You know what I love? I love when somebody who is clearly unqualified to speak on a topic, takes it upon themselves to “drop knowledge” about said subject. The latest smart dumb person to take on this role is Ashley Judd with her rant about Hip-Hop. Now if you haven’t heard, in Judd’s new memoir All That Is Bitter And Sweet, she takes offense to artists such as Snoop Dogg and Diddy being involved with groups like YouthAids, then proceeds to call Hip-Hop as a whole a “rape culture” and the “contemporary soundtrack of misogyny.” If that’s not enough, she also states that Hip-Hop’s beliefs are “the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world.” Here I am listening to “Ice, Ice Baby,” not knowing that I’m contributing to the end of civilization as we know it.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that Hip-Hop music has had some recklessly ignorant moments, but what genre hasn’t? You’ve got artists like Marilyn Manson recruiting for the Church of Satan, Judas Priest went to trial for supposedly incorporating hidden messages in their music, causing 2 teenagers to kill themselves, and legendary rock producer Phil Spector killed a woman. What kind of example are they setting for the community?
Many of Hip-Hop’s detractors, such as Judd, love to pay attention to certain negative aspects, completely ignoring any of the positive influences. On a mainstream level alone, for every 50 Cent, I give you Common, and for every Lil Wayne, I give you Lupe Fiasco. There are plenty of artists who break from the mold, but opponents never give them any credence.
Once Judd realized that her comments were causing an uproar, she did what any smart person would do: have a talk with Russell Simmons to make amends. Now I’d like to inform Ms. Judd that having a conversation with one person doesn’t rectify anything you said. Michael Richards couldn’t live down his racist tirade by reaching out to Jesse Jackson and Mel Gibson couldn’t take back his anti-Semitic comments by apologizing to a few Jewish leaders. You put your stupidity in print, now you have to live with that, backlash and all.
In the end, I’d like to make a Public Service Announcement to Ashley Judd and all other individuals who foolishly make comments about topics they know nothing about: Shut The F*ck Up.