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Wednesday, December 06, 2006 

Hip-Hop Is Dead

Earlier in the day, I received an email which begins thus:
For those who might wanna know What the Hell Jay was driving in the Lost Ones Video!!! The Maybach high-performance show car...

Behold Hov's latest sellout move. It's a video called "Lost One." The song supposedly deals with emotional setback, romantic dysfunction, and loss. So imagine my chargrin as I watched another product placement clip masqueraded as a music video, which finds Jay cruising around in a 700 horsepower V-12 biturbo Maybach Exelero. It's a concept car, I hear.

Like he did with Armand de Brignac in the "Show Me What You Got" video, Jay rents out a good portion of his 5-minute clip to Maybach Exelero, showing off different angles and attributes of the eccentric whip. And you thought his new album was for you. Ha!

Just the other day, I was bigging up Jay-Z and Russell for coming together to combat anti-Semitism. Little did I know that Russ would turn around and sell his own people for a few bucks. You've probably heard of his out-of-nowhere trip to the motherland to learn about diamond trade. Rather than address Africa's greed-inspired blood diamond debacle, Russell, while standing next to De Beers associates, insists that the diamond trade is beneficial to our people. According to him, movies like Leonardo DiCaprio's "Blood Diamonds" and the forthcoming Vh1 documentary starring Kanye, Paul Wall, Raekwon and others, are all lies.

Turns out Russell, a diamond seller himself, was tapped by a mighty diamond cartel to champion their cause. You see, the cartel is rattled by DiCaprio's movie, which they fear will put a dent to their business this shopping season. So, they allegedly doled out upwards of $15 million to entertainers and merchants to say that diamonds ain't hurt nobody. Which explains why Russell Simmons had this to say on YouTube when commenters called him out on the sellout move:

"I have seen diamond$ benefit to Africa. It is the best of all extractive industries. The Presidents of S.Africa, Botswana and Mandela have asked me to carry this message. I am here! I see the schools, hospitals, and jobs created. The executives who are the biggest shareholders of these government partnerships; They are the same black faces that fought apartheid. 80% of all proceeds that come from the Botswana mines (the biggest) go to the black uncorrupt government of Botswana."

The above video of him in Africa eschews any visuals or facts about young lads who lose their lives so that rapper X can rock 5000 diamonds in his mouth. Illegal exploitation of diamonds is still one of the main sources of funding for rebel groups in war-torn countries. But nah, Russell won't tell you that.

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  • Reppin' Houston, Texas, United States
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