Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN) has released a statement revealing its position on controversial lyrics Eminem wrote about African-Americans in a rap recited in 1993.
The tape was released to the media at a press conference in New York City on Wednesday, by Source founder Dave Mays and his partner, Raymond “Benzino” Scott.
On the 10-year-old tape, Eminem raps about an ex-girlfriend, who happened to be African-American and also makes disparaging comments about African-American women in general. In addition, the rapper used the N-word as well in a lyric referring to Sir Mix-A-Lots Baby Got Back.
“These lyrics are disgusting, but the oneness of hip-hop culture has transformed many young people in trailer parks around the country away from their parents¹ old mindset of white supremacy,” Russell Simmons said. “We believe Eminem’s apology is sincere and
forthright. He continues not only to be an icon of hip-hop, but also has evolved into a good soldier who gives back money, time and energy to the community, encouraging this generation of youth to reach their highest aspirations.”
This past April, the HHSAN honored Eminem at their Detroit Summit. The Detroit native was granted the National Outstanding Achievement Award for his charity work and hands-on support of youth nationwide.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of HHSAN, said that the race card is often used to divide the hip-hop culture.
“Hip-hop culture transcends race,” Chavis noted. “We, therefore, must be careful as to how the race card is played to divide people rather than to encourage unity in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality for all.”
The support of Simmons’ non-profit organization comes on the heels of Eminem apologizing for the remarks, saying they were made out of anger and frustration.
Mays and Scott said they plan to issue a recording of the CD in each copy of the February issue of The Source.
Eminem has accused the magazine of having a “personal vendetta” against him and the artists associated with him.
The Source has refused to take the raps as foolishness, as Eminem put it in a retort. “These are racist remarks by someone who has the ability to influence millions of minds,” said editor-in-chief Kim Osorio to New York Newsday.
The tape is the latest in a series of insults hurled at each other, which includes diss records from both sides, The Source printing articles and posters aimed at discrediting Eminem and Eminem smashing his Source Award to pieces this year at Hot 97′s Summer Jam concert.