Sunday, April 23, 2006


The brilliant thing about hip-hop is that it manages to play a part in creating enormous social problems, but will then rally round to try and slap on a sticky plaster. So, in pretty much the model of the stop the violence movement comes the Hip Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment, where arists like Nas, Alicia Keys and LL Cool J take their bling off and urge people to be careful with money.

Alicia Keys, of course, was the face of the World Gold Council's campaign to encourage people to spend all their money on gold jewellery. So presumbaly she's keen to see people take care of their money to enable them to buy some more expensive bangles.


Anonymous said...

I hope a good couple of hours of the summit is spent having all involved slapped across the back of the head in time to "Diamonds from Sierra Leone".

Neo Realist said...

you all are quick to say that Hip Hop doesn't do anything empowering or beneficial to the community and when some artists do take a stand you point and stare at them and call them hypocritical?..what more do you want..If you want people to take notice then you gotta get the top mainstream artists out there on the frontline..that's just the way it is..most would complain that top artists don't want to take a stand so now that they do your angry..umm ok. I never said I agreed with any of the negative aspects of rap music or Hip Hop culture but I'm defintely not gonna turn into a synnical critic when someone tries to turn a negative into a for diamonds from sierra leone..i'm surprised karlt wasn't so caught up in the hypocrisy of Kanye West within the context of the song to even support the song..

the brillant thing about Hip Hop is that depsite some of its negative characteristics and illinformed critics it is still the only music based culture with artists who have and continue to support the community through their own personal foundations, charities and scholarships...Jay-Z, NaS, Nelly, LL, P.Diddy..even G-unit among others give back..w/that said is somebosy gonna slap sticky plaster on them and call it blind ignorance?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...


am I to understand you don't think there's something hypocritical in Keys supporting the - admittedly admirable - campaign to try and get people to be fiscally responsible while, simultaneously, trousering large sums of money advertising gold for sale?

It's not anger, it's more frustration.

Sure, this is a nice little gesture, but what's needed is for Ladies Love Cool James to feel comfortable making a video when he's not wearing expensive clothes, to encourage his colleagues not to dance around on Cribs and programmes of that ilk showing off how much cash they have.

Preaching financial sense is one thing, but you need to change the culture of the artists, not lecture the fans.

Otherwise, it's 'don't do as I do, do as I say' - and whether that's being delivered from the back of David Cameron's car or the stage of a hip-hop gig, that's hypocrisy...

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