Rappers and social responsibility, an unlikely pair

All money isn’t good money, right? Maybe. It’s relative. But, money does open the door to a lot of opportunities that many people without access to it are unlikely to have, otherwise. It may be a surprise to you that many rappers are doing positive things with some of the money they earn by investing in local and global charities.

Russell Simmons, a cornerstone in the rap community is a model philanthropist and has produced some questionable material in his long career. But, regardless of your feelings about Mr. Simmons, his money has done a lot of good.

Can you serve two gods? Can you promote violence and objectify women while at the same time, uplifting your community? It’s a question of ethics, really. I try not to judge too harshly but sometimes these things go a little too far.

Recently, rapper, Juicy J tweeted that he would fund a $50,000 scholarship to any college woman who could “twerk” the best. Twerking is a term used to describe a dance that entices and arouses men; usually in a strip club. I have no words for this. It’s not only sexist, but it’s just rude. A woman in need of this aid, shouldn’t have to be objectified in this way to earn an education. In fact, she’s in college to avoid this type of occupation.

Although, no further information was released about the potential scholarship fund, he should really aim to redeem himself by offering a competitive scholarship that highlights the academic merit of these women.

Also recently, rapper, Wale awarded a student at Hampton University a $25,000 award, won through a radio contest. And, though Wale is no saint, he did something that made a difference for this young woman who was able to return to college in the fall. Furthermore, he didn’t have to strip a woman of her pride, either.

Challenging young college women to a “twerk competition” is not the way to uplift your community. In fact, no one should have to be made to make a questionable decision to continue their education. What do you think?

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