Brooklyn Rapper Neno Best's Transparent Lyrics Lead To New York City's Largest Illegal Gun Bust

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

New York CitySome may say that kudos are in order for New York rapper Neno Best (above) for "keeping it real"  but it was the Brooklyn hip-hop artist's lyrical honesty and transparency that led to his arrest and the downfall of the interstate gun smuggling operation he was involved in - that was announced here yesterday by the NYPD. His lyrics, as heard by investigators in a YouTube clip, came under close scrutiny as part of their year long investigation into an illegal interstate gun trafficking ring. Those lyrics, which included the braggadocios line ‘packing more guns than the Air Force,’ are what led to his arrest and that of another 18 suspects plus the downfall of their south-to-north illegal gun trafficking operation. The cops seized over two hundred and fifty firearms that had been bought in North and South Carolina and other states with looser gun regulations that were then shipped  north to New York City which has some of the strictest laws in the country and hence can make a hefty profit on the street.

NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, an advocate of strict no-gun laws and stop-and-frisk practices to stamp out illegal guns, was quite happy with yesterday's big bust calling the booty of 254 firearms "a lot of firepower” as he surveyed what was the largest gun seizure in New York City history. Much of the undercover year long investigation by NYPD took place at the 26 year old Neno Best's (born Matthew Best) rap/hip-hop music studio in Ocean Hill, Brooklyn where allegedly many of the illicit deals, which included large-caliber pistols and military-grade weapons that were sold for an average price of $750, took place. According to police the lyrics of Neno Best, who was charged with conspiracy, were what helped fuel their investigation - the ones where he rapped about ‘packing more guns than the Air Force.' Note that this Amoeblogger did a lengthy search of YouTube involving the artist could not locate said video that, am assuming, must have been taken down. What I did find were a deluge of disparaging YouTube comments, posted since news of the bust emerged, on the relatively unknown rapper's skills (or lack thereof) and unsavory speculation as to what lies ahead for him in prison life. 

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Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2007 08:41pm | Post a Comment
Keala C Ramos used to work at the San Francisco Amoeba Music, until he moved out East in the last couple of years. He lives in Queens and likes living in New York City but notices certain cultural differences from San Francisco -- like how coffee is served and the difference between the MTA and the MUNI. Keala continues to make music in New York under his own name and also his band name, the Nervous Breakdowns.

The Breakdowns, who were named by Esquire magazine in 2004 as "the rock band to go and see if you are ever in San Francisco" made a rep for themselves also by getting into constant conflicts with the SFPD -- usually while playing out on the street in places like the Castro.

The Nervous Breakdowns' discography includes The Begining of the End EP (featuring the song  "Undependent," which also appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V) and the full-length Panic. As a solo artist Keala appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. IV with the song “E Kaha'oe.” The Nervous Breakdowns' lineup in SF was Keala Ramos (lead guitar), Matt Kajiwara (rhythm, vocals), Donelle Malnik (bass), and Charlyn Villegas (drums). Check out their MySpace where, among other things, you can hear the songs "Garage Sale" and "Nervous Theme."

*This is the second interview with a former Amoebite who has moved coasts to become a New Yorker.  The last one was with Nick Lesley.

AMOEBLOG: What exactly went down with the SFPD and the Nervous Breakdowns?

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