He’s probably best known as Soul Khan, a rapper with some work on Spotify from the 2010s whose song titles don’t shy away from profanity.
Soul Khan’s not-so-secret identity is Noah Weston, the Brooklyn-based, San Fernando Valley-raised, left-leaning candidate for political office who wants South Brooklyn’s votes this spring.
But he’s facing early pushback, beginning, for instance, a New York Post story accusing him of spewing “anti-cop hate.”
So, with that in mind, the thirtysomething Weston would like everyone to know that he doesn’t think they should believe everything they’ve heard about him.
“I’m here for vulnerable communities, and that’s it,” he said. “My tweets aren’t everything that I am, but I (implore) anyone to prove them wrong and that goes for any of my stances. They’re based on the truth and an abiding love for the community.”
Weston is running for district leader for Assembly District 46, which includes parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Coney Island. District leader is an unpaid position that is elected during the primary election. Each party on the ballot is required to have at least one district leader per assembly district. But, in a bit of an outdated rule, the Democratic Party requires two per district — one male and one female.
It’s not a particularly glamorous role. The main responsibilities include sitting on the County Democratic Committee’s Executive Committee and influencing the nomination of judges, a Manhattan district leader wrote in 2010. So Weston said he was surprised, when knocking on doors in Coney Island, to find that people already knew who he was — and had some pretty negative opinions already formed, he said.
In a video Weston posted to Twitter on April 17, he shared that his mother’s family came to the United States as Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.
“Which is why,” Weston said in the video, “it was pretty damn hurtful to learn that the Brooklyn Democratic Party machine has been running around Coney Island telling Jewish voters that I’m anti-Semitic.”
Weston didn’t provide any evidence for why he believes it was specifically the Brooklyn Democratic Party that was behind the statements (the Brooklyn Democrats, for their part, did not respond to a request for comment).
But it’s pretty clear there is some negative sentiment against him over alleged antisemitism — for example, one tweet accused Weston of supporting “violence against the vast majority of Jews, over an antisemitic ‘genocide’ lie.”
Another reply referred to him as an “anti Semitic jew.”
As far back as a year ago, a blogger wrote of the rapper, “If Weston wasn’t himself Jewish, one would be in little doubt that he was antisemitic.”
So where is this coming from? Weston attributes it to his position on Israel — he refers to Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian people as an “occupation.”
“I think the treatment of Palestinian people has been fully demonstrated to be an apartheid system,” Weston told BK Reader in an interview Sunday, April 24.
He’s long been public about this position — tweets from last year made it no secret that he has a strongly critical view of Israel.
“Fun fact for new zionist trolls: Hamas has killed fewer jews than israel’s own botched covid response,” Weston tweeted in August 2021.
Weston said he feels the attacks on him are “invalidating” and rooted entirely in bad faith — his Jewishness, he said, has bearing on his anti-Zionism and his opposition to Israel and its policies.
“I find it erasing of my Jewish identity,” he said of the attacks on him. “(My identity) has nothing to do with Israel. It predates Israel.”
The attacks on him are especially hurtful, he said, because he’s about as closely connected to victims of the Holocaust as one can get — he is in fact named after his grandmother’s brother who was murdered in the Holocaust, he said.
“I know about antisemitism very well from people who survived the worst attack on Jews in recorded history, and I find it offensive and hurtful to use my stance on Israel to disregard everything about me and my identity,” Weston said.
It was while some of these attacks over claims of antisemitism were ongoing that Weston found himself the subject of the New York Post’s attention. He said it was actually the day before his birthday (he just celebrated his 37th on April 18) that he was contacted by the Post’s reporter about a story they were running on his anti-police stances. That day, the Post ran the story, describing Weston’s social media accounts as being “filled with venomous anti-police rants.”
And indeed, Weston’s social media shows little kindness to police: in one tweet that the Post reported on, he referred to NYPD officers as “f—king pigs” while sharing a video of police kneeling on an elderly man in the subway.
But Weston said he’s not running from that position — and that he believes the data backs him up.
“Policing does not consistently correlate with reduced harms to people,” Weston said. “Other things do. Having more resources — at the end of the day, the through line of people who commit harm against other people is, they are lacking some critical resource in their life or multiple resources.”
Weston said he doesn’t believe in policing in virtually any circumstances.
“It compounds harm,” he said. “How many lives have been destroyed by drug arrests by arrests for property offenses that, you know, aren’t really worth taking away somebody’s freedom and exposing them further to institutional violence?
“I see nothing that any evidence supports that shows police as a path to real harm prevention or even reduction.”
His opposition to police, Weston said, isn’t something that just came out of the blue, either. He came to his current views after working for New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board a decade ago, investigating complaints of misconduct against the NYPD.
“The CCRB,” he said, “was by design rigged in favor of law enforcement, and the only reason they don’t want to admit that is because they want absolute deference and nothing else … They also resent it, because it’s routinely a place where it’s revealed that they don’t understand things like the Constitution, they don’t understand their own patrol guide.”
In a follow-up to the New York Post’s original story on Weston, the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association said it was calling on the CCRB to review its vetting process and rescind any disciplinary actions against officers recommended by Weston. The SBA president also claimed to remember Weston as an investigator.
“How Mr. Weston ever got through the vetting process to become a CCRB investigator, given his clear and open bias against law enforcement, is anyone’s guess,” Sergeants Benevolent Association spokesman Robert Mladinich told the New York Post.
Weston thought it was interesting that anyone from the SBA would be able to remember a single investigator given his experiences with officers’ memories as a CCRB investigator.
“If he remembers one investigator, me, out of at least over a hundred investigators at that time and then hundreds of investigators over the whole decade, then the police officers that he and his colleagues sent to the CCRB to be interviewed, should remember more of the things that happened during their job,” Weston told BK Reader. “These are people that have no conscience, no principles, no greater overall purpose than holding onto power and harming and targeting anyone who gets in the way of that, that’s all. Which is bad when you’re giving them guns and telling them you’re the way to be safe.”
And while that New York Post coverage did get him plenty of hate — a reply to one of his tweets from Sunday called him an “anti law enforcement jerk off,” for instance — Weston said he’s not backing off his stances.
“In fact, I invite anyone to substantively disprove what I’m saying,” he said. “I don’t think they can.”
He’s not giving up hope, either. After BK Reader’s interview, Weston hit the streets around Bay Ridge to knock on doors and get attention for his campaign.
“Knocking on doors, ringing bells, that’s what we’re gonna do for the next two months, until we win,” he said in a video he posted to his campaign Twitter account on Sunday.
Weston will be on the ballot in Assembly District 46 on the date of New York’s primary election on June 28.