The backlash from Rick Ross’ rape rap and Lil Wayne’s “Emmett Till” lyrics shows us that people are finally paying attention to the need for social responsibility in hip hop. But today’s wave of immoral rappers isn’t the first. Before Rick Ross and Lil Wayne picked up a mic, rappers on Dame Dash’s Roc-a-fella Records, including Jay-Z and the State Property group, enjoyed huge success while glorifying drug dealing and crime and disrespecting women.
Dame Dash recently gave a revealing interview on The Combat Jack Show where he addressed that time in his career and showed a great deal of maturity in realizing the social impact of irresponsible lyrics. Via Necole Bitchie:
At times, there’s a lot of guilt from pushing a movement that’s not healthy to your culture. I was pushing that it was healthy to sell drugs, and to get it however you can and disrespecting women and all that. For a 20-year-old, being ignorant without a male figure to guide you, that sh-t is somewhat acceptable to a certain level but as a 34, 35-year-old, you can’t keep doing that knowing that you have children and the harm it does to your culture.
I love that Dame Dash took this stance. It’s not enough for musicians to say they’re not a role model when their lyrics can have a negative impact, whether it’s normalizing rape or disrespecting the legacy of civil rights icons. It’s my hope Reebok’s decision to drop Rick Ross and Dame Dash’s admission regret can usher in a new age of responsible rap.
Listen to the full interview here:
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