Last week at Guitar Center’s “GC Sessions”, a new music-based initiative featuring panel discussions and tutorials to help up and coming artists, Chuck D along with Large Professor and DMC (of Run-DMC) sat on a panel discussing the current attacks on hip-hop. When asked about Russell Simmons’ suggestion to remove the words “bitch”, “ho” and “nigga” from radio and video ready songs, Chuck D agreed, but didn’t understand Russell’s motives.
“I agree (with him) but are you trying to figure out how to save something that you helped corrupt?” Chuck said. “This is no disrespect to Russell or Lyor (Cohen), I would just call them buzzards. A buzzard is not a bad bird, it doesn’t go around killing anything, but it doesn’t add life to the matter. It just takes advantage of the dead. It takes advantage and feeds off the carcass of the dead. My point is this, I like Russell and I like Lyor as people, but I think, being realistic about it, they need to divert the authority and attention to the people who really want to take care of the forwardness of rap music and hip-hop, to the people who have been doing it a long time like Afrika Bambataa and the Zulu Nation.”
Chuck continued to discuss the environment of hip-hop in 2007 and how to make a career in hip-hop from a business standpoint. Russell Simmons launched Def Jam Records in 1984 with Rick Rubin. Rubin left the label in 1988 because he didn’t like the direction the label was going. Russell continued to run the label along with Lyor Cohen, until Simmons sold his stake in the label in 1999 for $100 million. Simmons is responsible for signing everyone from LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Slick Rick to Ja Rule, Jay-Z and DMX.