While rappers like Jay-Z and Diddy are typically lauded for their mogul status, two entertainers say they’re harming the culture. Arrested Development rapper Speech said as much on Instagram and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner echoed his sentiments a day later.
“I listen to many of these brothers art and I respect certain things about them,” Speech said on Instagram Thursday, Feb. 1. “But it is imperative that we don’t lose sight of the simple truth — these men were CONGRATULATED by a white supremacist culture for degrading Black men and women, portraying us as disposable as a cockroach within their lyrics.”
The photo accompanying the post included such big names as Jay, Diddy, T.I. and Big Sean and Speech pointed to their rhymes about drugs, gang life and women as a problem for Black culture.
“They taught and glorified the drug, pimp, prostitution, stripper and gang game, and led many impressionable people down a path that they have paid heavily for, while these successful dudes got paid!” he concluded. “This is not a diss, it’s a reminder, that all that glitters ain’t gold! True Black power is not this, it’s despite this!”
After leaving a comment on Speech’s post, Warner reposted it on his own IG Friday, Feb. 2 explaining his thoughts on how rappers perpetuate “stereotypes and conditions that have been intentionally placed upon us to keep us stuck at a low level of awareness and knowledge of self.”
“Many of us who’ve GROWN UP on these brothers have evolved, but I don’t necessarily hear the same evolution in the music,” he continued. “N—– are still n—–, as are b——and ho’s. And flippin’ bricks and tricks is still the way to get that dough…until you make enough to live like they do. And if you think these Black men got rich off of what they’ve sold us in hip hop, just imagine how much money the white men made off of them.”
The responses to both comments were mixed. Some bashed the takes while others lent their full support.