The recent release of FBI files on Tupac Shakur took me by surprise. Although there are numerous examples of how Jewish mobsters have been affiliated with the record industry, it was strange to read how Tupac & Eazy E were alleged to have received various threats of extortion from the Jewish Defense League before their deaths.
It’s important to examine the relationship between African Americans & Jewish people within hip hop.
In 1984, Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons become business partners at Def Jam Records. Rubin goes on to produce many classic records for artists such as LL Cool J, Run DMC.
(It was actually Rick Rubin who wanted to sign Public Enemy. Russell Simmons was said to have been against the idea)
After being released from prison after a 10 year sentence, Shyne finds solace in Judaism and eventually moves to Israel.
Around 1983/1984, The Beastie Boys burst onto the hip hop scene with their punk attitude & party anthems.
Malcolm Mclaren becomes an influential figure in hip hop overseas, helping to bring the genre to the UK.
Professor Griff is labelled as an Anti-Semite by the media after allegedly making disparaging remarks about Jewish people. Their road manager at the time, Lyor Cohen, closed the National Holocaust Museum so that he could show them the discrimiation and hardships Jewish people have endured.
Mos Def stirs up controversy on his record The Rape Over, with the line “some tall Israelis is running this rap shit”.
Jewish record executive , Jerry Heller hired former IDL Commando Mike Klein to take over as security for Ruthless Records after numerous threats from Death Row. Klein was said to be a man with various contacts in the Nation Of Islam & Jewish Defense League.
There are still no black owned distributors, the majority of which are owned by old Jewish male executives.
In 1998, former CEO of Polygram Records, Eric Kronfeld said “If every African American male in the United States were disqualified from pursuing a livelihood because of a criminal record, then there would be no, or virtually no African American employees in our society or our industry.”
Jewish rapper, Asher Roth makes a distasteful joke about “nappy headed hoes” , paraphrasing controversial shock jock Don Imus.