On Jocqueline Mason’s MySpace page, she chants, “No sex!” six times. The beat starts. She sings: Thought I told you once to stop callin’ me. Thought I told you once I got a policy: No sex. No sex.
Mason, a 44-year-old Oakland mother of four, founded the No Sex Policy Campaign hoping to reduce teen pregnancies. She opened a cosmetology business recently and, under her stage name Kali Kash, released a rap DVD, Government Raised. In her MySpace picture, she gazes out from under thick straight sky-blue bangs, lips downturned as she smiles wryly. Another photograph shows her No Sex Policy truck. Silkscreened on its white flanks are “Rage Prevention” and “Love in da ‘Hood.” Later in the song, she implores: “Respect me, please. Stop askin’ me.”
At that point a male voice interjects, playing the role of the relentless guy: “I’m on fire. Open up your mouth. Wrote you a love letter, I don’t even like ya.”
That voice belongs to Phillip White, aka Philthy Phil, a 27-year-old rapper romantically involved with Mason. On April 27, she wrote excitedly on her page: “That’s right Philthy Phil came all the way from Indianapolis to share with the No Sex Policy Campaign.” On May 27, White posted this response: “philthyphil loves kalikash.”
One month and one day later, he beat and stabbed her to death at 3633 Patterson Street after an argument, as her children slept. By the time Mason’s teenage daughter, Revlon, discovered her the next morning, White had fled. “TURN YOURSELF INTO THE POLICE, YOU’RE WANTED FOR MURDER IN OAKLAND,” someone posted angrily the next day at a hip-hop forum White was known to frequent — where, on January 18, White wrote: “IM THE KING OF THE TOWN FROM TRAPPIN TO RAPPIN TO CLAPPIN THEM HAMMERS RAP ABOUT MONEY AND A NIGGA MIGHT SIGN YA RAP ABOUT ME AND A NIGGA MIGHT FIND YA.” Menacingly, White was responding to someone who had posted, on January 10: “I recently heard a cd by a artist named philthy phil … and let [me] tell you it sucked!!!! Don’t get me wrong [he] can rap but he was using to many metaphors.”
He uses only a few metaphors in “Hood Video,” posted at MySpaceTV, which features the stout performer doing kitchen chores while rapping, I’ve been through the struggle. Loudmouth niggas, put your lips on the muzzle. … I can show you how to juggle.
White was arrested in Denver the Sunday after the murder. Mason’s neighbors launched a donation drive to help her children and to buy other local kids taekwondo courses and swimming-pool memberships. The rich, poppy voice on her MP3s is echoed in a blog posting Mason wrote on February 28, exactly four months before she became Oakland’s 53rd homicide of 2007: “I say to my youth … Wait until it’s safe and then get the hell on to a Happier Lifestyle! I’m glad I started Rappin. This is not a statement for pity or because of myself being a victim, I hate uncivilized civillians who use violence because they don’t have a functional brain. This is why we must Educate our Children very early. … I’m advocating to the End of my Life. Plus, I’m gonna get out of the Ghetto with my family finally!”
Good morning: When an eighteen-year-old wielding a Mac-10 submachine gun shot into a passing car from where he stood on California near Parker Street in Berkeley at 9:30 a.m. on July 13, residents speed-dialed the police, who arrived rapidly and, following their descriptions and directions, arrested the shooter. Residents also pointed out a house into which his fifteen-year-old associate had run with the gun. He was nabbed too. “Without the citizen involvement,” says Officer Wesley Hester, “we wouldn’t have caught these people.”
Trouble in store: Thieves are showing no mercy to retailers this summer. On July 16 in Berkeley, Sur la Table lost more than $400 worth of flatware, and someone swiped a flat-screen TV from the Flamingo Motel. Two dozen eyeglass frames worth $1,894 went missing from UC Berkeley’s optometry-clinic dispensary. In Emeryville recently, burglars took $795 from Charles Chocolates; eight gloved, masked men in hoodies snatched four computers and a sound system from the Apple store; and after threatening the store manager at Babies “R” Us, someone made off with 62 infancy-themed DVDs.
Medium rare: A stone’s throw away in Kensington recently, a resident called police to report the presence of a cigarette butt in his backyard. Another called to complain about a neighbor burning a Prestone log. Another called to protest a “steak company selling meat door-to-door,” according to the report. Another alerted officers that fishing line was strung across a street, which at neck-level can kill. (Think: motorcycle.) Just after midnight on July 12, Walnut Creek cops were summoned by a resident who described a blond woman standing in front of a house on Los Altos Avenue, staring. “When the reporting party approached her,” reads the report, “she mumbled about Democrats.”