NAACP is under attack …again…for choosing to incorporate controversial members of hip-hop into their awards program. The artists mentioned are Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj. These artists are at the top of their hip-hop games, one being a veteran and the other a rookie. And while they were nominated for Image Awards, they were not recipients. But, the NAACP still came under attack for including them. Some pastors are even saying that they should not have included hip-hop in the program at all.
If you remember correctly, they had also come under fire for including R. Kelly after it was learned that he allegedly had sex with under age girls. But, including him didn’t demonize all of R&B. Just as including Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Diddy shouldn’t scar the entire hip hop industry. To be honest, as a fan of hip-hop, there are some real scum of hip hop that could and/or should have been the cause of NAACP’s criticism, but these nominees are not those artists. In fact, Jay-Z has shown a real maturity in his music. Nicki Minaj has shown herself to be a real artist in hip-hop with the creativity she brings to her performance.
That doesn’t let them off the hook for some of the things they say and promote, but these are not the bottom of the barrel artists that give hip-hop a bad name. The hip hop genre is multi-faceted as any other genre of music. It has its bad artists and good artists, but no one is trying to get rid of the other genres because of that dichotomy. The NAACP, in my humble opinion, is just trying to be fair and pull from hip-hop those who are not the most celebrated, but are truly good at what they do–just as all of the other nominees chosen for all the other categories.
Check out Dr. Boyce Watkins diatribe on this topic here.