Dr. Umar Johnson has taken a bold stance, criticizing the apparent hypocrisy within the realm of hip-hop. In a recent interview, the popular activist/psychologist voices his disappointment with rappers engaging in philanthropy, such as giving away turkeys and clothing during holidays, while simultaneously promoting violent and destructive lyrics.
In an interview with The Art of Dialogue released on Nov. 13, Dr. Umar expressed his disappointment with rappers who engage in philanthropic acts like giving away turkeys and clothing during holidays while promoting violent and destructive lyrics.
“Hip-Hop has been around for 50 years!” Dr. Johnson shouted. “Not a single hospital, not a single school, not a single bank, not a single supermarket, not a single distribution company. How can we call hip-hop a blessing to the black community when that type of money is being made off of our culture and the community doesn’t benefit from it all.”
While Expanding on his critique, Dr. Johnson specifically addresses rappers who partake in seasonal giveaways of turkeys and clothing.
“In exchange for some damn turkeys, and chickens and some sneakers you push death and destruction on our children for a living and we’re supposed to be ok with that because you dropped off some clothes and some turkeys. It’s not acceptable,” Dr. John added. Dr. Johnson would then call hip-hop an agent of white supremacy.”
Dr. Johnson continued:
“Until hip-hop begins to be a blessing for the black community, it is an agent of white supremacy.”
Dr. Johnson’s comments have garnered mixed reactions on Twitter (X). One user named @_Twinndiesel commented “ This is a very hard truth,” and another user named @VashaunBlanks commented, “Can’t believe I’m agreeing with him.”
Other users felt differently such as @morrisdusk commented “Stop putting cameras on this goofy n*gga.” The issue of hip-hop hypocrisy is not limited to Dr. Umar Johnson’s viewpoint.
New Orleans rapper Dee-1 appeared on Sway’s Universe on Nov. 1, and also spoke out against the contradictory messages prevalent in the lyrics of certain artists, name-dropping Meek Mill, Rick Ross, and Jim Jones as examples. Dee-1, who is known for conscious and uplifting lyrics, emphasized the need for these rappers to act more responsibly with their words, especially considering their public stances on prison reform.
Meek Mill, in response, defended his actions by stating he felt compelled to speak out about prison reform. However, this response drew criticism on social media, with users accusing Meek Mill of hypocrisy.
Another concern about hip-hop is fans wondering if it has gone too far. In October 2023, a video went viral after a nine-year-old rapper named Lil RT performed his song “60 miles,” which includes vulgar and violent lyrics, on the YouTube Series From The Block.
The issue of hypocrisy within the hip-hop industry resonates beyond Dr. Umar Johnson’s criticisms. Juicy J, known as the leader of Three 6 Mafia, recently called for a meeting with leaders in the industry to discuss rap sales plummeting by 40%. He expressed concerns about the decline and suggested that today’s rappers prioritize gimmicks and trends over creating quality music.