Russell Simmons blames himself, along with the rest of society, for the poor decisions of our fave rappers.
T.I.’s return to lockup for violating his probation? That’s your fault. Lil Wayne’s recent stay at Riker’s Island? That’s on you, too—well, at least in part, according to the Def Jam Records co-founder.
During a recent interview on Atlanta’s V-103, Russell said that hip-hop’s glorification of crime has made bad behavior “more acceptable.”
“We got these images out of the streets,” Russell asserted. “The violence, the things they talk about are topics we chose. They’re not bad people.”
Russell used T.I., who just reported for an 11-month prison sentence, as a perfect example to elaborate his point.
“T.I is very insightful. He’s a good person,” Russell said. “These guys are learning their lesson in front of the world. And it’s a good thing they’re growing up before us. Otherwise, they might not have grown up at all.”
Give us your thoughts: Are rappers like T.I. and Weezy really just products of our society, or do they just make bad life choices?
— Sonya Eskridge