San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee got more than a caffeine injection when a trip to a local coffee shop turned into a confrontation with a Bay Area rapper, who called the politician out for the city’s gentrification and alleged ties to organized crime.
Ilych Sato, better known by his stage name, Equipto, is a long time staple in the Northern California hip-hop scene. When he saw the mayor and his entourage, it became clear what he felt he had to do.
“You have no heart... The people that built this city, you’re getting them all kicked out. That’s some cold shit.”
At this point someone, possibly the mayor, attempts to interject, but Sato is having none of it.
“You’re a part of it, and I know you are. I know you’re linked to mobsters… And that’s some bullshit.”
In August, a federal judge cleared the mayor of any wrongdoing based on his alleged ties to Chinatown mobster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, but rumors of a connection still persist. Ultimately, however, it’s the vast, rapidly growing class disparity in San Francisco that really had Sato’s ire, a problem that has seen much of the lower and middle class being forced out of their home by astronomical rents as the city becomes a bedroom community for Silicon Valley. Equipto’s Twitter feed mirrors his, and many Bay Area natives, frustrations:
“You’re a disgrace to Asians. You could make a change,” Sato heatedly stated, as the mayor’s security detail looked a little confused and Lee beat his retreat. “You’re kicking people out, you’re kicking the people who built this city out of here.”
Watch the full confontation below.