Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Nelly Wanted To ‘Kick Somebody’s Ass’ Over Spelman’s Protest Of ‘Tip Drill’ (VIDEO)

Interesting exchange here between Marc Lamont Hill at HuffPost Live and rapper / hip-hop artist, Nelly.  This discussion is primarily about the circumstances surrounding a 2004 protest and boycott led by several Spellman College students, of a bone marrow drive Nelly was coordinating in support of his then-ill sister.  Nelly's sister later lost her fight with cancer, leaving Nelly wondering whether a potential donor might have come forward on that day, had not the Spellman students used that as an opportunity to protest Nelly's less than favorable depiction of women in his music.

Evident in this exchange, as is often the case when hip-hop artists sit down to have an intelligent conversation with reporters and others about meaningful issues, Nelly has strong ideas about the ways women are depicted through music, about the meaning and nature of social responsibility, and the relationship between the two when it comes to hip-hop and rap music artists.

It's worth watching/listening to, if for no other reason than the questions raised, as well as some of the contradictions Nelly pushes Marc and others to be more mindful of.

Ultimately, it's clear that Nelly and Marc Lamont Hill are having two different conversations, and only toward the end do they come close to responding to one another.  Doesn't quite happen, though.  A real dialogue about the need for more affirming and uplifting images and lyrics in music is important, as is the importance of raising an awareness and consciousness about African Americans' health in general, and the need for more African American bone marrow / stem cell donors more specifically.  It seems that 2004 occasion may have been a missed opportunity on both accounts.

I still maintain that neither of these discussions would be as pressing if we, as African people in America, were more clear about our history, and were more serious about healing and developing our communities.

No conscious people would be arguing about this craziness, nor would we allow this crazy pathology to continue.  Far more work for all of us to do.


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