Five Ways Talib Kweli Can Become a Better Ally to Women in Hip Hop

pic of Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli


After this latest week of utter shamtastery in Hip Hop, the words of the late great Aaliyah resonate now more than ever:

We need a resolution; there is so much confusion.

Many folks have aptly broken down all that is wrong with Rick Ross’ faux-pology, his misunderstanding of rape culture and consent, and what he and others in the culture owe to Black women.

I am more interested in the quintessential case of #allyfail that was Talib Kweli’s participation in this conversation. On Monday, in a conversation at Huffington Post Live with host Marc Lamont Hill, and guests Rosa Clemente, Jamilah Lemieux, and Rahiel Tesfamariam, Talib went in on Rosa for suggesting that she didn’t consider Ross a part of Hip Hop culture.

She argued that her view represented a radical edge of thinking about Hip Hop culture, which attempts to separate what she referred to as the “rap industrial complex” from the broader culture. She also fully acknowledged the extent to which folks would disagree with her perspective. I think her critique and perspective is a valid one, meaning that while I’m not sure if I agree, her argument is worthy of debate and dialogue.

But what Talib offered wasn’t dialogue. Instead, he attempted to dress Rosa down for even having such a perspective. And then he dictated to her what her perspective should  be and told her that ultimately, it didn’t matter what her view was, “Rick Ross and Wayne are a part of the culture whether you like it or not.”

Do women not get to draw boundaries? Do women not get a say in determining the cultural environs of hip hop?

This act of masculine aggression, mansplaining, and general disrespect is all the more absurd given that Talib Kweli then went on Twitter and told his friend dream hampton who attempted to point out some of the flaws in his argument, that he was “disappointing in her for rattling her sabers,” (i.e. critiquing him), especially since he’s an “ally.”

Um, Talib (if by chance you are listening), your conduct here is actually a primer in “How Not To Be An Ally.”

I know you may stop listening at this point since you probably perceive my tone not to be loving, but if you do continue to read, here are a few pointers on how to be a real male ally in Hip Hop:


1.)  Let the women have the mic. Rick Ross disrespected all women, and particularly Black and Brown women, in this situation. Black and Brown women have the right to command the space, to “get on the mic” if you will, and speak our piece, without you yanking it back cuz you don’t like what we’re spitting. In other words, if you should find yourself yelling at one of the injured parties, just know that something has gone woefully awry. Check it before you wreck it, ya heard?

2.)  Don’t mansplain. Telling Rosa Clemente that the “smarter move” is to embrace Rick Ross with love assumes that Black women’s contribution to the conversation is emotional not logical. But I hope it is abundantly clear that you were the one all in your feelings in that convo. We’ve been conditioned not to see it when men get defensive and emotional, cuz y’all usually signal that by telling women that we’re the ones who aren’t being “smart” or “logical.” But I call bullshit for bullshit. Despite what you said to dream hampton on twitter, “your outrage clouded” your judgment.

3.)  Don’t invoke the tone argument. You expected Rosa to listen to you, even though your tone wasn’t loving. You were offended, and you felt the right to communicate that offense and be heard. Why not Black women? If someone is standing on my fucking foot, I don’t have to ask them nicely to move. Like the Queen (Latifah, that is) said 20 years ago, “a man don’t love ya, if he hits ya,” or rapes ya, or raps about raping ya. To ask me to love somebody who ain’t even remotely interested in trying to love me back, either means you think Black women are Jesus or fools. To demand more love when all Black women do is give love is at best woeful misrecognition and worst an egregious show of male arrogance.

4.)  Interrogate your privilege. You may be a progressive man in hip hop, but you are still a man who moves through the world with male privilege. And what you did in that conversation and the subsequent conversation on twitter was communicate from the space of that male privilege. You told Rosa that she didn’t get to determine who was in and out of Hip Hop, though she has paid her dues in the culture just like you. And then you told her who was in. Period. The end. That’s not being an ally. That’s being minister of information for the Ol Boys’ Club.

5.)  Recognize that you don’t get to tell us how to be our ally; we get to tell you. And if the fact that you don’t have the power to determine the bounds of your allyship make you uncomfortable, then you have found the primary place of your problem. We get to determine who our allies are. Not you. Your primary job as an ally is to listen, and then be a megaphone, not a microphone. Your job is to amplify what we’re saying so other folks can hear it, and have our back if something pops off.  If the folks you are attempting to help or be in alliance with tell you that they are feeling unsupported, then that might mean there is a problem with the support you are offering rather than a problem with the demands they are making. (For a far better explication of this principle, check out this good work from our friends over at Shakesville.)

I don’t know that the tips above come from a place of love. I don’t always love hip hop, since hip hop so infrequently loves me back. But I absolutely care about what happens in hip hop and I care about the healing of Black men with pathological ideas about sex and I care about Black men who are interested in being allies. Most of all, I care about Black women. So maybe a little more love is not what we need. Too many people use that word in vain. Perhaps Hip Hop should start somewhere far more basic: let’s imagine what it would look like to care. For others, for ourselves, for the culture.


148 thoughts on “Five Ways Talib Kweli Can Become a Better Ally to Women in Hip Hop

    1. Word! as much as i love hip-hop it is very problematic. We need to interrogate these men that claim hip hop. But I can not help to think about how they even themselves are caught up in the “Rap Industrial Complex” that is run by elite white men that at the end of the day sign their paychecks. We DO need a resolution.

  1. ‘nuf said: Don’t invoke the tone argument. You expected Rosa to listen to you, even though your tone wasn’t loving. You were offended, and you felt the right to communicate that offense and be heard. Why not Black women? If someone is standing on my fucking foot, I don’t have to ask them nicely to move. Like the Queen (Latifah, that is) said 20 years ago, “a man don’t love ya, if he hits ya,” or rapes ya, or raps about raping ya. To ask me to love somebody who ain’t even remotely interested in trying to love me back, either means you think Black women are Jesus or fools. To demand more love when all Black women do is give love is at best woeful misrecognition and worst an egregious show of male arrogance.

    Ditto & Thanks!

  2. Objective Behaviorial Feedback!

    “And then you told her who was in. Period. The end. That’s not being an ally. That’s being minister of information for the Ol Boys’ Club.”

  3. When I saw Talib Kweli in concert, the first thing he said when he got on the stage was ‘show us your tits.’ No joke. Dude’s not an ally, ‘kay thanks.

  4. Yes! This was so needed. I was so frustrated with the host and Talib Kweli after watching the interview.

  5. this is hilarious.

    while kweli a bit rabid – as he often is – the fact is the show exposed how selective ‘feminist’ interests and, how corrupt, women’s movements often are. rather than confront those inconvenient truths you’d rather misrepresent the entire discussion, preempt or disappear what was actually said about challenging misogyny in rap and ‘circle the wagons’ around the boiler-plate dictates of an out-moded movement. it is sad. these tactics are stale and transparent and people who might benefit from sincere engagement ignore ‘feminism’ because it is so obviously corrupt and out for self – just like rappers. fix yourselves.

    1. You do know we’re a feminist site obviously. So this conversation isn’t going to become a referendum on feminism. Troll us and we’ll block you. Plain and simple.

      1. well isn’t that the way to deal with dissent, lol. blocking and shut down.

        strange, because when talking about rick ross, almost all of hip-hop, or black men get dragged into the debate. why then when talking about the clemente, lemieux, hill and kweli discussion, one that this site in a rather predictably and in doctrinaire manner misrepresent, we can’t we critique the ‘feminist industrial complex’? c

        you of course can do what you want. but, rather than outing yourself as an ideologue, why not address any of the points i raised opposed to ‘labeling’ and threatening to ‘silence me?’ rappers and others are asked to evaluate and check themselves to see how their desires and actions re-create oppression. is it ‘unfeminist’ for feminists to do the same thing? the fact is ‘feminist’ are out for the same thing as rappers are – and use similar tactics. it is just that ‘feminist’ go about it differently. both though are deeply corrupt and dependent on systems of white power.

        the failure to recognize that stalls the discussion, but of course that’s what ideologues, be they masculinist or feminist, want to happen. so they can keep doing and saying the same things. people know this of course and it, since about delores tucker, is all part of the show. that’s why it is out-moded, mainly.

        if folks really care about the f*ckery ross or beyonce (an yes ross is way worse than beyonce) promote or their trojan horse positivity, ‘educated’ people, regardless of their ideological commitments, need to do better. plain and simple.

  6. Talib Kweli has been an utter disappointment since like 1999 (post black star). It’s clear that he doesn’t want to upset the pop rap stars because he hopes for his own advancement by playing nice. Where are our soldiers?

    1. lol beyonce got them all.

      seriously, though you do realize irony of calling for soldiers when rape is a weapon of war? or that rape culture stems largely from the same hierarchy of values that produces men willing to kill for country?

      this right here is one of the many ways females are invest in patriarchy.

    2. So real. Son has had the battery in his back since Jay-z dropped his name on Black album. I’m not surprised by his response here + saddened that it has become dangerous to bring “progressive” rap artist to the table of these discussions. Strip away all the context: the lady has a right to her opinion + especially in regards to an issue like this that opinion in particular MUST be explored. While I don’t wholly agree with her, the point about a Rap Industrial Complex is very astute + should be investigated more :.

  7. well isn’t that the way to deal with dissent, lol. blocking and shut down.

    strange, because when talking about rick ross, almost all of hip-hop, or black men get dragged into the debate. why then when talking about the clemente, lemieux, hill and kweli discussion, one that this site in a rather predictably and in doctrinaire manner misrepresent, we can’t we critique the ‘feminist industrial complex’? c

    you of course can do what you want. but, rather than outing yourself as an ideologue, why not address any of the points i raised opposed to ‘labeling’ and threatening to ‘silence me?’ rappers and others are asked to evaluate and check themselves to see how their desires and actions re-create oppression. is it ‘unfeminist’ for feminists to do the same thing? the fact is ‘feminist’ are out for the same thing as rappers are – and use similar tactics. it is just that ‘feminist’ go about it differently. both though are deeply corrupt and dependent on systems of white power.

    the failure to recognize that stalls the discussion, but of course that’s what ideologues, be they masculinist or feminist, want to happen. so they can keep doing and saying the same things. people know this of course and it, since about delores tucker, is all part of the show. that’s why it is out-moded, mainly.

    if folks really care about the f*ckery ross or beyonce (an yes ross is way worse than beyonce) promote or their trojan horse positivity, ‘educated’ people, regardless of their ideological commitments, need to do better. plain and simple.

      1. …and in place of addressing what i said, you’d rather point out some feminists slightly more corrupt than those here.

      1. wow. facism much, shannon? might you address any of the points i raised, or is it protocol to just appeal to the ‘power that be’ to have an ‘irritant’ removed? yeah democracy.

      2. It’s called a dialogue. Would you prefer a big feminist circle jerk instead? He’s not trolling, being very reasonable, and y’all are falling him fascist and threatening to block him. Seems pretty indicative of the overall problem here.

    1. Of course they can do what they want – that’s the point of them having their own forum. They don’t have to accomodate your dissent or even recognize it. Nobody’s saying you can’t critique the “feminist industrial complex” or whatever, just go find your own space to do that.

  8. I believe wholeheartedly that misogynistic overtones, blatant disrespect of women, rape culture etc. as displayed in the lyrics of Rick Ross and others should be scorned and called to task. By anyone that claims to love people. Not just hip-hop, or rap music. I hear the points made by both Rosa and Talib, and each one had a right to the view they expressed, why we are arguing over who’s point is more valid, rather than expressing disdain for the the actual perpetrator of the crime. I believe the point that Talib was attempting to make is that we need to attack the action as opposed to the person. How can you attempt to get someone to change when you begin by ostracizing them? Rosa however has an equally valid point in that we cannot ever condone the behavior as an acceptable part of hip-hop culture. I understand as a male, the idea of privilege, we are entitled. But that entitlement is in a large part granted by the misguided actions of our sisters, we all need accountability. I believe in the power of women, as a black man I want nothing more than to empower women. Personally knowing several victims of sexual assault and rape, several of them more than once falling victim, I couldn’t ever support someone that says a line about non-consensual sex being cool, and then misunderstood. Ignorance isn’t an excuse, circumstance isn’t an excuse, we each have an innate sense of right and wrong. You know when you do something that hurts another, we choose to override that urge to fulfill our own desires, urges etc. but that isn’t an excuse either. Love shouldn’t be something that is glanced over, over looked, and under utilized. It shouldn’t be considered “soft” it is strong, and powerful, and should be given freely to all. Maybe then we could begin to free ourselves from the cancers eating away at the moral fiber of our beings, and move to a place of enlightenment.

    1. Greetings. I just wanted you to know that I called out your response on my Twitter feed as one that I felt everyone should read. Thank you for sharing our wisdom. You and dtakafari!

  9. I followed much of the commentary (Lemieux, Tesfamariam and a Clutch article) around Rick Ross’ lyrics, half-hearted apology, and Marc Lamont Hill’s subsequent discussion panel, and then the dream hampton/ Talib Kweli squabble on Twitter. Utterly exhausting.

    What I read from Kweli’s participation on the panel was an objection to Rosa Clemente locating Rick Ross and Lil Wayne outside the Hip-Hop spectrum, rather than a denial of her right as a woman to dictate to a Good Ol Boys Club. I can take that critique; I use the term “Hip-Hop” when I want to denote something in the culture that pleases me, some aspect with which I am in agreement. It is hard to swallow the idea that Hip-Hop informs Rick Ross and Wayne’s performance of hyper-aggressive masculinity in their lyrics. But I think Hip-Hop is more than one thing to many people, and as members of the community, both Rosa and Talib can have that debate without deciding for one another who stays in.

    That said, it takes more than love to fix a broken marriage; and the marriage between Hip-Hop and misogyny is beyond love at this point. It needs the rod of correction. I suppose I most resent the insinuation that condemnation of wrongdoing IS NOT love in itself; it is, at its purest form, love for self. I refuse to mollycoddle a reference to date rape, when the word Molly could be switched with Rohypnol and we could be back in the 90s talking about roofies. Because I love myself and I love the Hip-Hop community and I love my brothers, I speak up–critically or not, it’s my choice–to tell the truth in love.

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful commentary that doesn’t cede or collapse any of the arguments that have been bandying about. If there can’t be criticism of this post by CFC, which I l-o-v-e-d in large part because it soothes a throat parched from the kind of behavior Kweli exhibited, then we haven’t advanced at all.

    2. Greetings. I just wanted you to know that I called out your response on my Twitter feed as one that I felt everyone should read. Thank you for sharing our wisdom.

  10. In the segment posted, I agreed wholeheartedly with what Talib said to Rosa Clemente about Rick Ross. Ross, a Black American man, is a part of a marginalized community that’s almost solely defined in pathological terms. Once you start talking about excising him and folks like him from a culture, an argument about inclusion will ensue. Every time. That is definitely not the same thing as saying, “Black women should embrace Black men who rape or rap about it.” Hopefully everyone believes that’s absurd. Talib was talking about what “we” should be saying to Rick Ross, not “all Black men who rap about raping women”.

    The allyship in that specific exchange wasn’t about Talib as a feminist ally, it was about him as an ally for his fellow Black man and hip hop artist. Just like it reads in the article’s 5th point, “allies don’t get to tell the group how to be an ally”. The context of male privilege complicates the issue for sure, but doesn’t the pathologized Black man get to say how another pathologized Black man should be mentored? If Talib says that Ross “won’t listen” if the conversation with him starts at dismissal, isn’t that Talib telling her how to be an ally?

    1. mo the educator: would you agree that the context of this discourse black/brown men and women who identify as part of a hip hop community and/or lovers/appreciators of hip-hop culture?

    2. Mo—Talib doesn’t get to tell women how to relate to a man who jokes on wax about raping them. Period. This isn’t all that complicated.

    3. So, in your opinion, Talib came on the show to be the ally of a man who raps about raping womben?!? Damn, you’ve got a pretty low opinion of Kweli, LOL.

      And, again, Kweli doesn’t get to tell womben “what we should be saying to Rick Ross.” Seriously, you just displayed the same privilege the post was referring to.

      1. There are multiple contexts in the whole scenario. Most prominently, Rick Ross rapped a bar about raping women, and it provides a great context for us to address him and others who find the rape of women as something that is acceptable under certain circumstances (if she’s drugged or drunk, if she changes her mind, if she’s not a stranger, if she’s my wife, etc.). Part of this is public shaming, which is fine. You say something that prominently and that misogynist, expect fire in return. He deserves it. And correction.

        Another context then, is how to “fix” Rick Ross. Rick Ross is not one of the many who were (rightfully) outraged by his lyrics, he’s the one who spoke them. Because he is a Black American man and a hip hop artist, it makes sense for a Black American man and hip hop artist to discuss how allyship for *him* should occur. That’s what Talib was doing. That’s what that 5th point in the article is talking about. According to it, people from the marginalized group are the ones who tell the allies how to respond. Talib and Ross are part of that group, not Rosa Clemente. Just like Talib doesn’t get to dictate how he operates as a feminist ally, neither does Clemente get to dictate how she operates as an ally to pathologized Black males. Thisspecifically isn’t male privilege, it’s in-group privilege.

    4. Mo: regarding allyship for rick ross: I strongly disagree with you. Black male heterosexual rappers are firmly centered in hiphop culture and communities. Their “ally” is the their privelege. Period. Within this context, women are the ones in need of male and female allies that understand the gender dynamic, operate from a self-determined place of agency in the face of rape-rap lyrics, and are skilled in their approach for engaging ross and his ilk.

      1. Nzinga: Rick Ross’s privilege in hip hop culture cannot be teased out and then divorced from the fact that he’s a Black male in a country who’s very social foundations include pillars of Black misandry. His form of privilege looks nothing like White privilege or Christian privilege or heteronormativity. So unless we’ve decided that Black men in America no longer require real agency and allyship in general, we can’t dismiss in-group attempts at it in cultural subcontexts. I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote about women’s need for allies when it comes to situations like these, but I completely disagree that it trumps, silences, deletes, or is mutually exclusive to the need for Black male agency as well. This whole thing isn’t just about Black women, it’s about Black men too, and each marginalized group needs and deserves allies.

  11. Thanks for this! For real though, I thought you kept it really practical and clear – working the balance between compassion and accountability in a way that keeps things moving in the direction of achieving the bigger picture goals. The last 2 sentences are profoundly loving.

  12. I would respectfully submit this quote from Malcolm X:

    “Instead of us airing our differences in public, we have to realize we’re all the same family. And when you have a family squabble, you don’t get out on the sidewalk. If you do, everybody calls you uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage. If you don’t make it at home, you settle it at home; you get in the closet — argue it out behind closed doors. And then when you come out on the street, you pose a common front, a united front. And this is what we need to do in the community, and in the city, and in the state.”

    My personal opinion is that dream should have hit Talib up privately. While I agree with points 1 through 5, I do feel that even if someone is flawed in their support, you should try to constructively engage them to fix those flaws. Critiquing him PUBLICLY was not the way to do so.

    1. I wish we spend more time responding to Talib (and Rick Ross’) out- of-pocket behavior than policing the manner in which women delivered their (very legitimate) critiques. Seems like an exercise in missing the point.

      1. I respectfully disagree. Because, again, while I agree with the critiques and their legitimacy, engaging Talib with them in a private and constructive discourse could have made him a stronger ally rather than putting him on the defensive. I think the far greater evil here is Ross’ lyrics, rather than Talib’s somewhat short-sighted critique of Ross. now not only have you alienated someone who would likely be open to being a stronger ally, you are now expending energy and time critiquing him, time and energy that could be spent engaging Ross. I think that this misses Talib’s legitimate point about saber rattling.

      2. I would like to respectfully disagree with chundley. First, although I understand your concern about engaging with men of color in a private matter to not burn bridges, Talib Kweli isn’t a fellow organizer that we work with everyday. We can’t just pull him to the side and talk. He’s a public figure who makes his public statements (via twitter, for example) and the only way to respond to someone like him is on a public platform. Also, just because a response to his statements was made public doesn’t mean it wasn’t constructive and engaging. Second, I try to stray from the “lesser of two evils” argument. Patriarchy is patriarchy, and when we try to draw lines about who is better/worse, we are essentially perpetuating it. Finally, crunktastic did not alienate Talib Kweli. He alienated himself. He has made it very clear that he is not willing to hear critiques of himself and I am very skeptical that his attitude towards his own patriarchal standpoint would change just because someone sent him a private message. His problem is a little deeper than that.

      3. To your first point, as Talib pointed out in that Twitter exchange, dream is a friend of his. He indicated his shock that she did not reach out to him privately rather than put him on blast. I agree that public statements can be constructive and engaging, but clearly this was not one of those times. I think it would have been better had she called him and spoken with him because yes, he is a public figure, and one who believed he was trying to do some good, even if he was misguided. I don’t think you alienate someone who is trying to do good, particularly if he is the only rapper to do so, male or female. And while I agree with your second point, I simply don’t agree with your third. I don’t believe that you can say because he is now on the defensive and unwilling to listen that he would not have been receptive if he had not been put on the defensive in the first place. I think a simple phone call could have alleviated all of this.

    2. I second crunktastic and Anna’s points, and I’ll add that keeping critiques of sexist men “private” is exactly how patriarchy is perpetuated. If there is one form of oppression that SHOULD NOT be dealt with behind closed doors, it is patriarchy. Everyday sexism isn’t a private matter between two individuals—it is part and parcel of a system of domination that makes life hell for women all over the world. Sexist behavior should always be called out publicly, whether the sexist person in question is a public figure or not.

    3. Nuh-uh…my mama taught me better than this when I was young. When you offend someone in public, you get called on it in public and you need to apologize in public.

      What you’re talking about is the equivalent of a newspaper getting something wrong in the headlines and then hiding the correction on an obscure page the next week.

  13. I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks for writing this. Over the years, I’ve become really disheartened with “conscious” hip hop and it’s because it is, so far, a male-dominated space where hip hop artists pay lip service to feminism, but there’s no feminist praxis. I particularly love your 5th point, that it should be up to us who our allies are. I feel like I have had to have this conversation with so many men who think they should get a pat on the back and center stage just because they’re not far-right conservatives about women’s rights. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    For example, take a look at Talib Kweli’s twitter feed from the past hour.

    My personal favorites are:

    1) “until you’ve made the records I’ve made for hiphop & took the stands I’ve taken for women through this music stfu.”

    2) “You want to know why more men don’t speak up? This is how you treat them when you do? And I STILL speak up.”

    Mansplaining, entitlement, and patriarchy at its finest.

    1. I understand his distress though. Why not engage him constructively (i.e. privately and with love) rather than attacking him? Why not a private “conversation” than getting on Twitter and blasting him publicly? Particularly for an artist who might be receptive to criticism delivered constructively. Why not make him your ally, if he is not fully your ally?

      1. i appreciate talib’s distress but i don’t think it’s a result of him being attacked or criticized in an unconstructive way. i think his distress stems from cognitive dissonance…he identifies strongly as an ally of women in this conversation yet he is being STRONGLY critiqued that his posture and words are not those of an ally. he is fully in a position to quiet that dissonance if he checked his privilege and ego and listened without judgement or defense.

        i’d also disagree that it’s inappropriate to engage him in public. he initiated the discourse in public by doing the huffpostlive segment. that anyone should only respond with criticism in private seems unreasonable.

        if anything, if he felt that dream was being unfairly harsh or mean-spirited to him AS A PERSON (as opposed to his expressed views), then i think he should’ve taken his concerns off-line and in private. but i lightweight don’t care about the dream/talib friend beef. i don’t know either or ’em. *shrug* lol

      2. ‘mansplaining’ = unless a male is quiet and accept our view of things he’s lying or dodging.

        male entitlement = the same ‘privileges’ most females want and, even within their own ‘sisterhood’ use repressive measures and intimidation to stop other women from attaining status. (that’s sort of why hill, the pr*ck he is, saved beyonce’s ‘bow down’ for the end of the discussion).

        ‘patriarchy’ = a system of male dominance kept in place by males and females. today’s ‘feminists’ use past successes to jockey for greater gate keeping privilege within this ‘male system’ while ‘covertly’ helping it to expand. this benefits white people disproportionately, thus giving them more power to operate the systemic factors that endanger, ‘colored’ and ‘poor’, women globally.

        chundley, crunk and them don’t approach kweli with ‘love’, or demonstrate the kinds of interaction that could lead to more productive dialogue and action, because it isn’t really about that. it is about gaining leverage and control over ‘privileged’ men and doing so in a manner that keeps white patriarchy in place while building phony sister solidarity through a contrived antipathy toward certain males.

        what makes this discussion and tips, quite an indictment is that women buy the majority of music and hold positions of power in the industry. it could not operate profitably without women’s participation on all level. rather than writing a bunch of blog posts, or showing up on tv debates to cash in on this latest ‘affront to women’, they could simply withdraw support from artists that offend them and, more importantly build their own industry, focusing on female-positive lyrics artists.

        they’ll not do that because ’empowerment’ isn’t autonomy but interacting with males in prescribed ways. and, if their attempt were to flop, it’d show just how much women are invested in what ‘feminists’ call ‘misogyny’ and they could hardly go back to complaining about what ‘the man’ is or ain’t doing to or for them. so, instead, we get lies and misrepresentations like those in this article, dog-whistling and echo-chambering; then are baffled and outraged when things get worse. then the cycle repeats.

        most people tune out because much of feminism is demonstrably phony and opportunistic. of course, people’ve long realized this and hardly take the movement, or anything that signals it, seriously. it has long outed itself as ‘just another hustle’. so what credential does the movement, or one who responds unthinkingly to its dictates, have? what’s the point of making ethical distinctions among, or allying with, those who are basically amoral or otherwise just trying to get ahead?

        feminism brings some important perspective into the conversation. but, for me at least, there isn’t much difference between certain, dominant, strains of feminism and rick ross. while ross makes no pretense of being ‘out for his’, feminism, which too is deliberately homophobic, classist and racist, act as if they’re ‘for the people’. hopefully black public discourse will do offer us better than ‘rape boosters’ like ross and hypocritical critics like the authors of this blog.

      3. nzinga, I did not at any time say anyone should address him privately. I literally was only referring to dream. Like I said I have no problem with the view brought up in Crunktastic. But I am curious about whether it is more important to assert how wrong Talib was or how to engage him to make him a stronger ally. That’s my larger point. The criticism may be constructive, but the way in which it is delivered must also be constructive for it to be effective. I would ask: where do we go from here? Do we wait for Talib to agree with this post – for him to quiet his ego – even though we know his guard is up and he feels, rightly or wrongly, attacked? Do we shout at him until he agrees? Do we give him the cold shoulder knowing that we are ‘right” and he is yet another patriarch? This is why I took issue with the dream response, because it could only have ended badly. And while this post may give voice to the way many people are feeling, what is the next step?

      4. Chundley: this is actually a response to ur comment from 3:15pm. I’m posting from a mobile and not sure this will fall in the right place on the thread.

        I realize you were talking about dream hampton’s response to talib. I maintain it was not necessary for her to criticize him in a more private or even more gentle way. That their discourse kinda devolved is not all on the way she initially approached. We can agree to disagree on this.

        As for crunktastic’s post (and that’s really what I’m more concerned with), I think the critique of talib was solid and spot on in substance as well as fairly (if strongly) worded.

        I don’t think it’s necessary or productive to judge what’s more important between asserting how wrong talib was and how to engage him to help him become a better ally. Both are important. While crunktastic’s post was directed at Talib and one situation, it resonates broadly. Allies and those who are tying to cultivate alliances can read this post and the follow-up comments and apply it to how they conduct discourse, how they interpret others’ words and actions, how well their own words/behavior are in alignment with their good intentions, etc (those are some key next steps that may or may not play out on this message board). All that can happen (and is happening) regardless of where talib is w.r.t quieting his ego. If Talib sees this and his behavior is informed by it, if he dialogues with CFC or others abt it constructively, that’s great. But there’s value here even if talib doesn’t see or respond to it.

  14. i pretty much found this close-minded stance on the matter incredibly more offensive than anything you *think* Talib said. i’m not a Talib apologist or a rape apologist or a mansplainer or whatever (thought i’m almost sure you’d categorize me as one).

    the idea that Rosa Clemente (who almost definitely doesn’t listen to current hip-hop) gets to determine who is and who is not hip-hop is absurd and she was rightfully called out on it. your feelings don’t change facts. there all sorts of things in Rick Ross’ value system that i disagree with, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not hip-hop. you can say he’s not your hip-hop, your idea of what hip-hop should be or whatever, but ignoring the facts on the ground is just like… where does a conversation go from there? are you even willing to deal with reality? or is anyone who doesn’t fit your specific view of “right”a troll and subject to get banned?

    it’s your site and your conversation and you can do whatever you want here. and if i’m walking on some sacred safe space, my bad, yo. yet challenging people to accept and love what they don’t like isn’t something Talib Kweli invented—it’s been a core practice in countless spiritual and philosophical approaches for centuries. acting like he’s making up some new shit is corny and i’s easier than doing the work that he put forth. sure you can turn it around and challenge him (and me, and all men) to do the same—i’m sure we all have our blindspots—but to go in on him like this is incredibly misguided and self-defeating.

    instead of focusing on educating Rick Ross on consent (and accepting the possibility that he just doesn’t get it and needs to be schooled), you attack someone who’s much more closer to you than most. i’ve seen this time and time again with self-identified feminists and it’s only always dripping with wack juice. i do get that if someone is standing on your foot, you don’t have to ask them nicely to move. but to say that Rick Ross isn’t even remotely interested in trying to love Black women is a hyperbolic stretch. people may not always be able to love you the way you want, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t love you the way they know how. Ross definitely has issues with sex and gender, as do so many of us (male and female). demonizing him for his lack of understanding and regressive views just doesn’t seem to be a fruitful tactic. nor does demonizing men who are willing to engage, dialogue, learn and teach.

    1. @ full

      i hear a lot of what you are saying, but you lost me on the educating rick ross. as a correctional officer, he’s got to know that drugging then f*cking, a woman is a plain wrong. i’d bet he knew what he was doing and how he’d handle it when the controversy came. also, as talib noted, the ‘apology’ he offered wasn’t even an apology. it was dodging and flattery.

      that said, though i think most feminism is ethically bankrupt and entirely beholden to the powers that be, in the end, men ought to respect women’s right to do what they want, when and how. and that includes the right to ‘attack’ would-be ‘helpers’ and ‘teachers’ if they see fit.

      1. gryph,

        i don’t think that being a correctional officer means that you’re automatically knowledgable on the nature of consent. for example, i know a lot of nurses (or in the case of my mom, former nurses) who have incredibly poor diets. you would think that someone who works in the hospitalization industry would be better informed about nutrition, but that’s not always the case. furthermore, police officers of all stripes are largely misguided about the law. they’re professional bullet-catchers. and the reason so many disenfranchised people join the police force (or military, for that matter) is because the barriers to entry are incredibly low. if you’re willing to put your life on the line for a paycheck and have a HS diploma, you’re in.

        that’s not to say that Ross doesn’t know the difference—he may very well. i don’t know. and i think that any fruitful discussion on any matter starts with finding out what we’re dealing with. from Ross’ “apology,” if it was a genuine representation of his views, he clearly doesn’t get that non-consensual sex is rape. if we’re taking his stance at face value, he needs to be educated. we can’t simply assume that our understanding is anyone else’s. (and if he’s bullshitting, let’s get him to the point where we can undeniably call him on his bullshit.)

        i have my issues with feminists, but they’re mostly on matters of tactics and strategy. calling them (or “most” of them) ethically bankrupt is just wrong and i don’t see how it’s fruitful. wherever we may differ, i wouldn’t call anyone engaging in these discussions as ethically bankrupt. this entire discussion re: Talib Kweli is not one about morals as much as it is one about approaches and that’s a conversation i’m willing to have.

      2. “in the end, men ought to respect women’s right to do what they want, when and how. and that includes the right to ‘attack’ would-be ‘helpers’ and ‘teachers’ if they see fit.”

        I’m a equality nut and I must apply the same condition to men. If we define this right for both to do what they want how they want, at what point do we place constraints on one another’s bad behavior? Are we free to do whatever is within the law without having to face criticism?

        I think a open and honest dialogue with the fewest constraints possible is the best way to determine the rightness or wrongness of a thing. Simply saying men or women can just do as they please is a oversimplification with predictable negative consequences. Women are not entitled to do as they please without criticism nor are men. The goal is equality, not anarchy.

        For this reason it’s a given that we can be critical of both parties and the real question is whether or not that criticism is valid. We can do whatever we want within the law but what we should do is still up for discussion.

      3. i’d say they know what proper nutrition is, they just don’t follow it. as for our friend ricky. i doubt though there’s a forty year old man who really thinks there’s absolute nothing wrong with drugging-then-f*cking a woman. i don’t think we should make excuses for him. when some says hey rick, that’s rape, if he cared he might have educated himself, or say ‘you know what, this hurt and offended so many of my female fans, i’m going to really take a look at what i said’. rather, he concocted a non-apology that smacked of pr. for me at least it is clear that he’s bullsh*tting or just playing the room otherwise not taking seriously something will impact people’s lives – women and girls particularly.

        tactics aren’t divorced from ethics. if it is a tactic to take a 30 minute convo, microscope one aspect of it that you then misrepresent according to doctrine, push ideological buttons, deny that you’ve done so then either to threaten to silence or otherwise not engage someone who disagrees with the tactic then we can safely assume there is little regard for sincerity or good faith. also, the pattern of ‘contradictions’ – critiquing ‘male behaviour’ but then emulating it – confirms the corruption. what’s more, ‘feminists’ often champion this corruption as power. are we, in hopes of a fruitful discussion with, to not acknowledge that, particularly when that was part of the ‘subtext’ of the original huffington post debate? or when it changes the very nature or discussion?

        in this climate of planned, or corporate, disingenuousness which ross’ apology exemplifies, i think it is more fruitful to name opportunism masked as concern, be it male or female, and simply not support it.

      4. you seem to be ascribing intention to the actions of others, which really only works for mind readers. you can say “these are your actions,” but you can’t say “these are your intentions,” unless you’re privy to the inner workings of the minds of feminists, Rick Ross, whomever. what you can say is “these are the intentions that would lead *me* to these actions,” but that only makes it true for you and not anyone else. i’m not making excuses for him. but i’m not going to say to know his intentions, either. people are complex beings with very intricate psychological profiles. it’s pretty juvenile to think you know why people do things just because you’re so smart—especially when you don’t know a person as a human being. even professional therapists know better than to do that.

        the idea of playing to the room that you mention is key. and it’s why things should always be done in ways that leave a person’s intentions as close undeniable as possible. if Ross is playing to the room and the room takes what is a disingenuous, BS PR move as sincerity, then it has to be deconstructed to show that it is a disingenuous, BS PR move. i’m not saying that’s what his apology was; i’m saying that’s possibly what it was, and, if it was, it’s on his detractors to expose him for the room to see. because, after all, isn’t this argument (and all arguments) about winning the room? if not, then why engage? solely to satisfy some internal need?

        there are many people without the understanding and mental dexterity to see when the wool is being pulled over their eyes. and those are the people that we are attempting to engage and sway whenever we get into these types of discussions. it’s what each and every last one fo us is doing on this thread. instead of being all, “Bullshit, Ricky—you know that was rape,” breaking his argument down forces him to either: 1) grow in his understanding; 2) admit he knowingly said some fucked-up shit; or 3) admit he didn’t realize what he said and tried to cover his ass. it also leaves “the room” that much more informed about the everything to do with the topic at hand.

        “i’d say they know what proper nutrition is, they just don’t follow it.”

        this isn’t always true. they know how to do their jobs, they know what they were taught, that’s about it. i’m not going to argue the point. you can take it for checking. or you can quiz cops to see how many of them actually know the law.

        and, once again: that’s all an aside. the thing is to either prove or educate. you saying he had to know because he’s 40 means nothing.

    2. “the idea that Rosa Clemente (who almost definitely doesn’t listen to current hip-hop) ”

      ^ You need evidence before you state something like that. What leads you to believe Rosa doesn’t listen to current hip-hop when this entire debate centers around lyrics in two current hip-hop songs? Evidence?

      1. @Spirit Equality:

        really? this is where you’re going to plant your flag and fight? geez….


        no, i don’t have “evidence,” so whatever. but i did hedge my bets by saying “almost definitely.” and i’m willing to bet money that she’d fail horribly at naming five Talib songs that came out in the past five years, or naming any three songs by 2 Chainz or Future or French Montana or anyone the kids are actually listening to these days. because if she did (hell, if most of you on this thread did), there’d have been this kind of pointed outrage a long-ass time ago. as Marc Lamont HIll said during the HuffPo piece, Wayne has been “beating the pussy up” for quite some time, and it’s a term i’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with, especially considering his audience doesn’t get the idea that pleasurable rough sex is an agreement, not a privilege. (heck, this whole thing is jumping off because one of his peers can’t seem to grasp the notion of consent.)

        but, seriously whether or not she listens to current hip-hop is so beside the point that i think it’s a pretty embarrassing assertion for you to take up intellectual arms about—even moreso embarrassing given everything else that’s being said by myself and others on this thread.

        still, if you want to get me in touch with her, i’m sure i could ask her a few rudimentary questions about the current hip-hop scene and watch her not know her A$AP Mob from her OVO. i’ll put four dollars on it.

        also: both of the lyrics in question are from throwaway mixtape/remix songs that very few people—even people who listen to Ross and Wayne and Future and Rokco—give a fuck about. if it weren’t for these controversies, these songs really would have come and gone with extremely little attention being paid to them. i’m almost sure that Rosa Clemente was not bumping this shit and got offended, which is what you seem to be trying to imply.

  15. The rules laid out here sound clubby and a bit religious, or at least dogmatic.
    This writing has some excellent points, and crucial points, and it loses the illusion of relationship when insisting on a narrow and dicktated definition of alliance.
    Alliance is relationship. ..any expectation to only listen, and then be a megaphone to amplify what you have “been told” is more like an abusive relationship toward a maltreated public relations worker.
    There are plenty of people who will gladly holler an “amen, sister” to your romanticized generalization that “all Black women do is give love”, but it is part of a religious litany of dehumanizing myths that further the choir’s confidence in their moral highground, and help toward making that more of an island.
    I have risked my life multiple times intervening in various domestic violence situations, stopped two rape attempts. ….given a black woman shelter from her armed pursuers, (dem runnin’ roun wavin a 9 in t’ air in d alley, lookin’ like extras in a dam Tarzan movie)she said, loudly,
    “My shoe’s out there…You gotta go get my shoe!”
    I didn’t knock her out, I didn’t even tell her to shut the fuck up.
    I did move us gently back further from the alleyway door, and explain that she needed to be quiet, so that she didn’t get us killed, as I slowly nudged the door closed bit by bit, and worked to calm her til danger had abated.
    Things are fucked up. Rape culture and misogyny are trying to gain back territory they’re losing…some U.S. lawmakers are literally trying to reinstate Medieval as the status quo.
    Women have been my mentors, teachers, and leaders, and good friends….a lot more than they’ve needed rescuing, or been lost crazy selfish idiots endangering my life…thank Goddess.
    Main thing I want to offer is that in real life, an ally may not fit your dogma.

    1. @Thomas

      Bless you,brother. Keep doing what you’re doing/being an ally—it’s for the greater good,too.

      (Although somebody worrying about their shoe during those kind of circumstances–now that’s insane,but I wasn’t there,so I can’t judge.)

  16. I’m honestly confused. Her stance reads as simultaneously wants to cast out and castigate rappers who don’t fit into her definition of hip-hop, but these same rappers HAVE be beholden to sit down and listen to her opinions and critiques full stop and then change. That’s some doublethink. If part of your philosophy is to cast aside people who do not align with your thoughts, feelings, and comfort (all legitimate reasons) then you also gotta accept that there are going to be people who perceive that you don’t want to dialogue with them if you disagree. Whether you feel that is right or wrong you gotta carry that regardless and decide how to move from there when it comes to critiquing/rethinking your own engagement with others.

    The fixation with allies has never proven to be helpful. However, if you believe it must be integral it would be if the outline to being an ally did not read as: Shut up and just repeat what we say verbatim. It’s fine and understandable. Doesn’t exactly endear people to join in with a movement though. Interpret that whatever way you like.

    1. Agreed on allyship. If my being an ally means my sole or primary job is to say what someone else has said, then that makes them a ventriloquist. You know what that makes me…

    2. Do you seriously think she was only telling him not to condone/promote rape just because he was a rapper?!? I’m sure she would feel the same way about a comedian, or politician, or any other public figure who’d say some stuff like this. She wasn’t pissed about what he said because he was a rapper! She was pissed because it was WRONG! Therefore, whether or not she feels that he’s a part of hip-hop doesn’t make a damn bit of a difference.

      I don’t feel that any man condoning or committing rape is a part of my community, does that mean I can’t say that it’s wrong?!?

      1. @madlark

        no she didn’t she’s advertising herself as a soldier for the cause. it is just another tactic. speak past an ‘opponent’ in order to ‘stay on message’ and prove loyalty/solidarity. shannon’s showing how good she is for ‘the organisation’ and that’s all. it’s not about you or discussion like full is holding out for.

    3. “Her stance reads as simultaneously wants to cast out and castigate rappers who don’t fit into her definition of hip-hop, but these same rappers HAVE be beholden to sit down and listen to her opinions and critiques full stop and then change.”

      ^ Could you quote part of this interview which backs up what you claim above, because I never heard her say that Rick Ross has to “be beholden to sit down and listen to her opinions”. I don’t even hear anything she says on the video above that creates the implication that she thinks Ross is obligated to listen to her. Can you quote a statement from her in the video above to back up what you’re saying?

  17. I am having trouble seeing how anything that has been said, both by Crunktastic and by dream hampton, are an attack on Talib Kweli. Like I said before, I understand your argument about having private conversations with allies, but Talib Kweli is a public figure. He makes public comments and the only way to really engage with what he says is in a public format. Also, I don’t think he would be receptive to constructive criticism because all the criticism thus far HAS been constructive. This article in particular was respectful, addressed his points, and gave food for thought. As for dream hampton, she’s right. He did make his comments on camera. You can’t make public comments and then not expect a public response. If he wants to publicly speak for us, then we get to publicly respond when he ends up imposing his male privilege.

    1. I’m not talking about Crunktastic at all. I’m literally talking about just the dream hampton exchange. If I saw my friend on TV say something I thought was not only fundamentally wrong but was, because of the nature of the format in which it was aired, potentially misleading to viewers, something that might perpetuate an injustice, I would call him up and tell him why it was wrong, the damage it could have done, etc. Then, yes, because it is in the public space, I might issue something to address it, because it is already out there. But I would not blindside someone by even critiquing them (I’ll cede that these were not attacks, but critiques; but clearly from the tenor of his comments he “feels” attacked) in the public space without him, a public figure, knowing why/when/what/who beforehand, when he has taken a risk himself by standing in the public space and going against the grain.

      Now he’s definitely not going to listen. By publicly critiquing first rather than conversing, that’s been assured. I think that it would have been more constructive to try to educate him privately first, because the worst that could have happened is his existing non-responsiveness. The best that could have happened is that he would have had a deeper understanding of the underlying issues, and might have even redressed his comments himself.

    2. i haven’t seen the Twitter interaction, but someone saying that they can’t see how this post is an attack on Talib is the same as saying “i don’t see how the Rick Ross lyrics in question condone rape.”

      1. Please read The Disgruntled Haradrim’s comment below. He just addressed every point you and chundley made.

      2. i’m not saying that the post is all attack. or that it’s not coming from a place of love and respect. or that it’s a direct attack on him as a person, as opposed to his views on this manner. (some of these comments are an entirely different matter, however.) i am saying what i said, which is a reply nested to someone’s comment that they are “having trouble seeing how anything that has been said…[is] an attack on Talib Kweli.”

        and to answer your question: no, every critique offered by my parents, teachers and/or friends has not been an attack. but some of them have been. and i’m sure you can say the same. and if you can’t, you’ve been surrounded by loving and enlightened beings your whole life and i’m pretty much jealous right now.

        the thing is—and maybe this is my “male privilege” or whatever speaking—i really did not find his initial comments to be arrogant or shutting anyone down or anything. i thought he was respectful and was pretty much shocked to see how much he was willing to put his ass on the line publicly. maybe he didn’t go as far as some of you feel he should have. i think that’s okay on his part, as well as yours.

        i personally don’t find the post as aggressive as i find it narrow-minded and somewhat self-defeating. and, i do know it’s not quite my place to tell women how to respond to their traumas, pains and the violations against their bodies and lives and spirits. i’m not really willing to stand and fight on the point of whether or not this post was an attack—mainly because it’s going to get into point #3 (invoking tone arguments), which is, like, going in circles within circles— but also because it’s a whole new step removed from the matter at hand. even if it were an attack, some valid insight was provided—even through the narrowness— and i can get with that. i have the mental flexibility to see it as an attack and to see that there was good in it. i also have the mental flexibility to see how some of my responses here can be seen as attacks and hope they can be seen of coming from a place of promoting dialogue as opposed to derision.

  18. when i am trying to make a point about being offended as a black male and someone begins caucasian-splaining to me, all i want to do is tell them to STFU, listen and step off the arrogance to think they can shut down my experience. i sure don’t want to hear how much of an “ally” they’ve been to POC in the past. dig Talib as an emcee and an activist. even thought he made valid points in his twitter debate with Lupe. but as i watched the Marc Lamont Hill interview and his interaction with Rosa Clemente, i wanted Talib to *please* STFU, listen and step off the arrogance to think HE could shut down HER experience. (insert your term of privilege here)-splainin’ never comes off well. never. and it shows a serious lack of respect for the maligned, offended and injured party. enough about “love” and fear about airing dirty laundry or backroom criticisms. this NEEDS to be said out loud. it NEEDS to be aired. and this blog post does both quite well. when u get checked on your privilege the next step is to get past your own hurt feelings, reason through why you got checked and then learn from the experience. that’s how you earn the ally badge. it don’t come free.

    1. I was literally just about to say this all the way down these comments. Although I’m a Latina who may be prone to immediate outrage at some stupid (insert privilege here) comments, I know that in regards to my status as a POC, I would have all the support these indignant men (and maybe women) are so reluctant to give to me as a WOC.

  19. Meh, I think Kweli’s point was that no individual can really define the limits of a culture, himself included, so I can see how, from his point of view, it can be frustrating when people try and draw those lines, regardless of whether the majority agrees or disagrees with that.

    I understand the issue of “mansplaining,” and Kweli’s use of the phrase “the smarter move,” sounds disrespectful coming from a man, but perhaps that’s a form of sexism in and of itself. Would it be OK if a woman said it? Would it bother you as much? I think no matter who you are there is a difference between having a dialogue and having a lecture, and there’s some irony in Kweli saying that, but he was able to do so in the context of a dialogue. It’s not like anybody’s mic got cut off even though it devolved into a shouting match.

    As far as how to be an ally goes… That’s fine, but – and I think this speaks to the point Talib was trying to make about antagonizing/lecturing people regardless of their intentions – don’t be surprised when you start to lose some well-intentioned allies. I’m going to say something sexist, but be patient with us men. We’re dumb. I know I’m one of the most oblivious but well-intentioned people I know.

    On a completely unrelated note, I’d like to point out how all parties involved have been exploited by Ariana Huffington and AOL / Time Warner…

    1. I appreciate your response (and some other men’s responses) so much more than I can even give credit to some other, hopefully obvious, posters on here. And I totally get it. I know, for me, I am quick to a defensive anger when certain things are said or done. Now, that is how I feel and I have a right to it, but I know it can be alienating and even downright unhelpful at times. But I guess that’s where some say I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place: Do I have the right to express myself to that person in any way I please, or do I have to carry the burden of educating them and catering to their emotional needs before my own so that an ally can be made?

      And also, to your last point, Yes.

  20. If the point of the articlet was to pick apart Talibs approach in dealing with Rosa..great job . But there is a larger question at hand. It is easy and almost automatic to dismiss someone who does not agree with us or says something we find offensive. Talib was right as soon as you tell someone you are not apart of this culture (meaning Rick Ross) the individual has no obligation or interest in hearing what you have to say. Being loving and understating that some of our brothers and sister are misguided is not a job only for women. keep in mind before topping the charts Rick Ross was a PIG a PIG. why then are we surprised that he would say something so disrespectful and outrageous. We have to take the time to consider the source and ask ourselves why do the words of an ex-pig turned rapper effect us so. The music industry can not survive with out us ( the consumer). Stop listening to his music, boycott the company that pays him to be a coon. Inform our brother that what he said was wrong and why? Rosa rightfully has a since of entitlement she is a long time activist in the hip-hop community and a dam good one. I understand he outrage dam near 50% of black and brown women are sexually assaulted AS CHILDREN. Do rapper like rick ross perpetuate this behavior. NO. It existed before he came along and THIS is the reason he even had a mind to record such sickness. it is obvious that chastising the brother didn’t work, after all the back lash he gave a half asses apology. So maybe more strategic action is needed. Clearly he is not the problem rape culture is and the fact that other than us high minded folks rape and molestation is not something that is talked about. We need to talk to our children, let them talk to us, educate our community and not blame the victim ( rick included) create a culture of healing and not condemnation.

    1. Wait, wait, wait…as soon as Rosa said something Talib didn’t agree with, HE DISMISSED HER! Why are you calling her on her opinion of Ross but not calling Talib on doing the same ish he accused her of doing? C’mon now…Talib wasn’t right about ish if he can’t follow his OWN directions.

      It seems to me like you’re dismissing the severity of Ross’ words because rape culture existed before him. Rape culture wouldn’t STILL exist if not for people, like Ross and others, perpetuating it regularly. Therefore, it is our DUTY to take them to task everytime they come with that bullsh*t.

      And if you honestly think lil Black boys (and non-Black boys) don’t listen to rappers like Ross and behave accordingly, I don’t know if you’ve been out here in this community that you talk about educating. Ross ain’t damn victim. Ross is a CRIMINAL (because TRUST, he’s probably done it).

      1. ross was a CRIMINAL before he talked about rape. i mean what, hiim selling kilos of cocaine and shooting random people isn’t something a feminist ought to concern herself with? selective morality and outrage.

  21. I am SO glad that I read this! I was watching that show and listening to Kweli’s tone and thinkin, “who the f*ck is he talkin to?!? I don’t give a rat’s ass how conscious he THINKS he is, his tone is OFF.” I lost a WHOLE lotta respect for him behind that.

    And all your points were spot on; especially the one about not sitting around asking Black womben to be loving to mofos talkin bout raping us! I was never so DONE when he kept talking about approaching this mofo in love! Like, WHAT?!?

    Once again, you took everything I wanted to say and made it sound a lot more intelligent. THANKS.

  22. As per usual with “conscious hip-hop heads” *shudder* — damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Across the blogosphere Talib Kweli catches nearly the same level of heat as Rick Ross for attempting to speak out against Ross’ blatant ignorance because, get this, Talib didn’t do it PERFECTLY. If you rap about uplifting all races you get lectured about how “race is merely a social construct”, if you rap about the diamond trade someone meticulously puts together a 10 part expose on how your childhood friend’s cousin owned a diamond pendant, etc. No wonder people rap about vapid shit — nobody is going to correct you on your enunciation of the word Bentley not to mention commercial rap fans actually, you know, buy records still.

  23. My only question is what women are representing the educated, intelligent females out there today? Back in the day you had Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Salt and Pepa, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante etc etc but it seems like in the last decade or so there aren’t any female MC’s who are representing anything different from what Nicki Minaj Foxy Brown LIL KIm have put out musically which is all about using their femininity to get money and other materialistic items.

    1. This is absolutely false. Women have been invested in raunchy rap since the very beginnings of hip hop with Leshaun, HWA (Hoez wit Attitude), UNLV (Unfortunately No Longer Virgins), Menajahtwa, Choice
      , and B.W.P. (Bytches With Problem). All of those women and more have contributed greatly to hip hop and shouldn’t be reduced or pushed aside because they didn’t speak from a place YOU find respectable.

      1. But none of these women or groups lasted in hip hop because they weren’t commercially accepted like the MC’S I described in my opinion. Now if u feel they were important I can see how they can but nobody talks about them when they mention female MC’S who were relevant to hip hop.

    2. I would not call the music made by female rappers feminine. It’s quite masculine because of the aggressive posturing required. Their use of femininity comes down to appearing as women and occasionally making references to female sexuality.

      Male rappers are use their masculinity, criminal prowess, and materialistic aims to get money. We are seeing two sides of the same coin both focused on getting coin by whatever means available. We don’t have to wonder about their aims since artist tell us repeatedly in nearly every song.

      We have a handful of conscious male rappers with little commercial success who are the pitiable underdogs of the game. Considering the already skewed gender ratio of male to female hip hop artist I don’t think the lack of women successfully going conscious route is surprising.

      The female artist you desire do exist just not in the mainstream. If you have not found them look harder, they need your support.

    3. Check out these artist. Sa.Roc, Narubi Selah, Jean Grae, Rah digga, MC Nitty Scott, Tiye Phoenix, Mae Day, Persia, Invincible, Amanda Diva aka Amanda Seales, Nikki Lynnette, Nina B, Kristina Hill

  24. Very nice! I think that the idea is that we need to change the conversation.. take back the mic. The issue is not “love” it is RESPECT and with no respect there can be no “love.” Respect comes first. Also, this is an issue about power and male dominance, which must come into the covo before “love.” THAT is bs, especially when out of context.

  25. Great piece, and much needed dialogue. So, now that TK has been ‘checked’ lets get back to the original offense – LW & RR’s lyrics. We shouldn’t spend more time debating whether or not TK was out of line and out of touch MORE THAN we spent addressing what’s wrong with rap lyrics that evoke and imply sexual violence and rape. Not that we can’t “walk and chew gum at the same time” but the conversation shouldn’t diverge into a “black man vs. feminists of color” false binary.

    Hip Hop Feminists have been pointing out issues of sexual violence in lyrics and hip hop culture for 2 decades now. I think there should be a “HIP HOP SUMMIT” on this issue. Thoughts?

    1. This post is not just abt checking TK. It’s abt identifying what it means to be a strong ally and why TK’s approach (regardless of intent) was off. That discussion is AS important as how problematic rap lyrics perpetuate rape culture. If anything, its MORE important and needs MORE time because this kind of analysis and discourse abt what successful allyship looks like happens less frequently and with less visibility than the misogyny-in-hiphop convo. Yet it is crucial to the change we all want to see. If its not a convo that’s high on your personal priority list, I respect that. But I don’t think its accurate to say we’re giving this too much time.

      I would agree that this and other discussions can and should be held without “black man vs. Feminism” false binary. Co-sign on all that.

    2. TK missed a huge opportunity that a more skilled and/or experienced ally could have really used to advance this discourse. Villifying rick ross’s rape lyrics and his follow-up non-apology is completely fair. Everyone on this thread seems to agree with that. Villifying ross as a man is not a productive way to illuminate — for him and those who think like him — the problems his lyrics pose. Approaching Ross in an informed and loving way is the most productive way. However, no single one of us is required to love rick ross into his humanity. That job is to be assumed by folks who SELF-IDENTIFY that they are in a position to do so. That TK can do that is something I appreciate and respect. And THAT’S how he should have pitched it. “AS A MAN, from a place of personal agency as well as that of an ally who sees how damaging rape lyrics are, this how I and folks in my position can approach rick ross.” But for him to insist that any woman MUST approach ross with love is misguided and not the way of an ally because it ignores how violently skewed the gender power dynamic is against women’s agency and safety. Of course, there are and will continue to be women who feel they can take part in a loving and engaging discourse with ross…but that’s for THOSE women to decide, not TK.

      My homegirl reminded me that this is reminiscent of community accountability and restorative justice efforts in a bunch of different areas (family counseling, schools, etc). This is difficult, complicated, critical and rewarding work. Here’s what I understand to be key: learning to create healed spaces where violent offending members can’t simply be expelled WITHOUT requiring members who are directly and intimately on the receiving end of the violence to take responsibility to “heal” the offenders.

  26. I called Kweli my friend during that Twitter engagement, but the truth is, I don’t even have his number, he doesn’t have mine. We’d grown apart a couple years ago. Still, as Anna pointed out, I would’ve engaged him publicly abt a public, taped appearance, even if I did have his number.

    I was criticized for my letter to Frank Ocean. My ally privilege was showing. That criticism stung, but I grew from it, heard what was being said. It’s easy to dismiss criticism as an attack. But often, when a woman is criticized, she has to deal with her lesson in isolation. Men, on the other hand, can hardly hear the lesson for all the (often female) bodies piling on to protect him. I’m post infantilization. But that’s just me.

  27. I was confused about why Talib Kweli was even there in the first place – and he never made it clear himself. Whose ally was he there to support? Was he there simply to keep Marc Lamont Hill in some male company? If that’s what ‘conscious’ hip-hop looks like, well good luck with that.

  28. This isnt’ feminism, this is some glorified forum of pop culture gossip, sprinkled with a few political/cultural artists, not too dissimilar from tea party bloggers. I can’t find a single mention of ACTUAL feminist leaders on this giant pool of “opinion” pieces. IF this group of woman had any credibility, they’d atleast have an article on the passing of one of the most important feminists in history this year. Armchair activism at its best.

  29. As A female emcee/singer myself this was a good read…For decades men have dominated the industry of Hip Hop, there needs to be a balance. Because there are women who have a story to tell, a message to share that shouldn’t be dismissed based simply off of gender…There are plenty of us out there and we are coming…we need a platform to be heard and since this industry won’t really give it to us we must take it.

  30. I like Talib and his music but he was wrong and arrogantly so. He needs to say I screwed up. You don’t have to agree but you have to respect pther opinions. And Ross needs to say the same. He doesn’t need to be ‘loved’ or ‘educated’ he is not that big an idiot. His whole career is a lie and a fraud and he pushed it too far and got called out.

    1. So true—his whole persona was ripped off from an actual drug dealer named Rick Ross, who attempted to sue him for misrepresentation once he himself got out of jail—I though that was kind of funny. So his whole image is fake to begin with—has Ross ever rapped about being a corrections officer? Of course, that wouldn’t sell as much as the whole drug dealer image does,and frankly, that seems passe even to me–gangster rap was huge back in the day,now it’s just another boring cliche of hip-hop. But,yeah, he deserved to get checked on that comment. The days when a rapper could say whatever and not get checked on it are long gone.

  31. Ok there are some great conversations going on here. I still believe Ross is a fool but as to Talib I am processing this added food for thought…I still don’t agree with him but there is more to it than that.

  32. Since when was Rick Ross EVEN REMOTELY interested in being involved in THE CULTURE of Hip Hop? It would be more fitting to describe him as solely functioning in the INDUSTRY OF RAP. The fact that “Rap” and “Hip Hop culture” are used synonymously is a problem and creates much confusion. Most everyone knows, Hip Hop is the culture. MCing is an element within the culture. The Rap industry is an offshoot of the MC element – that uses the the term “Hip Hop” as it’s umbrella so it can still look like it has any integrity – which it doesn’t.

    Those of us in the culture who support aerosol art, DJing, popping, locking, rocking, bboying/birling, MC’ing etc. don’t find the Rap Industry even remotely involved or even interested in the culture. It’s it’s own separate money and testosterone fueled BUSINESS – the radio, the blogs, the mags don’t even feature the other elements of Hip Hop – ok – maybe the DJ but barely. Most of us in the culture despise what the Rap industry has become with the pay to play on the radio, the average talent of the commercial artists, the lack of good beats, the absence of a DJ behind the MC, MCs faking a life that they don’t even live, glamorizing and glorifying social ills like womanizing, materialism, criminal behavior, etc.

  33. Talib Kweli doesn’t speak for me personally – I am more curious what Brother Ali, Immortal Technique, The Reminders, Medusa, Afrika Bambaataa, GrandMaster Caz etc. have to say about Rick Ross.

  34. I shared most of my thoughts on Twitter but out of respect for Crunk Feminists, I should add to the dialogue here and make it a part of the record. I love CFC and it is because of this group that THIS present discussion is happening in this manner. I have seen more men having constructive dialogue with women about this issue on THIS thread than I have seen anywhere else, thus, CFC wins again—as do we. For me, the entire controversy erupted before I witnessed the “primary documents,” so I had to go back and actually watch the HuffPost Live segment and read all of the tweets (including Talib’s debate with Lupe). Some points I wanted to share:

    1. I am generally supportive of this post as a teachable moment and learning tool, however, I think Talib was handled unfairly here and I was surprised to see it happen on CFC. For the second talking point to be, “Talib Kweli thinks that the first responsibility that women in Hip Hop have to men in Hip Hop is to love to them.” <– is WRONG, imo. That is NOT what Talib said, that is an absolute misquote and it belies the fact that the wholesale and wholeheartedly stated that Rick Ross was wrong, in both his lyricism and faux apology. So, to start off the discussion in this way is damaging, for all parties involved and it undermines a healthy exchange.

    2. When I saw the HuffPost Live segment, my first reaction was a strong distaste for how many times Marc Lamont Hill continued to repeat "beat that pussy up" in the discussion. One time was enough, for reference, but it went on and on. Then, he stated (paraphrased, forgive me), "sometimes you may want to beat it up but still…," something else I found appallingly inappropriate. I'm convinced that this issue was lost in the controversy and Marc was the host. And that set the tone for the convo, as Rick Ross came in the second segment. Please know that I have directly addressed Marc on twitter about this. He didn't respond but that's okay, too. I made my opinion known, in a public forum (since it was public) and addressed him directly.

    3. Ironically, I agreed with everything Marc Lamont Hill wrote on his twitter feed about THIS particular CFC post, how we approach one another, etc. As I shared on Twitter, I saw the discussion between Rosa and Talib as one between two persons who have been involved in community activism. You HAVE to have thick skin in order to do community work. They are both strong personalities and I didn't see anyone trying to shout the other down. I saw one person via Skype, the other via phone and a technological disconnect where you could not see or hear the other person so well in the exchange. If they were in the studio together and the "shouting match" happened, it would be another story (and I doubt it would happen).

    4. Talib didn't say women should approach Rick Ross with love, he said, "we" and that's very important because he was talking about himself as well. It's how do "we" approach these misguided millionaires (or not) who have clearly been socialized to express the misogyny that is as American as apple pie and the Hollywood Western. As Sisters, maybe WE would not want to talk to Rick Ross's tatted up tig ole bitties but maybe somebody else does and I am not opposed to that. As a rapper, as a Black man, as a human being, whatever. I heard Talib very clearly say that these people should be challenged. He just didn't think they should be kicked out or excised from whatever community we imagine ourselves to be. I think I disagree with Talib and I believe in various forms of excommunication until you can get your mind right and your act together (it's a longstanding tradition) but his approach didn't sound like that of an apologist to me. Talib is already a low key type of bro who WOULD talk to someone. He's not Afrika Bambaata (did I spell that right? Miss an 'a'?). He is who he is.

    5. Rosa Clemente's discussion about who is or is not Hip Hop is a very OLD discussion and still relevant. Everybody does it. What is or is not REAL Hip Hop? Who is or is not "conscious." What is or is not in the CULTURE of Hip Hop (Christina did SUCH a fantastic job above explaining it. No need to repeat). Why her statement was considered so outlandish is ludicrous to me. Ross is a fraud, on many levels.

    6. Patriarchy and male privilege are real. And, lately, I have had a number of male friends ask me what they should do about it (and these are all men who are really feminists and weren't even aware that they are) but most of the discussions as of late have been the checking of one personality or another (which is fine by me, especially if they deserve it and if it's done correctly). Thus, it would be great if we could come up with a list of things that men can do… and beyond "shut up and listen," as already know they need to do that sometimes but we can have a better conversation about it.

    7. As for dream and Talib, it just hurt to see the exchange and I just don't think friends should treat one another like that but I have no problem with a public exchange that would have been more constructive—for us all. The Ross lyrics are public, The HuffPost Live was public and Twitter is public. This post is public. There's nothing wrong with hashing these things out in public, it helps everyone to grow; but we can improve on how we do it, as well.

    8. I also believe in doing some things privately or perhaps sharing more sensitive information privately. I have been offended quite a few times or saw something I needed to address and I did so privately. Ironically (as word gets around), I have had people talk smack on me for addressing it privately (or at all?!) and go so far as to question my maturity. Everybody on my Twitter feed (and who knows me in real life) knows I have no problem with directness, confrontation or even public shaming (at times); but there is such a thing as propriety and I believe in it. I also believe in decorum, kindness, consideration, giving the benefit of the doubt and, imagine this—love. So, I choose to maintain my standards and let others have their say. They don't define me.

    9. Having said all of this, I addressed who I wanted to address privately and publicly. The "sides" I chose are based on ideology, experience and personal taste and they are not gender or 'friend'-based, they are based on what I feel is right and just. I am a Libra, so I always strive to find the balance, harmony, peace and righteousness, so you can blame Ma'at for that, too.

    10. Finally, as an organizer, I would love to see us come up with some collective, action items, as the only thing I have seen thus far is the petition and boycott. What's next? Can we get some C. Delores Tucker 2.0 up in here? Can we improve on her work, deal with the errors and make some real, impactful change or will we maintain a reactionary position and wait for the next controversy?


  35. PSA:

    All this dialogue about RICK ROSS (NOT THE REAL ONE, THE RAPPER), and we stray from the point. “RICK ROSS” does not give a shit about his lyrics about rape, yet the more intelligent people of color debate one another on silly tangents? Its not about who does what for whom in the fight for what is right, its about him saying he raped a woman in so many words through rap lyrics……everyone getting flustered and offended yet doing nothing but arguing amongst each other when we are all on the same side of something so obviously simple. If “RICK ROSS” does or doesn’t apologies, it changes nothing…who would be that stupid to think that RAPE is good ? Who would be so stupid to believe that his lyric in 1 song does not imply rape but he is either not admitting it out of pride, or too dumb to realize what he or a ghost writer wrote. EITHER WAY. this petty debate on anything other than the root is distracting from more important issues. i repeat ….most of us are smart enough to know that RAPE IS WRONG….but us debating each other on who reps who and who has the right to rep who is pointless when the source of the uproar could give less than a fuck. (pardon my language, just getting my point across) LOVE YA’LL

    I am Chuck Hendy AKA Tenjobs and I approve this message.


  37. Talib completely SHAT on this argument. We’re all so busy ORDERING allies what to do, who to be, what not to do to the point that we separate ourselves. This article was internet thuggery at its best. These sort of conversations that have no merit–no valid points (because, frankly, it missed the larger and more important pieces of the argument that Talib actually states)– take away from the REAL issues. Oh, what were those again? Right. Rape culture in Hip/Hop Rap industry– and culture as a whole?

    For those who actually want to see Talib’s respone (whether you like him or not) — but of course, since we’re all so one-sided here, there’s no point, right? :

    Hey, if you want to construct a real critical analysis, you might want to look at their points TOWARD THE BROADER TOPIC, rather than beat people down who are trying to help.

  38. nah man. I gotta go with Talib on this one, after watchin the HuffPo piece and reading both lengthy blog posts from both sides, the case appears to be as Talib describes it, he’s been grossly misinterpreted and had words put in his mouth.

    The collective here seems to have forgotten the basic construct of debate to begin with: disagreement.
    I found this particular excerpt of this post interesting:

    —-I think her critique and perspective is a valid one, meaning that while I’m not sure if I agree, her argument is worthy of debate and dialogue.

    But what Talib offered wasn’t dialogue. Instead, he attempted to dress Rosa down for even having such a perspective. And then he dictated to her what her perspective should be and told her that ultimately, it didn’t matter what her view was, “Rick Ross and Wayne are a part of the culture whether you like it or not.”—-

    i find it interesting because it makes me wonder what exactly they think dialogue is supposed to look like. Conversations occur because of the existence of two opposing viewpoints, if everybody agreed with each other, the world would be quiet as hell.
    Seems to me like both Ms Clemente and the CFC here have more of a problem with the fact that Talib disagreed with something she said than anything…even though Talib happens to have been right.

    I feel like if egos had been controlled early on, Rosa wouldve realized that Kweli wasnt trying to “dictate” anything to her, rather he was attempting to point out what (to me at least) is a fundamental flaw in her approach to the situation.

    as a quick side not though, i think its a hilarious; the double standard being presented here wherein CFC is outraged that Kweli (as they perceive things) is overstepping his bounds in their community, yet have no problem with Rosa (as he and I perceive things) doing the same thing…if youre gonna be mad about something, be consistent. If Kweli cant tell you how to feel (though he didnt), then you cant tell him who is in or out of the bounds of his community. As Jamilah said during that same segment “That’s the responsibility of brothas like Talib, that’s not a conversation [you] can have”

    but back to this:
    Like Kweli said, if youre going to cut Ross and Wayne out of hip hop culture, then why should hip hop listen to you? He’s exactly right…what he was trying to illustrate is that cropping people out of the picture like Rosa was trying to do, is not the solution. If you have a problem with the way hip hop treats women, then you have to deal with Hip Hop as it is, as a whole. Because if all you do is say “oh i dont consider Ross and Wayne to be part of hip hop” then basically what you’re saying is its not hip hop’s problem to begin with. You’re washing hip hop’s hands of it for them, giving them a free pass. What hes sayin is that if YOU, the injured party with all the finger waving rights, sits up and says flat out “we dont rock with these dudes but we dont consider them to be part of hip hop” why then should hip hop listen to whatever is going on? Idono bout you, but me personally? If someone holds a meeting and tells me that it doesnt involve me in anyway and hat my input isnt needed: I aint showin up.

    Just my two cents. carry on though.

  39. amendment to my original post:
    Ms Clementine, as it turns out, doesnt seem to have a problem with Kweli at all (source: her own twitter account @rosaclemente)

    so now im left wondering why CFC is caping for what appears to be no reason. I’m confused ladies.
    drop this silliness and get back to the issue at hand.

  40. Talib won. His ingenious use of what he and Rosa actually said just nicked it in the end. Really does just make this whole thing a complete waste of time.

  41. Here’s my two issues with this whole Rick Ross “controversy”:

    1. Why is now that people have a problem with a rape lyric or violent lyrics against women in hip hop? Where was this type of outrage when Biggie Smalls and Emeniem went into graphic detail about raping women not in one song but multiple. When Big L and Mobb Deep talked about “Smakin bitches”? Why all of this controversy now on Rick Ross sliding a verse in like that? And why all the focus on just him.

    2. Since when did rappers start becoming role models that you want your kids to follow? There hasn’t been a lot decent role models in rap since public enemy. So you take the Rick Ross and Lil Wayne Lyric away and what do you have? Smoke, abuse drugs, commit crimes and have sex with lots of women, sounds like someone I’d really want my son to be like.

    My point is: Rappers will be rappers, they’re there to entertain you not be leaders in our community.Maybe we should pay more attention to what are so-called “black leaders” are doing and saying instead of drugged out rappers.

    1. @Mario

      Actually, there have ALWAYS been debates in rap from the beginning about violent lyrics in rap from day one—I know this only because as a longtime female hip-hop fan, I’ve read scads of article written about this issue and saw them discussed on talk show for years—so this controversy/examination about violent lyrics in rap is nothing new whatsoever. And whether rappers want to be “role models” or not, they are STILL in the public eye and whatever material and media they put out there DOES have an effect, whether they care to examine it or not, on young,impressionable minds who aren’t old enough to discern the difference between the violent,sexist BS they see in a rap video and real life.

      Also saw the whole conversation with Clemente, Hill and Talib Kweli–whom I like as a rapper–I have that first CD he did with HI-Tek (“The Blast” is a great song, and a true classic hip-hop tune,BTW–as well as “Just To Get By”.) Basically, just about all the participants involved had good points about hip-hop, who defines it, why violent lyrics and sexism in rap needs to be checked. To Kweli’s credit, he not only called out Rick Ross on that stupid,sick lyric, but saw his half-a** apology for what it was—a half-a** apology–he wasn’t letting him slide on anything. He seemed to be more defensive of hip-hop itself than on the basis of his male privilege alone, but that was just my impression as a listener. People also define the barometers/parameters of a given culture all the time,particularly those from inside the given culture. The thing is, women also want a say in how hip-hop is defined (considering we’re been part of it from the beginning) and not just how men define it. Woman have always put the sexism and misogynistic aspects of hip-hop in check,because it’s a direct attack on us not just for some of the messed-up flawed things we do like every human being on the planet, but sometimes simply because we ARE women, and because it’s always been cool to put women down, call us h**s and b******s, and get points for it just because you’re a man in hip-hop that’s got serious messed-up issues with women. Anyway, that all I have to say for right now.


      Feminism is simply the belief that women should have the same rights as men to get equal pay for equal work, have control over their bodies, the right to get an abortion, to decent health care. It’s not that hard to understand and there’s nothing corrupt about it. I see way too much negative criticism and ignorance online of feminism by folks (men especially) who don’t seem to really understand what the hell feminism is or the good things it’s done or the important changes it’s made in society for BOTH men and women. Read up on that, please!

  42. I think this post was amazing in part that it deal with representation in a deep way. There are two interconnecting conversation at play here. There is one surrounding the controversial lyrics of Rick Ross rape lines. And lastly there is the claim in lack of better words to “love thy enemy”. I will start with the latter because I believe it talks to both feminists and hip-hop heads. I would like to quote a part of the Combahee River Collective statement from which many feminist cite for power, support and insight in black feminism. “We struggle together with Black men against racism, while we also struggle with black men about sexism”. I think this statement deals in large with the key issues in this post. For clarification I believe the second half of this statement is to insist that we are both victims of this awful ideology and must overcome it. I believe this touches in part to a hip hop argument for which Talib blasts on. For instance I would argue that the denial of Rick Ross in the hip-hop culture is a trigger for a larger conversation about “real hip-hop” versus the industry or mainstream music for which the latter is often regarded as unauthentic or a facade to real hip-hop. I believe that Kweli’s response is in large part to this debate which was facilitated with passion which can easily become anger. I believe Kweli’s love argument may come from this perspective that often time’s rappers are misguided and that we struggle together with this misdirection. However I believe that women often suffer the brunt of this misdirection in many forms. With respect to the hip-hop world and women all alike, I believe to be an ally to women we can use the tips listed to correct the sexism facilitated in hip-hop.

  43. If Hip Hop is a nation then it has successfully been overthrown by Rap (recording artist pretending). Just like any nation living in a post coup d’état era, there are citizens living fear or respect of their current leadership. Negus currently living in the Rap Industrial Complex are fearful cowards, all of them including myself. Rappers especially because they are like the pimps, pastors and politician. They have one thing in common, they talk good to get money period. Waiting by the sideline to get their chance in the spotlight, main stage or big-time. No citizen of this nation is really ready to destroy and rebuild because they like the corroded infrastructure, moral-less institutions and non-respectful morale. Just like Amerikkka, Rap has become a corporation and aren’t corporations people. Well Rap your people suck. They stand by as you rape, pillage, burn and indoctrinate the next generation. They separate themselves with isms and archy’s of a delusional agenda that merely feed egos of a once great people. They pretend not see the injustices here and abroad for fear of being called non-patriotic. I say goddamn the Rap Industrial Complex and all those living in fear or admiration, including myself.

  44. You know what…It’s clear that Kweli’s attempt was ill advised. If I were Talib I would have kept my mouth shut and let you all protest on your own. The man was literally giving perhaps a directive strategy to deal with the “Imposter” RR. Not by going about it ostracizing him. Why not use the energy or going to organize a real movement to halt record sales, don’t show up to clubs that will play his music, and go after radio stations. But no you have to pulpit from social media and the keyboard and for what to challenge why Talib came at Rosa wrong used the word Ally. Really?? Yo the G didn’t even have to condemn him publicly which has not been seen in quite a while. A rapper of national fame coming at a fellow rapper for misogyny. Do you not see the risk there? Nah. But keep on with the movement. Oh and I have seen Rosa in action when attempting to convey her points, she comes just as tough if not tougher than a man. So perhaps there’s a seat for you all somewhere. Either way Ross was wrong, Talib spoke, Rosa Spoke, now what are you going to do ?

  45. Just reading Kweli’s response. IMOH, I still think Rosa the right to push the notion of “a radical edge of thinking about Hip Hop culture, which attempts to separate what she referred to as the “rap industrial complex” from the broader culture.” And that she should be able to say this from a womans’ perspective considering its women who get hurt from it.

    Seperate it, stand back and look at it as a problem from all sides. Maybe not ostracise it but *isolate* it to prevent further infection and then deal with the issue with care from there.

  46. Talib said absolutely nothing wrong. I read the post and had one opinion going into this and after listening believe that the interviewer was condescending and not actually taking into account that on the basic fundamental points there was complete agreement. The no women were blamed for rape and he agreed completely that Ross was wrong and his apology was wrong. But because he couldn’t be bullied into demanding Ross’s excommunication from the black community and planet hip hop, he deserves this treatment? He never even said, if you listen to the audio, that women need to love the men in hip hop. He said the way to change our brothers and sisters is not to reject them. But to guide them to the right way. And most importantly, as Taliban says, if you go the route Rosa suggested, they will loop you in with the larger culture that finds away to look down on all black men and all black music.

    Disappointing. Hopefully with time people will see this discussion in a more balanced way. Feminist black man here spreading the word at every opportunity but I call right and wrong when it is right and wrong. Rosa was wrong. And more importantly the audio does not back up what was written. That is perhaps the most worrying about this piece. You are only as good as your integrity. The implication that he said women should love their hip hop men (as opposed to all of us embracing the hip hop community, male and female) was flat out wrong. If you disagree, provide the quote from the audio and give the time the quote takes place. I would feel better if there was support for her statement.

  47. There is a difference between opposing censorship and opposing viewpoints. Censorship is never the way. I don’t want white supremacists’ music censored in any way. But I obviously oppose their viewpoints. And I speak against those viewpoints. But my odds of changing them increase if I don’t simply dismiss them and demand that the world prevent them from expressing their points.

  48. Hey everyone, I myself have my own opinion on the interview. I respect the CFC collective response and deconstruction of the interview, but I did not feel this way for the most part. I think it is important as a public figure that people be able to look at what I do and put their own perspective, through the lenses, but no one really asked me how I felt. People who really know me know no one puts me in a corner, and I have been pretty consistent in my life in holding my own. Talib and I have over 15 years of history working together, debating each other, getting hot with each other(POLITICALLY), disagreeing etc. It may not be popular to say this here, but I consider Talib an ally. If your interested in what I think went down, check out my facebook responses, my twitter feed or holler at me via these social media avenues or email me at Peace.

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