and was even featured during the broadcast of a Philadelphia Eagles football game.