We’re all for brothers gettin’ checks out of corporations. And we long gave up on the idea of you as an artist once you eschewed rap and creativity in exchange for pimp cups, MTV shows and added “izzle” to the end of every word uttered. We didn’t even bat an eyelash when you embroidered your name on house slippers. You are Hip-Hop’s Billy Mays. Still, there’s a fine line between cashing checks and keeping your integrity in check and it’s one you’ve been toeing for a while.
There’s no conceivable way you or your handlers could have overlooked the contradiction in joining with other stars* in endorsing Megaupload, a leading filesharing site, with a video cosign and, before the ink even dries on the contract, you’re hopping to the other side of the fence to do a concert with Wiz in support of the RIAA’s push to wipe out the Internet. You are aware of the outrage associated with SOPA, the plan to basically censor the whole f*cking Internet, right? If not, Techdirt has covered the issues very well. Read it.
Again, we’re all for earning easy money if major corporations are
dumb enough down to sign off. Ricky Rawse squeezed a payday out of Nike and Reebok. We laughed at them, not him. They ignored the irony and looked silly because of it. And we applaud your Ray Lewis-like transformation from murder trial to America’s least threatening, most lovable persona. And, yes, the ’90s “keep it real” mantra is now no more than a catchphrase in today’s version of rap. But there’s a fundamental difference between peddling products and participating in promo pushes for two opposing sides with direct stake in the music business, the same industry that you used as a springboard for your career.
Next time, put the blunt down for a sec and read the fine print. Hell, read the big bold print about the companies you’re pitching before signing on to take part in their campaigns.
* — Puffy’s involved? You should’ve known it was for evil.