Influential hip-hop figurehead Russell Simmons has come out in support of Eminem against allegations of racism.
In a statement released yesterday (November 20) Simmons said he believed Eminem’s apology to be “sincere.”
The owners of The Source magazine, Ray Benzino and Dave Mays, held a press conference this week during which they played early recordings of Eminem delivering racist rhymes.
The hip-hop star was quick to react asking the public to, “take it for the foolishness that it was.”
“These lyrics are disgusting, but the oneness of hip-hop culture has transformed many young people in trailer parks around the country away from their parents’ old mindset of white supremacy,” Simmons said.
“We believe Eminem’s apology is sincere and forthright. He continues not only to be an icon of hip-hop, but also has evolved into a good soldier who gives back money, time and energy to the community, encouraging this generation of youth to reach their highest aspirations.”
Simmons’ partner in the charitable Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Benjamin Chavis, said: “Hip-hop culture transcends race.”
“We, therefore, must be careful as to how the race card is played to divide people rather than to encourage unity in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality for all.”
Nonetheless, The Source is refusing to back down, Editor Kim Osorio told New York Newsday: “These are racist remarks by someone who has the ability to influence millions of minds.”