Fire commissioner moves to oust rapper
Song incensed police
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers announced yesterday that rapping firefighter Rodney Jean-Jacques has been suspended and will be dismissed.
Ayers said Jean-Jacques was guilty of conduct unbecoming a firefighter in writing a rap song about killing cops.
"It is very unfortunate that some of the choices that he made are not conducive to people who are the first responders to a crisis situation," Ayers said. "We need to keep the highest level of training and responsibility to our citizen's needs."
Jean-Jacques, who was assigned to Engine 9 at Germantown Avenue and Carpenter Lane, in Mount Airy, blasted into the spotlight last month when a song he wrote last year about murdering police officers leaked onto the Internet.
Days after the controversy rocketed through the Philadelphia Police Department and angered many, he told Fraternal Order of Police resident Robert Eddis that he wasn't responsible for the lyrics that called for turning "pigs into bacon bits." He blamed his rapping alter-ego, Cal Akbar, for the controversial song.
Jean-Jacques was given various opportunities to apologize to the FOP for the lyrics, but the apology never came.
Eddis said he's relieved that this chapter in the controversy is finally closed.
"I salute the fire commissioner for making the right decision," Eddis said last night, when reached by phone.
"It's never a good thing when someone loses their job, but an apology would have gone a long way. He was given that opportunity but didn't take it," Eddis added.
"Either way, I feel it won't have an impact on the working relationship between the two departments, and I am just glad that we can get back to working with our brothers and sisters in the Philadelphia Fire Department."
Jean-Jacques was unavailable for comment last night, but his Myspace.com page, on which he still goes by the name "Akbar the Great," contained numerous comments of support. *