Bill Cosby Adresses Absent Fathers, Criticizes Hip-Hop

Actor/comedian Bill Cosby went on the offensive against rap music Tuesday (Aug. 22) while encouraging fathers to raise their children.

The 69-year-old author and Grammy-winner, who spent the last five minutes of his speech voicing his displeasure of the content of rap, spoke in front of a standing room only audience at the Heritage United Church of Christ in Northwest Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"They put the word 'nigga' in a song, and we get up and dance to it," Cosby said.

The two-hour Coppin State University-hosted event dubbed "Fatherhood Works," was the last stop on the entertainer's day-long visit to the


In addition to hip-hop, Cosby expressed his views on teenage pregnancy, re-emphasized the importance of a good education and urged

fathers to take a more active role in raising their kids, as he visited three West Baltimore elementary schools and the church.

"This is a great evening because we're calling on men to come claim their children," said Cosby, who spoke for 20 minutes before joining a panel to field questions. "And that's part of being a man. You cannot be a man at all if you haven't claimed your child. Some of you have three, four, five of them. You have more children than you have jobs."

The church event also provided an opportunity for Cosby to reject the idea that life was better for black people when the races were segregated.

He also applauded Black Muslims for confronting drug dealers on street corner.

The entertainer's visit isn't the first time he has spoken in Baltimore.

Cosby has come to the city at least three other times in the past two years, according to the Sun.

He will return in October to attend a fundraiser at Morgan, said Coppin President Stanley F. Battle.

Despite the warm reception he received in Baltimore, Cosby has come under fire in recent years.

While appearing at a gala in May 2004 Cosby came under fire for criticizing low-income blacks who give their children expensive sneakers instead of books.

"They think they're hip," Cosby said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."

Although some accused Cosby of insensitivity and elitism, the comedian stood his ground and hit the road to promote family values and education.