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Reply to "Russell Simmons Eyed As New NAACP Prez"

Sure any art form is a mirror. If hip hop were confined to lyrics printed on canvas hanging in a museum, then it would reflect, and reflect only. But commercial electronic media, as I'm sure you know, completely change the equation. Success in the media goes to those who know how to use the media to impact people's perceptions and interests. This is an elementary concept, understood since at least 1960, when JFK won the presidency largely because he was more photogenic and looked into the TV camera instead of at the moderator asking the questions in his debates against Nixon. Hip hop's negativity seems to be the only topic about which this understanding is ever questioned.

And let's not lose sight of the main issue here. Again, Simmons denied hip hop's influencing ability vis-a-vis the negative messages, but he turned right around and defended hip hop's power to influence when the subject turned to political interest. It either influences or it doesn't. His contradictions, regardless, show that he's motivated to uphold certain interests, whether they're damaging to our people or not. And that's a serious concern about him.
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