Hip-Hop Advocates Head To Washington
The political establishment may not be ready for it, but Capitol Hill had better prepare itself for its first injection of hip-hop politics. Today (Sept. 28), a group of hip-hop impresarios are scheduThe political establishment may not be ready for it, but Capitol Hill had better prepare itself for its first injection of hip-hop politics. Today (Sept. 28), a group of hip-hop impresarios are scheduled to participate in a Congressional Black Caucus forum titled "Hip-Hop Culture and the African-American Political Agenda."
While the forum is part of the caucus' annual conference, it is also a result of hearings this year on the effect of violent entertainment on America's youth. Def Jam Records chairman Russell Simmons was denied an invitation to testify at the hearing. Simmons eventually got to speak his piece before the Senate Government Affairs Committee but only after he forced the committee to listen to him from the audience.
Since then, Simmons and other hip-hop stars have reached out to the CBC in an effort to get their voices heard in Washington. Also speaking on the panel are hip-hop artists Black Ice, Sister Solja, Black Sheep and Raz Baraka, along with Columbia University professor Manning Marable, Recording Industry Association of America president/CEO Hilary Rosen, National Bar Association president Michael Rosier, Radio One Network national program director Darrell Hucabee, BET senior VP of programming Stephen Hill, Ed de Jesus of the Source Foundation, and Jeff Johnson of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.