hip hop music

June 4, 2003

Roc-A-Fella vs. Rockefeller

Russell Simmons organized another rally against New York's atrocious Rockefeller drug laws today, and brought out a bunch of his a-list friends. I've got to give Russell credit where it's due, his forays into the political arena have sometimes struck me as self-serving but this one is certainly for a good cause.

With the powers that be claiming to be sympathetic but mysteriously failing to act upon this sentiment, maybe Russell's media savvy can help tip the scales and make something happen here...especially if we the people make our voices heard and show them this is not just the latest celebrity be-in. On that note, I should give a shoutout to The Kunstler Fund, who were on the front lines of this battle long before Russell brought it into the limelight.

Diddy, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon Rally Against New York Drug Laws

Russell Simmons and friends such as Susan Sarandon, P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Fat Joe, Tim Robbins, Dead Prez and Dame Dash made their voices heard Wednesday (June 4) at City Hall, where they rallied against New York state's strict drug sentencing laws.

"When I was younger, I would see kids get caught with an ounce [of narcotics] and do 10, 15 years," Dash said. "I never understood that. I don't think they deserve 10, 15 years. There's a lot of other things that need to be addressed at that time to make the person a better individual and make them evolve as a better human being, rather than come out [of jail] bitter."

"The laws aren't fair," said Jay-Z as he made his way to the stage. "I personally know a lot of people that's locked up unjustly and unfairly. [The MCs] have got the streets, so we gotta come out here and show our support, our strong voice."

Diddy said rappers should pay especially close attention to the state's Rockefeller drug laws — enacted in 1973 when Nelson Rockefeller was governor — because of the enormous impact they've had on the hip-hop community.

"This law has affected hip-hop, our families, our friends, our future," Diddy said backstage. "Ninety-six percent of the people incarcerated by this law are minorities. It's one of the most unjust laws in history...

Posted by jsmooth995 at June 4, 2003 11:58 PM

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