Hot 97 Fires Pasquale “Paddy Duke” Raucci After Learning of Involvement in Yusuf Hawkins Killing

Raucci was featured in the recently released HBO documentary on the Hawkins murder.

Pasquale “Paddy Duke” Raucci has been terminated by Hot 97 following the discovery of his participation in the mob that chased and killed 19-year-old, Yusuf Hawkins, in 1989.

The NYC radio staple announced Raucci’s firing in a tweet this morning, citing his appearance in the recently released HBO documentary, Storm Over Brooklyn. According to the documentary, Hawkins, a Brownsville native, was walking in Bensonhurst with friends when a group of nearly 30 white men from the neighborhood converged on him. The altercation ended with Hawkins being fatally shot. Protests quickly followed, drawing national attention with the help of Reverand Al Sharpton and the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan.

A quick scan of Raucci’s LinkedIn page reveals he’d been employed by Hot 97 for nearly 20 years and worked on Angie Martinez’s show during her tenure. Raucci began his career as a producer with Emmis Communications in 1994, the same year that they bought Hot 97 converted the station’s format to predominantly hip-hop and r&b. The station claims to have acted with haste following the discovery of Raucci’s involvement in the mob that murdered Hawkins, but there’s been speculation over just how quickly they reacted and precisely when they learned of his racist past. The timing of Raucci’s termination is also peculiar. Today marks the 31st anniversary of his murder.

“After watching HBO’s Storm Over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action. Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97. The march for social justice continues,” reads the station’s statement, shared with a picture of a mural of Yusuf Hawkins.  At the time of publishing, none of the station’s on-air personalities had offered comment on Raucci’s termination. The story is still developing. Check back in the days ahead for updates.

Storm Over Brooklyn is available to stream via HBO Max. Watch the trailer below and scroll on to read Hot 97’s statement.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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