Abiodun Oyewole

EXCLUSIVE: The Last Poets' Abiodun Oyewole Responds To Dahveed Nelson Calling Jay Z A "Coon"

(AllHipHop News) Earlier this week Dahveed Nelson, one of the co-founders of The Last Poets, gave an interview with Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock. In the exchange Nelson accused mogul/rapper Jay Z of “putting on blackface and cooning” as well as placing the blame for Trayvon Martin’s death on Hip Hop for reinforcing negative stereotypes of African-Americans.

[ALSO READ: Dahveed Nelson Of The Last Poets Says Hip Hop Is Now “The Devil”; Calls Jay-Z A “Coon”]

Fellow founding member of The Last Poets Abiodun Oyewole read those comments and reached out to AllHipHop.com with a statement clarifying that Nelson’s opinions about Jay Z and Hip Hop should not be attributed to The Last Poets as a collective. Oyewole also wanted to express that he disagrees with Nelson’s viewpoints and calls his comments divisive.

Read Abiodun Oyewole’s full statement below.

Here’s my response to Jason Whitlock’s interview with Dahveed calling Jay-Z a coon.

It is unnecessary to refer to Jay-Z or any other Hip Hop artist as a “coon”. Hip Hop was created on the foundation of The Last Poets. The Last Poets are a group of African-American men who use poetry to address issues concerning Black people. We considered ourselves to be the final word in bringing about unity within the race. We often speak about the white man “divides and conquers”. He does nothing of the sort. He conquers the divided. He has been doing this for centuries.

Dahveed Nelson, an original member and co-founder of the group, made remarks during an interview that were very divisive and not helpful to the cause of Black Unity. The Last Poets are the fathers of all the Jay-Zs in the world. We must take our role as father seriously and not “throw the children out with the bath water.” Jay-Z and Beyoncé have made quite a few positive contributions to the Black community. This should not be ignored.

Because I am one of The Last Poets I am concerned about the social and political circumstances my people are dealing with. This does not mean that other wordsmiths have to echo my sentiments. On the other hand, I would love to hear more positive messages, educational and historical information as well as stories about our victories in a world where we were designed to self-destruct.

In the advent of the Trayvon Martin verdict, and all the Trayvons that we know and don’t know about, it is important that we come together and stop throwing stones at each other. The only answer to the countless injustices we are faced with daily is to be even stronger and more deliberate in our love for each other. We need to share good thoughts, be encouraging, be supportive and criticize each other constructively.

When we work together we can do anything and we have proven that already. We have great power backed up by our ancestors, but we need to unify in order to receive the benefits of our great power. We must show a unified force so strong until no one white or other would even imagine assaulting us, insulting us, or killing us.

I think most of us know that racism is very much alive in America. Because there is a Black president many of us thought that things would change. The fact is racism has become even more rampant. Racism is a disease just like cancer and no cure has been found for either. The elders need to reach out to the youth and pass the torch honorably. We should help them find their way and make their mark. There are some elements and styles of Hip Hop that I too find distasteful, but it is a genre that should not be demonized. And if that be the case then we created this devil.

I hope and pray that the future will afford us time to have healthy dialogue that will turn into significant actions using all of our wonderful art forms for the purpose of liberation and Black Unity. The elder wordsmiths must talk to and listen to the younger wordsmiths. Name calling is unnecessary and unacceptable.

– Abiodun of The Last Poets

29 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: The Last Poets' Abiodun Oyewole Responds To Dahveed Nelson Calling Jay Z A "Coon"”

  1. youngplaya

    There is no need to refer to Jayz as a coon. That’s sick. Call the man and see if you can have a sit down to discuss a movement. Better yet use that energy to get your message out to the masses. How come it’s only 1 comment on this page? It’s because people don’t know you’re out there and never heard your message.

    • @Real_SirJamie

      It’s because some of the people on here thrive off of that ignorance. They don’t remember “Each One Teach One” they have adopted the racist attitude more than they know. We don’t need the Klan or Skinheads because young Africans on this website are quicker to call each other “coons” and “niggers” than a racist Anglo Saxon is. I’ll will probably get a reply like “shut up coon” and you will see like 5009482998870 likes for it as well. Whitey IS right about one thing though… all of THOSE type of people (no matter the race) need to be shipped to another island and let them destroy while we build. SHALOM.

      • DJ7

        Guilty as charged…I do tend to go over the top @ times…ok more times than not b.u.t. it’s just frustrating that my brothas are still falling for the okie doke especially in the information age fam…some of the nonsense our brothas post on here warrant a swift uppercut…my approach may be a lil abrassive & often offensive to some b.u.t. it’s just tough love & more times than not my point does get across…don’t get it twisted….I’m not always on the kill whitey trip..I also come through with an optimistic attitude and drop a jewel or 2 for the brothas to ponder without ruffling too many feathers…all in all…I feel what you’re saying fam & agree whole heartedly with your assessment of the each 1 teach 1 philosophy being a lost tool in need of revisiting…there’s got to be a more effective way to reach our youth without instilling the hate that some of us still harbor…me included…I’m bigger than that…our people are bigger than that & our seeds deserve better…In the future I’ll keep your post in mind when approaching discussions and find alternative ways of expressing myself without being too disrespectful….good post B

      • @Real_SirJamie

        We aren’t perfect, but the change starts where YOU JUST DID SIR. Admit when I’m wrong and try to change it instead of making excuses. You are on the right path brother. If sense can be made from a simple comment on a website than imagine what we can do outside? Sadly everyone can’t critique themselves as you and I have done. But to know that there are still people out there that want to do right is more than a blessing. Peace.

      • bisolabliss

        I follow your train of thought but it’s frustrating when someone like Harry chastised Jay and he responds with this lyrics:

        I’m just trying to find common ground
        ‘fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nígga down
        Mr. Day O, major fail
        Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now
        Hublot homie, two door homie
        You don’t know all the shít I do for the homies

        Belafonte wasn’t talking about handouts when he criticized Jay & Bey, he was speaking of ADVOCACY…2 different things entirely. It’s often mistaken for PHILANTHROPY.

        This same Jay doesn’t have a respond or lyrics for Robert De Niro when he stepped to him hard but would insult a Civil Rights advocate like Harry…one of those that fought for his rights to even step to the table of opportunity in America.

        I hope you can gauge how hard it is to hold one’s tongue in light of such disrespect to an 86 year old elderly.

        How do I go about even embracing him? It is a frustrating ‘double-edged knife like’ scenario.

      • bisolabliss

        This is a re-post of the legendary Mr. Davey D’s take on the lyrics in question:

        Davey D: Someone said that Harry Belafonte never respected Hip Hop and spoke out of turn..Certainly this is not the same Harry Belafonte who produced one of Hip Hop’s first movies Beat Street…

        Certainly this is not the same Harry Belafonte who at age 80 was down in LA making sure gang members have their own coffee shops and opportunity to move upward.. Folks need to look up the work he’s done with the Gathering..

        The Harry Belafonte I know was taking MILLIONS of dollars of his own money and making sure MLK and others were bailed out of jail and had money to make noise..Folks need to hear the stories of Belafonte traveling in the Jim crow south with suitcases of money to KKK infested areas to get his people out of jail after they were beaten and jailed for sitting at lunch counters and fighting for voter rights..

        Belafonte is a true G who never spoke out of turn.. No reason to dis Mr B.. Jay should have took it and kept it moving..

      • @Real_SirJamie

        You can not combat darkness with darkness sir. Only light can drive out the dark.

  2. Casor_G

    “The white man does not divide and conquer, he conquers the divided..”

    Real Talk! I believe that statement applies to all “conquerors” and is not specific to the “white man”

  3. LetsBeRealpeople

    No, this is not “That” argument. Jay Z of Hawaii Sophie Fame and “N*GG*S In Paris” Fame a la Gwenyth Paltrow, and some other lame sh*t does not get a damn pass of U.N.I.T.Y. Call a spade a spade, and when the Revolution comes you will see what part of the field or what part of the house he will be found. Otherwise your guy is not loosing sleep about any of this, it’s something he will add to some lame lyrics six weeks after it hits the internet. Next.

  4. wickedjones

    Its so easy to criticize another brother. He’s sounds like a bitter, old, fool. Like what Richard Pryor said about Leon Spinks, when ppl was criticizing him. “What’s Spinks Job?” ” He knock motherf*ckers out.”

  5. digitallife

    Rappers once they reach a certain plateau can and should use that platform to better their peers. It’s all good and dandy hearing he has 500 million dollars but educate the people whose attention you hold in regards to how you got it. The P.R. for Jay-Z glosses over how he’s a great businessman when he is no different than any other millionaire who has a team of financial professionals who give him the risk and rewards of making investments into companies they bring to them/him. Now we’ve been hearing the hustler to millionaire story for nearly 2 decades but not once has the man in depth talked about his transitional phases. You go to the common jay-z thread and after any criticism you read “well he’s worth half a billion”..honestly who gives a fk what he’s worth. Share with us for once how you actually got there. Let mofo’s realize that there are many other careers just as lucrative if not more lucrative than hustling or rapping or making beats. For every dollar jay pays a producer his financial gurus make 10. Just once i’d like to see this man humble himself enough to examine the social ills and make at least one aspect of his life not be about how he is ‘the joneses”.

    • southside4lyfe

      You hit it right on the nose. I’m 23 and my generation is a mix of the old school and the new school music. We grew up when pac and biggie was alive but we were too young to take in the knowledge of what tupac and biggie was saying. We just listened to it because everybody else did. They died and Jay-Z just took off and every album has been about materialistic things and how much money he makes. Yes he isn’t talking about shooting people and his music is very good motivational music but the young cats that grew up on you want to know how you got their. What makes your business skills so good that you got pass russle simons status. Tell the youth about what your childhood was like because all we know is you had a MERCEDEZ WHEN YOU CAME IN THE GAME. THAT DON’T MEAN SHIT WE WANNA KNOW THE HUSSLE THE STRUGGLE AND MAKING OUT AND GETTING TO WERE YOU ARE TODAY.

      • Elliott Baker

        ^ this is ignorance. go and listen to his FIRST ALBUM, Reasonable Doubt. Almost all of his content is about his “transitional phase” from good kid to hustler to rapper. And he also covers how him hustling in the first place is DUE to social ills. Pick up his book Decoded and your view of Shawn Carter will do a full 180

      • golder1

        You speaking on things you know nothing about. Anyone who listens to his music knows he doesnt talk just about materialistic things. That is completely false. Every album gives a look into his life from past to future. 2nd his rise to the top and how he got there is well documented. Its ignorant to think he can lay out a plan for others to get where he is at. Everyone is different and dont hold the same talents.

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