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Lower East Side gang weakened after rapper’s arrest: cops

Police crippled gang violence on the Lower East Side after arresting a 17-year-old crew leader and drill rapper on attempted murder charges, the local precinct commander told the community.

“His apprehension has helped us tremendously in taming the violence that continues to affect us,” 7th Precinct Capt. Luis Barcia said at a meeting last week. “A lot of the gang members looked up to him because he’s a rapper — he’s known, he’s popular, he’s got a lot of followers. Without the leader, they don’t have any guidance. You could say they become kids.”

Sources identified the top dog as Jahlik Edmonds, who performs under the name YBC Big Belly and is believed to be a lead combatant in the generations-long battle between the city’s notorious Up the Hill and Down the Hill crews.

The two gangs are rumored to be behind the recent gruesome slayings of a young couple found shot to death in a burning car in the Bronx last month.

Though crimes including robbery, felony assault, grand larceny and petty larceny have all continued to climb in the 7th Precinct since the alleged Up the Hill chief was put in cuffs, police said gang activity has quieted over the past two months.

“Those arrested have been persons of interest in other shooting incidents and by them being in custody, the precinct can refocus their efforts on other crimes,” an NYPD spokesperson said. “Most of the 7th Precinct’s major crimes are not gang related.”

Edmonds is believed to be involved in the dispute between the Up the Hill and Down the Hill. The rival gangs are rumored to be behind the slaying of a couple in the Bronx in May.
Robert Mecea
Jesse Parrilla and Nikki Huang were shot in car in the Bronx that was then set on fire.
Jesse Parrilla and Nikki Huang were shot in car in the Bronx that was then set on fire.
Huang and Parilla are believed to have been caught in the middle of a Lower East Side gang war.
Huang and Parilla are believed to have been caught in the middle of a Lower East Side gang war.

At the end of March, Edmonds allegedly shot a 28-year-old man in the back at the intersection of Madison and Montgomery streets, a source told The Post.

With lead lodged in him, the victim drove himself on the FDR Drive to Bellevue Hospital. The back windshield of his 2009 Toyota Camry was completely shattered from gunfire, photos taken by The Post show.

Edmonds was later arrested on April 20 for attempted murder. Another gang member, Jamaury Bailey, was arrested on April 12 for robbery in relation to the March shooting, sources said.

Edmonds allegedly shot a man in the back in March in Manhattan.
Edmonds allegedly shot a man in the back in March in Manhattan.
Robert Miller

As a drill rapper with hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, Edmonds sings about gunning down his enemies while he fans out wads of hundred dollar bills, cruises the streets in a bright yellow Audi, and acts out an armed stick up at a convenient store just for some candy and sodas.

One music video takes an even more disturbing turn when it shows actual footage of Edmonds kneeing a kid in the head and punching another in the face as onlookers cheer and film the brutal beatdowns.

In a 2019 interview with the YouTube channel Kids of Hip Hop, Edmonds said he gets into fist fights daily. 

“It would always be me getting jumped, and it’d be me and my guys fighting all the time,” he said. “I don’t like using weapons. When I do stuff, I think about their parents and all that. I’ve got mad love for my ops (rivals).”

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