Danny Bakewell: The Most Powerful Black Leader in the Music Business

Who is Danny Bakewell, the Black L.A. power broker named in the Nury Martinez audio?

I went to B.E.T., an L.A. music store, and asked the young salesclerk for a record. It was Danny Bakewell doing a dance, ‘The Power’ from the ‘70s.

But then the clerk got real quiet. “That’s him?” he said. “Can I show you a picture?”

I showed him a picture of Danny Bakewell. He shrugged and said, “I don’t know him.”

Then I showed him a photo of Bakewell and a friend, posing with members of the Black Panthers at the 1967 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

He gave it back. “I don’t know him,” he told me.

I asked him if he knew of any other Black leaders in the L.A. music business.

“I know someone. He’s just down the street here. But I don’t know him ….”

Danny Bakewell is the most powerful and well-connected figure in Los Angeles that I know. He has spent the past 30 years shaping the scene of “urban music” in L.A., and he has been the key player at every turn. As a Black activist, he is deeply involved in the struggles for civil rights in the South, the Black Panthers, and Black-led political organizations throughout the country. With his ties to organized crime, he is intimately involved in the politics of the drug trade, including the violence and death that is so characteristic of the drug war.

Danny Bakewell’s first political activity was as an activist for the Black Panthers. He would later go on to serve in the Black Panthers, a Black militant group, as a full-time organizer, and later as a full

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