oh new jersey

Gun-Toting, ‘Felon for Life’ Rapper Actually a Cop

The rapper/fictional kingpin Rick Ross upended hip-hop’s obsession with authenticity and actually became more popular after it was revealed he used to work as a corrections officer. New Jersey cop Maurice Gattison, who moonlights as “Gat the Great,” is probably hoping for a similar career trajectory, if only because he might lose his day job. The “Temper Like an Alcoholic” rapper is the subject of an internal investigation after his side-gig was outed online, including questionable lyrics about his Smith & Wesson, his “faggot” enemies, and his own status as a “felon for life.”

The videos in question have been pulled from YouTube, but Gat’s sneaker-happy Instagram account and Twitter, where he spends most messages @-replying famous rappers, remain (for now).

And the Star-Ledger has this highlight reel, which includes three other officers, and isn’t as bad as you might imagine:

If they had taken part in a Shakespearean play, and the character talked about murdering people, would there be any outrage?” one expert asked. “In this instance, their First Amendment rights trump anything else.” Another warned, “Your free speech off-duty is not unlimited. … Things that can impede the agency’s work, cause disgrace to the agency or subject the agency to ridicule can be legitimate issues for internal action.” Dubious boasts in rap, on the other hand, are more acceptable.

Meet Gat the Great, N.J.’s Rapper-Slash-Cop