SOC395 - Sociology of Hip Hop
Snitches and Stick-Up Boys
November 5, 2012
• Two different kinds of characters that emerged.
• Snitch - betrayal is fundamentally tied into snitching. Snitching has a larger social context
implied. It is a violation of social code. It is not only a betrayal of the trust of people you are
affiliated with, but there is a betrayal of trust on the code of ethics.
• Stop Snitching was originally a DVD produced by guys in Baltimore. There is a code of
silence on the streets. Brown goes into detail on the murder of Jam Master Jay. One theory was
that the murder was caused by Kenneth from the Supreme Hustling because Jam Master Jay was
mentoring 50 Cent.
• Cam'ron Interview - snitching is like policing your own community.
• Game released a mixtape in support of Stop Snitching, containing a bunch of diss tracks related
to 50 Cent. He thought that 50 Cent was in relations with the police. Because of his relation with
JMJ, people believed he had something to do with the investigations after that.
• The Game - G-Unot - "You snitched on Supreme"
There is a lot of research on snitching.
• Snitching is a type of cooperation. Brown says that communicating with detectives and police
officers and offering tips to help solve crimes is part of the limited definition that is offered in
culture. Snitching is in a wide variety of areas, found in the DA's office, and other institutions
like social welfare. The DA's office is a widely neglected area.
• Snitching involves a wide variety of interactions: tips are only a part of what snitching entails.
Text messaging (anonymous texting lines), written testimony, court appearances, information for
reduced sentences, etc.
• Snitching can be thought of as a more mundane sort of thing, it doesn't just emerge in some
sort of vacuum. This is a social position or idea that is planted in people's minds that are enforced
in certain practices. It later on becomes second nature. Snitching is taken for granted as
something that comes naturally.
• It is fundamentally about an identity. Snitching is a spoiled identity (Goffman) within
communities. A snitch is a stigmatized identity. It transcends other forms of people's identities.
• A snitch becomes a pariah, someone who is a social outcast, who has violated the trus