An Open Letter to the Rap Industry
Over the past few years’ three things have become fashionable within popular culture:
1) An entertaining portrayal of African Americans in positions of servitude with films such as: The Help, Django, The Butler and 12 Years a Slave.
2) Protests and Movements for Justice such as: rallies for Troy Davis, Occupy Wall Street and Trayvon Martin.
3) The new trend for folks in the rap industry to disrespect Our Ancestors, create a social media frenzy, get free publicity and raise their market value. Which is the basis for this “Open Letter”.
It has been said time and time again that “No publicity is bad publicity” and we dare to add to that statement that all publicity comes with a price. With that being said, many of us have noticed that some “marketing genius” has sold certain rap personalities on the fact that if you mention or utilize the image or likeness of a cultural icon i.e., human rights activist or freedom fighter in vain or rap about the drugging, rape, sodomizing or other licentious sexual violations of women, that it will get the Black Community talking, debating, petitioning, etc., thus causing an increase in your popularity and/or notoriety. With that upsurge in popularity and notoriety your booking price will increase and in the long run surpass any loss endorsements.
Since many of you lack sound morals, discipline, respect, character and are motivated by sheer profit over people, you fall for the bait. Seeing that you have yet to be met with any form of direct opposition or repercussion for your actions you continue to operate lackadaisically and irresponsibly because there has been no reinforced accountability. But in the words of our great Ancestor Harriet Tubman, (who was disrespected in a video parody produced by Russell Simmons last year) “It’s a new day and age on the plantation”. The days of disrespecting the image and likeness of our Ancestors have ended.
Folks allowed Lil Wayne to get on his skateboard and ride into the sunset after he rapped about one of our martyrs, talking about “beating the P**sy up like Emmett Till”. They gave LL Cool J a pass for the song (w/country singer Brad Paisley) “Accidental Racist” where he rapped about “if you overlook our gold chains, we’ll forget about the iron chains”. And now the latest debauchery, Nikki Minaj’s new single, “lookin ass n*gga” with the image of our shining Black Prince, Malcolm X holding the M1 as the single cover. The fact that the Nicki Minaj cover has been released Black History Month and the month that Malcolm X was assassinated is no coincidence. When it comes to corporate America nothing incidental is coincidental, everything is calculated.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal”. We will not betray our Ancestors nor will we allow anyone else to desecrate their legacy. We understand that many of you are “just trying to sell CD’s” and we are not knocking how anyone eats, we are simply saying don’t bite off more than you can chew and end up choking. In the past, some aspiring capitalists and sympathizers for the ignorant have rushed to the aid of the “poor rapper” stating, “they’re just rappers they don’t know any better”. To them I say, when Rick Ross thought he was Larry Hoover and a particular street organization sent him a message, he cancelled his tour out of fear and he realized that regardless of who he may of thought he was he quickly remembered that he was William Leonard Roberts II. Let the record reflect, we are not above adopting a similar model or method of communication to educate “those who don’t know any better” on why in the long run it is not advantageous to use those who lived and died for our people as tools for personal or corporate gain. With that being said, let it be known that we are ringing the alarm and that this letter serves, as a notice that we intend to confront you, challenge you and make performances and public appearances as difficult as possible if this madness continues.
Our people in general and our Ancestors specifically will no longer be “The Rodney Dangerfields” of society. Ancestral treason and disrespect is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It is nothing short of an abomination that the descendants of the Maafa (African Holocaust) would have the audacity to grow from the seeds of servitude to the willing fertilizers of future pestilence. In the immortal words of the rapper ODB from the legendary Wu Tang Clan, “Shame on a N*gga”!
It should be noted that we are not “anti-Hip Hop”, “only listen to Conscious rap”, “hating on rappers” or none of that. Contrary to that belief, we are Hip Hop. Not only are we Hip Hop, we are Freedom Fighters and this letter is written out of the love for our people and for the preservation of Hip Hop and we will see that both of those positions are planted and carried out, by any means necessary.
Look for us in the whirlwind,
The People’s Army
""Russell Simmons, Harriet Tubman and Rap: Outta Control"