Sure, Bushwick city councilwoman Jennifer Gutierrez may have the support of longstanding local Democratic Party establishment groups like the New York Hotel Trades Council, the United Federation of Teachers and New York Working Families Party — but not, it appears, the president of the independently-run Amazon Labor Union, a group created two years by labor activist Chris Smalls to organize employees at various Amazon warehouses in the city. 

“I endorse this guy,” Smalls said in a video posted on Friday by Gutierrez’s only challenger in the primary race, the occasional rapper and regular outsider political candidate Paperboy Prince. 

“Brooklyn, District 34. Let’s go out and vote for this guy right here,” Smalls added, standing next to the smiling rapper and aspiring politico. Like Prince, Smalls was a rapper himself, though he gave that up in 2015 to start working at Amazon.

After a failed primary challenge to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and a failed entrance into the mayor’s race last year, Gutierrez’s office marked the latest target of Prince’s political ambitions, which are run out of their “Love Gallery”-headquarters on Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, which also doubles as a vintage clothing store and local food pantry. 

“Excited to continue [sic] build a movement of grassroots organizers disrupting the establishment,” Prince wrote online about the impromptu endorsement, potentially the highest-profile so far in their various political campaigns. 

For their part, Prince has used their campaign to shine a spotlight on the complicated dynamics behind the limited power that individual members of the city’s 51-member legislative body have in putting together the budget, which this year was marked by unpopular cuts to the funding of education programs. 

“When you cut the money from the schools, you want those kids to be fools,” Prince rapped in an extendeddiss track” earlier this month that convincingly appropriated the verbal stylings of the Pop Smoke-era Brooklyn drill rap scene. While occasionally using the contest to gin up fundraising, Gutierrez herself has otherwise largely, politely ignored Paperboy’s political campaign.  

The primary is on June 27, 2023. Find a nearby polling location here.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the length of Paperboy Prince’s “diss track” aimed at Councilwoman Gutierrez.

Images taken by Paperboy Prince’s Twitter account.

For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.

Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber