(Photo: https://www.facebook.com/brownsvilleka)

High-profile rappers have fired back at The New York Post, after the paper published an article yesterday “exposing” veteran FDNY fire captain Kaseem Ryan as the celebrated rapper Ka. (To be clear, people have known about Ka’s “double life” for years.) Ka—who raps in a growling, lyrically dense style, and who just released a new album, Honor Killed The Samurai—often discusses police corruption and brutality in his works. (Sample lyrics: “Took a vow to protect and serve/All you do is disrespect and murder/I ask that you not hurt my kids/This is where you work…this is where I live.”) Those topics have apparently drawn the ire of the Post—printing the lyrics in a pop-out titled “Ring the alarm,” and hunting down quotes from members of the NYPD who say he “should be trying to bring people together rather than fracture relationships, especially in communities of color.”

The Post article goes so far as to suggest that Ryan is overpaid for his job, implying that the $100,000 a year he’s paid in exchange for running into burning buildings to save people’s lives and homes somehow invalidates him from rapping about life on the street. It appears to have been the last straw for fellow New Yorkers El-P and Killer Mike of Run The Jewels, who—among others—both went on social media today to lambaste the paper for its portrayal of Ryan’s work:

welp ill never give another interview to the New York post again. after how they did KA I can’t imagine any rapper talking to them again.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

KA should be celebrated as a New York treasure. an fdny captain who moonlights as a purveyor of vivid, gritty, eloquent music. that’s NY.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

perhaps if a rapper spends his days saving people from death by fire you should assume his character is strong and maybe even listen to him.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

kas music isnt artlessly violent. these are songs of pain and stress written somberly by someone who clearly cares deeply about nyc.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

before writing a hit piece its good to ask yourself: “has the man im trying to destroy saved more lives than me?”.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

or “if my piece leads to his termination from the fdny and people die because we’ve lost his expertise is that blood on me or rap?”.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

we dont want good we want the appearance of good.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

if your baby is trapped in a burning building you can turn away the “anti -cop” fireman willing to run in. a reporter save it im sure.

— el-p (@therealelp) August 22, 2016

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It’s not clear if Ryan’s job is currently in danger thanks to the article. As for the man himself, Ka’s only comment on the article has been a single tweet:

[via Pitchfork]

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