August 23, 2020

Hot 97 Fires Production Director "Paddy Duke" Who Was Part of Mob That Killed Yusef Hawkins

Hip Hop and all it's supposed to stand for takes a hit. Now fired Hot 97 staffer was charged for manslaughter and was given a lesser sentence in the racially charged murder of the Black teen. 

Hot 97 has fired Pasquale Raucci, also known as "Paddy Duke" after it was revealed that he was a part of the mob that killed Yusuf Hawkins in 1989. The ‘Storm Over Brooklyn’ documentary that aired on HBO tells the tragic details surrounding Hawkins’ death in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. Raucci was reportedly shown in the documentary.

Hawkins and three friends were attacked by a crowd of 10 to 30 white youths in the mostly Italian neighborhood, with at least seven of them wielding baseball bats. One, armed with a handgun, shot Hawkins twice in the chest, killing him. Raucci was a part of the angry mob. Hawkins had gone to Bensonhurst that night with three friends to inquire about a used automobile that was for sale. The group's attackers had been lying in wait for a Black youth they believed had dated a neighborhood girl. Hawkins and his friends walked onto the ambushers' block unaware that local residents were preparing racist attacks against Black youth. He was just 16 years old.

The death of Yusef Hawkins was touched upon in some of the scenes and played a part in the overall theme of the racial tensions in New York City that was brought to the screen by Spike Lee in the movies "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever." Hawkins' name was immortalized in the 1990 classic Hip Hop song 'Treat 'Em Right' by Chubb Rock.

Raucci had been working at Hot 97 since 1994 as a producer for The Angie Martinez Show and then as the Commercial Production Director at the station since 2003. Hot 97 posted a statement on the firing on all social media platforms. (Read their statement below...after the lyrics and the brief YouTube clip from Chubb Rock.)

Leave the knife and the gun in the store
and ignore temptation, sent by the nation
Racial gain causes pain; need a new rep
In your hearts and minds never forget Yusef
And you're walking
You don't just run

15 second snippet

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This post has been updated on August 24, 2020

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