If you’ve never heard of 9-year-old rapper Lil Poopy, you soon will.
The Brockton, Mass., boy, born Luie Rivera Jr., refers to himself as a “Coke Boy,” rides (without a seat belt) in a Ferrari and slaps a woman’s bottom, in a raunchy music video that is stirring controversy as it goes viral. The video has also triggered an emergency investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families after local police filed a complaint against the boy’s father, Luis Rivera, alleging child abuse or neglect.
The family’s attorney denies any wrongdoing by father or son and calls the investigation “racially motivated.”
“White child actors are depicted in far more serious scenes, including violence and sexual content, and they get awards,” Boston attorney Joseph Krowski, Jr. told ABCNews.com. “A young Hispanic male who raps — he gets an investigation.”
Krowski calls Lil Poopy an “immense talent” whose “star has been on the rise.” He said the boy has been performing for a couple of years. “Powerful people in the industry have seen him and recognize him to be a great up-and-coming talent,” Krowski said, referring to P Diddy and Poopy’s mentor, rapper French Montana.
“He’s getting lot of media attention,” the attorney said.
That attention led a local police officer to check out Lil Poopy’s videos, including one for “Pop That,” an official remix of French Montana’s hit song of the same name, in which Poopy raps, “Coke ain’t a bad word, Coca-Cola/Coke ain’t a bad word/It’s only soda” and slaps an adult woman’s behind. In another video, the boy is in a sexually suggestive situation with a woman on a dance floor as a crowd cheers him on and throws dollar bills at him.
“It’s a bit much for a 9-year-old. It warrants the attention of the Department of Children and Families,” Brockton police Lt. David Dickinson told the Enterprise News.
Krowski said the child services investigation was initiated solely because local police found the videos “distasteful.”
But the attorney said, even if you don’t like the content, “Even 9-year-olds have First Amendment protection.”
“It’s entertainment, a play on words,” Krowski said. “It’s authentic to that culture.”
He said the child rapper is an “equal participant in all of this” and is not doing anything against his will. “He’s not exploited,” Krowski said. “Rap is something he loves to do.”
Krowski said the fourth-grader is a good kid, who doesn’t curse, goes to school every day and is well liked by his teachers and principal.
Though his parents live apart and he lives with his mother, he sees both of them daily and has a “very stable, structured home environment.”