One For All: Hip Hop's Botched Racial Dialogue With Lord Jamar

Lord Jamar's comments on race in Hip Hop have had the potential to be constructive, but Hip Hop as a collective unit needs to do a better job of making this discussion a productive one.

In September 2013, Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian made noise when he declared that all white rappers are “guests in the house of Hip Hop” and that Macklemore was wrong to promote total LGBT acceptance in Hip Hop. What may have seemed like a casual, opinionated remark made in passing quickly turned into the hot topic with regards everything Hip Hop. Even now, in February 2014, we still haven’t heard the last of it.

As a white man and a fan of Hip Hop, I have no problem with Lord Jamar’s opinion. There’s no denying the history: Hip Hop started in the predominantly black South Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s. Up until the Beastie Boys dropped License To Ill in 1986, there were no notable white artists to speak of, whatsoever. But as the years have passed, I think more and more white rappers have come out of the woodwork to become staples of the culture. Eminem is often mentioned as one of, if not the best living rapper. And regardless of how you feel about it, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis just took home the gold at the Grammy Awards.

I agree with a lot of what Jamar says; namely, that white audiences tend to gravitate towards white artists, and the white success stories in Hip Hop have largely achieved those accomplishments thanks to a “co-sign” from black artists (think Eminem and Dr. Dre, etc.). But I also think Hip Hop as a collective unit (artists and media alike) need to do a better job of making this discussion a productive one. After comments from Jamar and various rebuttals from different rappers, there was no real fruitful discourse about race. Lord Jamar unapologetically calls Eminem a guest in the house of Hip Hop, even though this opinion is not universally held by his peers. I feel that in its earliest stages, Hip Hop was the culture of oppression. Black artists were doing something new and exciting. I don’t think it was never about exclusivity.

Macklemore & The Accusation Of A “Gay Agenda”

“Yes, it is jazz and yes it is the blues / And yes it is the exact same way they did rock / But I refuse to watch the same thing happen to Hip-Hop / I refuse to watch that bullshit…” -Murs; “And This Is For…”

I think Lord Jamar’s initial points came from a defensive point of view—and rightfully so. Through the course of the 20th Century, we saw the Blues, Jazz and Rock & Roll get usurped by white artists and people. So understandably, he’ll be damned if that happens to Hip Hop, which is fine. But more importantly, Lord Jamar didn’t appreciate that Macklemore, a white artist, was promoting a cause that the Hip Hop he grew up with would ever endorse. During that September interview, Jamar told Vlad TV, “Just because you have a hit record doesn’t give you the right as I feel to voice your opinion…[Macklemore is] trying to push an agenda that him as a white man feels is acceptable.”

I don’t like that Lord Jamar juxtaposes LGBT acceptance with Macklemore’s whiteness. It makes that discussion seem pertinent only to white populations. But at the same time, I’d argue there’s always been an undeniable machismo in Hip Hop. And I think Brand Nubian, among many, many others, are adherents. Don’t forget that on “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down,” Lord Jamar once rapped: “Did you want some more, I didn't think so / Just got whipped like a faggot in the clink, so / I suggest you take your bloody mess and find a piece of wire / Fix your broken jaw, then it's time to retire…” An intolerance for homosexuality, for Brand Nubian at least, dates back to 1990. Or does it?

“It’s making it seem like that song was about that, and I was aggressively going after [homosexuals],” Lord Jamar explained in a 2012 interview with HipHopDX. “Nobody was doing that… First of all, my stand on homosexuality is I don’t agree with it, but everybody has their own free will in this world. And if that’s how you choose to live, you do you. I don’t agree with it; I feel like it’s a distortion of mind. But that’s up to me. You don’t have to live in my universe and I don’t have to live in yours.”

Given the current climate, I think that if “Same Love” was released during Hip Hop’s Golden Era, it probably wouldn’t have even made it onto the radio. I think there's been some evolution in his ideology since the days when Brand Nubian had people in white-face for the “Wake Up” video. But nobody talks about that. And nobody is talking about “Same Love” being so aggressively marketed. As Ryan Lewis pointed out in an exclusive 2013 interview with HipHopDX, for an independent single, “Same Love” benefitted from an unprecedented amount of marketing muscle.

““Thrift Shop” began taking off sort of organically on alternative radio, and we were in the unique position where Warner was willing to push “Thrift Shop” to Pop radio with no record deal,” Lewis explained. “On a project-by-project basis, we sort of hire them—strictly their radio department—to push a song that we thought would do well on Pop radio. And then it did.”

I don’t think that constitutes what Lord Jamar refers to as “pushing a gay agenda.” But if you’re wondering why a Rap song about same sex marriage hasn’t seen such a large platform, then ADA’s marketing of “Same Love” is a good place to start. Has a Rap song advocating tolerance of same sex relationships ever been a hit? Common’s “Between You Me And Liberation,” and Murs’ “Animal Style” both come to mind. But neither of those songs charted nor were pushed to radio by a major corporation in a manner similar to “Same Love.” And both songs were created by black rappers. Again, I don’t think that constitutes pushing a so-called gay agenda. But I do think people are putting more focus on directing vitriol back and forth instead of having a civilized conversation about race and sexuality in Hip Hop.

Generally, Rap songs have either been extremely intolerant of LGBT issues or insensitively fetishized same sex relationships for male titillation. Examples include Kanye West’s “Late,” which finds West rhyming, “Like them Eskimos, what would you do for a Klondike / Or two dykes that look Christina Milian-like.”

Unfortunately with all of the back-and-forth, toxic commentary both on various media outlets and from fellow artists and fans on Twitter, that’s just one of the many topics that never got addressed during an open dialogue. And that’s the real tragedy with the never-ending Lord Jamar news cycle.

After dozens of ensuing stories having to do with Lord Jamar, neither the readers, nor Jamar himself were pleased with all of the coverage. HipHopDX sought out an interview with Lord Jamar to set the record straight, and he obliged. If you’re baffled as to why DX continues to follow this story, it isn’t difficult: Lord Jamar represents Hip Hop’s Golden Era. He is revered so much that his initial and subsequent comments have attracted the attention of readers time and again. Some are offended or upset by the sustained coverage, despite it never ceasing to draw attention. His position in Hip Hop’s pecking order, and the nature of his words are why it continues to build upon itself. And if we’re being honest, Lord Jamar is good for business. At it’s most basic level, I think you’ll keep seeing Lord Jamar stories on sites that could care less about creating a discourse as you keep clicking on them.

Step To The Rear: Co-Signs, Rebuttal & A Lack Of Discourse

“Straight out the tube right into ya livin' rooms I came / And kids flipped when they knew I was produced by Dre / That’s all it took and they were instantly hooked right in / And they connected with me too ‘cause I looked like them…” –Eminem, “White America.”

Things hit a boiling point in November when Yelawolf was asked how he felt about Lord Jamar’s comments. After initially agreeing with Jamar’s assessment, Yelawolf added a caveat: “It's been renovated. It's been changed. Black people, white people, Asian people, people all over the world has been to this house, lived in it, used it, abused it, fixed it up. It is now a different home. It doesn't matter who laid the first brick.” I think his rebuttal was strong up until he said, “It doesn’t matter who laid the first brick.” It may not have been his intention, but I feel Yelawolf’s disinterest with the original bricklayers retracts serious legitimacy from his points. Read between the lines: I don’t think he was looking for confrontation, but the foundation was laid for someone to take offense. Hindsight being 20/20, if Yelawolf and Lord Jamar began this exchange face-to-face—instead of through TV and interviews—cooler heads may have prevailed.

Lord Jamar responded in two ways. The first was the less elegant, yet more poignant threat that Yelawolf would get, “Beat the fuck up if he not careful.” The second was a bit more insightful; that white rappers have succeeded thanks to “co-signs” from black artists: “If this is not black music then how come every white artist needs a co-sign from a black person? Beastie Boys had the co-sign from Run DMC. Eminem had the co-sign from Dr. Dre. Vanilla Ice didn’t have a co-sign. That’s why he didn’t fuckin’ last. Macklemore, see I don’t know who his co-sign is.” He took it one step further with Eminem, noting that, “[When] you have a white artist doing black music, white people just gravitate to that crazily...But sales doesn’t equate to greatness.”

I understand Lord Jamar’s points. And in most cases, I accept his reasoning about white emcees as guests in the house of Hip Hop. You can’t deny the history, or the number of white rappers that have passed the test of time. But Lord Jamar unequivocally states that Eminem’s standing in Hip Hop is only due to the fact that he has benefited from the support of white masses. I too agree that sales don’t necessarily equate to greatness, but I also think Eminem’s sheer talent contributed to his rise in popularity. In Ice-T’s documentary The Art of Rap: From Nothing to Something, Redman sings Eminem’s praises as a “true emcee” noting: “He gained that respect ‘cause he knew he had a job to do. He could’ve said, ‘I’ma just stick to my white fans. I got enough white fans over here to sell 30 mill.’ But nah. He was in my ‘hood before he blew up. He was in Newark, he was with the Outsidaz. So he been in the ‘hood before he got on. So I think it always been in him to be like, ‘Yo, I’m white. But this is music, and music don’t have no color.’ And that’s where it’s at, man.”

I think having a co-sign from Dr. Dre in the ‘90s was about as safe a bet as could be. Even then, many considered him one of the best, if not the best Hip Hop producer in the game. But second—and perhaps more importantly—the communal co-sign from dudes in the ‘hood meant that Eminem wasn’t just hype. His working class Detroit upbringing ran parallel to the rappers who grew up in the projects; he grew up poor and without a father. He shared similar hardships, which went a long way, ultimately earning him respect from the people that mattered most.

So what is Macklemore’s role in all of this? I’m not a mind reader, but I think Lord Jamar is peeved because Macklemore is pushing the envelope, insofar as he’s lacking the proper footing to push for total LGBT acceptance in Hip Hop. He also doesn’t have the ever valuable co-sign from a black artist. I certainly don’t think homophobia should reign supreme in Hip Hop, but I’m old enough to see and understand where Lord Jamar is coming from.

A Slow Progression Towards Tolerance

“On the real tip, let's take a field trip from the ghetto / You pick the time and we'll meet in the meadow / To discuss racial issues and tension / New York's a powder keg, did I forget to mention…” -Brand Nubian; “Concerto In X Minor.”

There has been no shortage of reactions to Lord Jamar. In November, Hopsin offered staunch objections with Hard Knock TV:

“Some stupid rapper dude was on. I saw an interview. I don’t know how I came across it, but he was talking about like Macklemore and pushing the [gauge] and being white and telling white people to stay in their lane. And, you know, I’m just about humans being equal. Everybody is equal. That shouldn’t even be brought up. That’s racist. Like that’s so foul. That’s equivalent to a white guy going, ‘Why are you in this fucking bathroom? You’re fucking black. Don’t ever [over]step your boundaries.’ When you hear somebody talk like that it gives you chills. Like, ‘Woah, is this mothafucka serious right now?’ It’s 2013, and somebody’s really talking like this right now?

He took it even further, voicing his desire to collaborate with both Macklemore and Yelawolf.

As one of the more popular up-and-coming rappers, I think Hopsin represents the current youth movement in Hip Hop. He is not from the Golden Era, so of course he and Lord Jamar have different values. But his words are particularly wise because he is sympathetic to the outsider role that is often attached to aspiring white rappers. Lord Jamar does not share this sentiment. To me, his frustrations are precarious, due to the “members only” attitude reflected in his belief that white rappers are guests in Hip Hop.

Perhaps my arguement is better articulated by N.O.R.E. who spoke with Vlad TV a month after Hopsin’s comments: 

“I welcome white Hip Hop. I welcome that. You know what I’m saying? But I see where he’s coming from. As a person who’s—I’m 36. I think Lord Jamar he’s 46 or in his 40s. I’m a couple of years younger, but I see where he’s talking about. So, I know the era he’s speaking about and those people who was doing it at the time. Those four fathers [sic] would probably frown on this. You know what I’m saying? But look at it like this. I look at it like this, my father was anti-gay. He was anti anything that resembled gay. Like he had family members in his family he never spoke to because they were gay…What I’m saying is those people can’t be talked out of how they feel. They feel the fuckin way they feel. And that’s it.”

I agree that Macklemore’s intentions with “Same Love” probably wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms by Hip Hop’s forefathers. But more importantly, I agree that feelings and opinions deserve to go unjudged. N.O.R.E. never said he had a problem with Lord Jamar’s words. Instead, he abstains from the notion that Macklemore doesn’t deserve to speak his mind as a Hip Hop artist. I think N.O.R.E. has a unique perspective as a New York rapper that experienced success in the ‘90s, like Lord Jamar. Yet he too sees the generational gap at the root of this debate. 

Wake Up: What Hip Hop Can Learn From Lord Jamar’s Media Tour

“This country's got us in a fix / America, your deadly habits, got us all up in the mix / War without, war within, holy war, mortal sin / Tell me huh, what's the origin.” -Gang Starr, “Deadly Habitz.”

Since the beginning, Lord Jamar’s comments have had the potential to be constructive. But they’ve been more dividing, as public discussions about race often are. We’re seeing mostly backlash and vitriol.

I think It’s too easy to play the race card here. I’m not condoning Lord Jamar’s words, but I understand their context, and why some people may have been offended. He’s stated time and again that he is a fan of several white rappers (MC Serch, RA the Rugged Man, Brother Ali, Apathy, Action Bronson, Asher Roth and Eminem, specifically). His biggest qualm is that Macklemore’s white privilege enabled for him to use Hip Hop as a platform to push for something not universally celebrated by the culture.

But it got lost in translation. The discussion could have moved along if participants wanted it to. We need to be better informed before taking the defensive.

I noted earlier that Lord Jamar is not entirely wrong when he said that Hip Hop was a black man’s thing, due to the history of the culture, and the miniscule longevity of most white rappers. But a lot has changed since Brand Nubian dropped One For All.  For me, this debacle is both generational and cultural. Yes, it helps for white rappers to have a “co-sign.” No, white rappers are not guests in the house of Hip Hop.


Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer who has contributed to HipHopDX since 2012. He lives in Vista, California. Follow him on Twitter (@HomerJohnsen).



  • Greg

    Here's a big difference between Macklemore and Eminem or other white artists before him.... He's young!! Anti gay is just typical coming from the 45 plus rappers! Since this interview many young black artists have been for gay marriage, Macklemore just happened to be the first to rap about it! Just because it was off limits in Jamars Era (I get it) doesn't mean it should be off limits now!!! Times change you old fart!!!

  • Anonymous

    of course he's gonna think like this... he's old as fuck. don't act like ur great grandparents are racist lol

  • RealSpit

    Good analysis .. My only input is that the Yelawolf sentence was definitely not the intent -- I think it was meant more to tie the story together .. because Yelawolf has been very very honest and open about ALWAYS showing respect and homage to the Pioneers .. As witnessed by featuring Kool Herc in his Let's Roll video, through the Music from the start of his career, in literally any and every interview and most importantly by those Pioneers themselves -- Real Recognize Real ... Unfortunately Lord Jamar is hung up on a "Shut The F Up" comment that was made in passing and more as a "whatever" comment, but of course a real man can't see past that and see that there's a real opportunity here in Yelawolf to throw the Race conversation away and instead focus on Love and Unity around Hip Hop culture and music

  • askx

    Black people always blame white people for everything. That's all they know how to do when they fail in life. No job? White people. Family problems? White people. You go to jail because you shot somebody because they stepped on your AIR JORDANS? White people. This is why black people will never move up from their ghetto ass projects. Because all they do is make excuses. Never own up to their own failures and shortcomings, just blame the white man and play the victim. I don't even talk to black people no more, because they say the same thing all the time. It's really getting boring and tiresome. Come up with some new better excuses for why black people fail in life.

    • Anonymous

      People like you make me ashamed to be white. What are you even doing on a Hip Hop website if you're racist?

    • Johnny

      SOME black people act the way you are describing. But there are people of all races who fail to take responsibility for their actions. I agree that personal responsibility is important but reforming drug policy, improving public education and generally improving job prospects for the lower class are the real solutions. The gap between the rich and the poor is enormous in the US; this is a huge and complex problem. When a black person plays the "race card" inappropriately that is a problem, but you are doing the same thing right now by making it all about skin color.

    • Amadeuz

      LOL. Black people fail at life? The fact that we have survived the biggest holocaust in world history (100,000,000+ murdered) and we are still here is in itself a miracle. No race of people have survived what we have been through, and are still going through.... You are either attempting to downplay and/or are completely ignoring the global system of racism/white supremacy and its vast implications on people of color. You need to do some research on African BEFORE the coming of the Europeans and look at the nature of that society. Then look at European culture. We have given the world its civilization and have brought humanity to the world many times over....from Egypt to the Moors to America. If sir you are of European decent, then you need to seriously re-examine the role that Europe has played in world history, because you are in absolutely no moral position to cast ANY judgement on ANY person of color. You can go back to your bubble now....

  • michael

    I love hip hop hands down but to be acting like its only a black thing is racist, EMINEM'S name Its self its bigger than lord jamar's,lol but if there is a hater then someone must be getting the job done. YELAWOLF did a great job not responding back and my opinion(a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.)just incase he didnt know lol, is that he respects his elders but other then that he is just mad that someone took his place in hip hop and is actually getting the job done as i said before but yeah , i love hip hop ,white rap ,black rap,yellow rap ,,its still rap!!!! one nation ,under god ,indivisible ,and LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL lmao ..peace

  • Amadeuz

    HOMER JOHNSEN....America is a "nation of cowards." There will NEVER be any serious discussion or dialog on race issues because everyone is in denial of the matrix that controls us all. Racism/white supremacy is the #1 issue in the world that no one wants to critically analyze and discuss.... There are no rappers fully addressing this issue. None. This is why hip hop is stagnant...and will continue to be.

  • RealTalk100

    The real question is did Macklemore have the best rap album of the other mainstream artists nominated, or did he win because of his color? The real answer, even according to the rapper himself, is NO. Hence Macklemore won a KKKrammy.

    • Johnny

      Macklemore made accessible music with positive messages which sit well with lots of normal people who don't like violence and drugs. If he had been a black guy who sounded exactly the same and said the same things, I think he still would have won. Maybe I'm wrong, but the people who say he only won because he's white have no evidence that that's true. Comparing this situation to the KKK is absolutely ridiculous and anyone who does that needs to shut up.

    • hippaToDaHoppa

      He won because of Same Love. Put Same Love on any of the other albums, and they would have won. Being white helped him get popular which helped him get nominated. The political statement the award show wanted to make is why Macklemore won.

  • Anonymous

    hiphopdx only one want to talk about this

  • FuzzyDunlots

    Maybe if HipHopDX didnt try to find the most racist headline to put up i wouldn't think Lord Jamars some piece of shit black supremacist. This is first i heard about real talk/ Its too late fuck your real talk and black supremecy. I will rap where i want and shit where i want. Back Nazis eat a dick

  • Anonymous

    Lord Jamar is right. My skin colour directly affects my ability to love and understand hip-hop. Definitely only black people are the be-all and end-all of rapping. No way could a person with a particular skin colour be influential and mean something. If you like certain things, your skin better be the right shade. And you better make a country song or something to that effect. No no no you can't put poetry to a rhythm. This makes me fucking sick. If we told people who have darker skin that they can't do ANYTHING, shit would hit the fucking fan. Stop giving this ignorant cunt so much shine. And for the record, Same Love sucks ass.

  • Black Mike

    I Don't disagree with you in regards to lack of integrity in rap theses days . But come on we can all see that this website is playing the race baiting game for S.E.O. purposes i.e increased advertising dollars . HHDX, like most commercial websites use analytic's to see what stories gain them the most traction i.e site visitors . Why do you think they keep on rehashing the same article at least twice a month ? Just look at the headline titles they use to draw the angry keyboard warriors in . Do you even think most people read the whole article before commenting ... Do a search for Lord Jamar on google,and it's not lord Jamars, fan page,twitter feed or website, that shows up it's HHDX,and their headline grabbing RACE BAITING articles There is a reason why they keep on recycling the same story over and over again and it's not for the sake of hip hop and integrity its' all about the $$$

  • Anonymous

    @blackmike... Your word is all you have. so why not make it count? thats the difference between the GOLDEN ERA and this new school. there's is no integrity, respect, or dignity in the game.

  • kemji

    to the author: you said you dont like Lord Jamar associating Macklemore's whiteness with the pro LGBT agenda. But honestly how come 99% of the countries that have legalized gay marriage are white? He is 100% right. it is a white agenda because its being accepted most in mostly white countries, and white countries are pushing non white countries to accept their views on it. end of the story. Lord Jamar is 100% right about what he's commenting on here, but its a sensitive topic so you have to be mature enough to handle it since it doesnt sound good to hear all thats being said.

  • Special Ed

    First of all let me say this... I grew up on rap that was released pretty much after the Golden Era... I had to study in order to understand Hip Hop as a culture, its reason for being, its commercialization, its death and its resurrection (both perverse and pure). Hip Hop was shunned by white people for a long time. I don't know whether it was out of jealousy because 'the blacks' once again came up with another gem, or because they couldn't relate to the raw and violent words that were being spoken. The bottom line is, Hip hop was shunned and it stayed that way until the powers that be saw that they could make a dollar from it. The global success of rap has come directly from this. Not the quality of the music, the message and not even the lyrics. Now, when trying to decipher Lord Jamar's words, one must approach it from this basis. When he says we're all guests in the house of Hip Hop, he's not just talking to white people. He's talking to us the Africans, the back Europeans and all others. The culture does not belong to us, we should be grateful to eat the crumbs that fall from the table. We are a product of the commercialization of rap, nothing more. Most people view the 21st century as a time of progression, of evolution, of moving forward with thoughts and ideas. Well, what happened to 'free thought'... I thought we all had the right to be pro or against... Now, note that Hip Hop has never been ours, so, what gives us the right to sit on the 'high' table and set new rules in a house we are guests in? This is the rationale behind's Lord Jamar's argument. Anyone would take offence if a stranger that you let in your house for a night suddenly starts telling you and your family what to do. It's simply the same with hip hop. It hurts, yes, but it's the truth. All the talk of white rappers and all that is simply the media trying to make the most of the comments. Lord Jamar has white rappers that he loves. Is he contradicting himself by saying that white rappers are guests at the Hip Hop table? No, because all the white rappers he likes know they are guests at the Hip Hop table... They'd never even try to push an agenda because they know that would get their 'co-sign' nullified and that would be it for their careers. That said, enter Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. These guys are being protrayed as the epitome of independence, because they managed to be successful without help from major labels. Upon further analysis though, one sees that this is not necessarily so. Yes, major labels gambled by promoting their singles without benefiting much from their product, but one can argue that this may be due to their reationship with one Jimmy Iovine. Also, once 'thrift shop' blew up, it was just a matter of time. Any label would have picked them up with a deal advantageous to the duo, and still would have made billions... Now this worked amazingly for the two, and congratulations to them for doing it. Now comes the odd part. 'Same Love' drops and is pushed like crazy all over the place. What does the song address? An issue that hip hop frowns upon... Who's addressing it? A guest in the house. Of course those that are sitting at the high table will take offense to it. Now look, some will argue that rap is homophobic, degrades women and all that... Look closely though, did this happen before, during or after the golden era of rap... I bet you'll find that this happened after. That's one... Two, in America, homosexuality wasn't the most important problem in those days (my opinion, i stand corrected)... You had unemployment in black communities, starvation, crime, increased imprisonment of you black men, increased police brutality, drugs and all that... Rap was not born to deal with LBGT issues, it was born to fight for the rights of disadvantaged black (and latino) communities. Now that it seems (and I emphasize) as though these problems have been dealt with, it is only fitting that we move to other issues right? WRONG. Who are you to say what we should discuss next? Who are you? What have you achieved to give yourself a voice in a culture that allowed you to celebrate it (because you weren't even part of the struggle)? Exactly! It seems as though there is a force behind the 'same love' phenomenon that does not have its origin within the Hip Hop circle. This is what Lord Jamar is fighting against. I, personally have no problem with someone saying that these issues must be discussed productively. I have a problem with blindly discussing these issues. That is, not doing the knowledge before doing the wisdom. That is, not understanding the reason for hip hop before starting to pick its brain... Any questions?

    • Special Ed

      Hi all, Thanks for the feedback. Please check out my page for more posts... No, I'm not THAT Special Ed, I only use the moniker for HHDX posts and out of respect for one of the greats...

    • shokez

      yeah i think this is on point. Nobody needs anyone's permission to fuckin anti-hip hop is the idea of asking permission to rap. BUT cultural gatekeepers have a role to play in keeping shit on course, or else we're all going to wake up in ten years and hip hop is going to be some twee bullshit and the hottest rappers in 'the game' are going to look like Bieber. Don't laugh, that's how shit is going right now.... The issue is I don't think homosexuality was the right bone to pick for him, he lost some stature over this and it's a shame because his larger points about race and ownership are on point. Truth is though the kids are running shit right now and they're much less conscious than us about rap. I remember in the 90s seeing acts perform in Providence, RI as a white dude and being legitimately shook, like motherfuckers eying me up and having to stay sharp to not get jumped outside the venue. Even having rap in your walkman in those days made you liable to get checked, like are you part of the culture or are you a vulture. So even as a white person I'm conscious of my 'place' in the culture because there wasn't really a way not to be. It seems like a dream now, because those days are straight up gone, G.O.N.E. People in their early 20s are conscious of race but are trying to move past it and I think people, black and white, need to understand that the stands taken on racial issues are hopefully leading up to some kind of transcendence, and maybe we should trust that the next up generations might be doing some work in helping the broader culture confront and move past our history...if that's possible. I'm definitely not the one who's going to do that, and neither is Jamar...

    • Har-magedon, G.O.D.

      PEACE Well put and well received. PEACE

    • Anonymous

      I never read long, essay style comments, but this pretty much sums it up. The question is, is all you said unknown? or is it just being swept under the rug so confusion reigns? I think the latter the is the case.... On another note, I saw on the new today that SAT is being revamped to use "everyday words" as opposed to vocabulary words. With developments like this, we can only dream of having meaningful conversations about anything in the future.

    • Nathan

      Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks, Special Ed. P.S. Are you that Special Ed???

  • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up to the homies worldwide!

    Lord Jamar has made many great points. Only people with shit for brains can't comprehend. "Lord Jamar will live long, cuz I give strong blows to the heads of my foes"

  • YUP

    Lol slow week for clicks at Hip Hop DX? This the go-to story when you guys need some click bait? Hip Hop "journalism" is so pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    the way DX posts about Lord Jamar you'd think he owns hip-hop

  • Ummmm...

    I'm not so sure you can say Lord Jamar represents the Golden Era. Sure they had some good tracks but they were never really top tier or pushed the envelope. You wouldn't say Chingy represents the early 2000s Hip Hop.

    • Tha R

      Umm, you're explicitly wrong ... IN HIP HOP, Brand Nubian were certainly, unquestionably top tier ... 5 Mics in The Source, guest appearances galore (Mary J Blige, Heavy D, Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, KMD, etc.) ... and pushed the envelope??? How old are you? Stop speaking on shit that you know nothing of.

    • big stan D

      Well, since Chingy is arguably the G.O.A.T., this point stands.

  • Ismael X

    wow....they are stealing hip-hop. Adding this post-racial nonsense is just diluting the purpose of rebellion in hip-hop. Lord Jamal is right! Hip-Hop is Black and everyone is copying a racist view of what they think that is (regardless of what race they are). Mainstream hip-hop has turned into a vehicle to promote white supremacy and exploitation....

    • Anonymous

      STFU Rico. Fcats are facts. Keep your silly analogies.

    • Rico Gal

      dude...serious? go back further than the beastie boys and ull find the latinos and Asians were instrumental in the foundation of the culture...which doesn't even matter...Jamar's the old man on the stoop that thinks hes bigger than hip hop. this is like me saying everybody needs to thank Mexicans before u eat a taco. this is America...enjoy the taco, good luck if u can make a better one.

  • DeSean

    It doesn't seem like you do "understand Jamar's context" because he's expounded upon his original quotes. And what he's said has become "race-baiting" are you guys too ignorant to see that? (And this is coming from a black man). This IS a predominately black genre, but to go after the white artists that show respect for hip-hop were STILL attacked by Jamar. I don't condone Macklemore or anyone for that matter pushing the gay agenda ANYWHERE, that's a problem. The dude needs to keep that shit to himself if he feels that way. What Macklemore did DEFINITELY under-cut Hip-Hop, and Jamar should've kept focus on that. People will do anything for $. Does racism still occur? OF COURSE, I've been racially profiled (& it'll happen again) I've been discriminated against and I'm sure it'll happen again (difference is I take a stand when that shit happens right there with that INDIVIDUAL) and it is fucked up, but not everything is a race ISSUE, and an entire race shouldn't be vilified based on the ignorance of some (If we begin to do that, then it MAY legitimize those who racially profile us,) Where does the line get drawn? Be the bigger man sometimes ("treat others how you want to be treated" or at least w/ respect until they cross you) ;there are ignorant fucks in every race, who cares about the color of ones skin?

    • Silent J

      You want to know who cares about the color of ones skin? EVERYBODY!!! in what utopia do you live? If a Chinese guy walks into a room with a black dude, a chinese dude, and a white dude, and he has a question, who do you think he would ask? (Bad analogy. Them chinese mofo's worship white but, you get my point.

  • IROC

    This dude is fighting a losing battle these guys who got the attention are cowards and want stand up for nothing im talking bout Uncle Tom Jay Z Skrit wearing azz Kanye and that booty bandit who call himself Baby these BoZo's have screwed up rap period

  • jg

    HHDX makes a rapper no one has heard of relevant by writing articles about everything he says, and then writes an editorial about how controversial his opinion is..

  • FinallyHHDXr.i.p-N-LordFail

    Finally my favorite hip-hop website has come to there senses and will retire this foo, once and for all. Thank tha good Lord!

  • Anonymous

    Lord Jamal an elder by hip hop standards, school these microwave cabbages before they get the chance to spread around their very unprofessional opinions!

  • Anonymous

    Why does anyone even care what this guy says?

  • Anonymous

    "Back in my day" ass nigga

  • Anonymous

    if you'v listen to rap since the 80s you might understand wheres hes coming from, you have to observe or witness certain events and research the history up until now, its like a jewel being dropped which requires thought and not em, em , em!!! we own this shit.. LJ is a mad racist.

  • jim

    lord jamar looks like colin kaepernick in bout 25 years


    You know what? Lord J is the man and has been since way back if thats how he feels then so be it and im white , if you got offended by anything that was said well then u know nothing about the history of hip hop and musta never liked or heard of Brand Nubians anyway which is crazy,as far as macklemore i dont bump that anyway,homo rap is not for me and when your wack your wack and when ya think you can rap a little and got flow but topics are wack, well then your still wack. the new generation needs to realize everything has pretty much been done aleady by the old school, im 39 myself and i seen all this shit pioneered and there were rules to hip hop and if you break em then you eventually will be irrelevant so let nature take its course. if your skills aint fuckin wit necro,ill bill,mr. hyde,non phixion,eminem,r.a.,vinnie paz,mr. eon,cage,copywrite,beasties,pete nice,serch,evidence,and your white,then fuuugetabouuutit! we as white people and all creeds and colors have a place in hip hop just know how the fuck to be.

  • B

    I've got no problem with Lord Jamar saying white people are guests in hip-hop, although I don't necessarily agree. I believe it was a predominantly black art form when it started (and still is), but there have been far too many white people (Rick Ruben, The Beasties, Serch, Eminem etc.) and Latinos (everybody is leaving them out completely) who have contributed to the culture to consider us guests. In essence we are in agreement, it's more a matter of semantics. I do however have a big problem with anybody telling an artist what opinion they are allowed to express. This is especially true when the opinion being expressed is explicitly anti-discrimination and the reason an artist is not allowed to express this is because their skin is the wrong colour. If I'm a guest in your house, I owe you a sincere thank you. If you invite me in then tell me to be a homophobe, a racist or a chauvinist or even tell me not to confront that kind of discrimination, I'll spend my time at someone else's house. Maybe Hopsin's, or Yelawolf's or TDE's, or Odd Future's, or Common's or Jay and Bey's. Even Fat Joe said he didn't give a shit about gay marriage. With all the support the gay community is getting from well established artists and hip-hop's next generation, Jamar's house is starting to look a little empty.

  • Johnny

    For years hip hop has aggressively pursued its mainstream position. MC's openly rap about their desire to make millions. Look at the fact that the SALES FIGURES for Schoolboy Q are posted on sites like hiphopdx and Complex. Outside of pop, no other genre of music celebrates its financial success in that way. If a subculture is going to pursue commercial success, it can't turn around and whine when that culture becomes the mainstream and "outsiders" start to get involved. You got yourself in that position. So blame Dre and Sean Combs and the other businessmen pulling strings behind the scenes in hip hop. There would be no Macklemore if hip hop didn't become so mainstream in the first place. There would probably still be an Eminem though. That's the difference.

  • tiamet7

    @blackmike... Your word is all you have. so why not make it count?! thats the difference between the GOLDEN ERA and this new school. there's is no integrity, respect, or dignity in the game.

  • tiamet7


  • Em

    Sorry for cultural acceptance now days. If you can't accept the new age new era gtfo, lets face it we don't walk backwards. Sounds like lord Jamar is scared of competition from other races. See this is what pisses me off "stero typical blacks" make a fuss about being accepted when they are and white people are like hey that's cool lets see what we can do it becomes a war. Sorry times are changing this generation is more culturally significant to us then any generation then you have the arrogant bastards who can't accept the change. Thanks for laying the first brick but not the roofs being built and its not by just blacks also this artical is soo confusing, bottom line you either accept other racers or die bitter

  • todd whitney

    ** MY OPINION ** We all know that everyone has one. I think everyone & anyone can be included, BUT there are documented and historical facts that "BLACK CULTURE" is often stolen from us. We know where Blues, Rock & ROll, and please look who is charting in R&B right now (Timberlake & Thicke). #justsayin Ask Combat Jack! Jamar needs more tolerance, but he is entitled to his opinion.

    • Anonymous

      ^ I wish HHDX wasnt so desperate for cash that they keep on regurgitating the same non story . I also wish white people like you WOULD stop getting sucked into HHDX, and their race baiting for cash articles

    • Anonymous

      Too bad hip hop wouldn't exist without white people creating electronic music. I wish black culture would stop being so sensitive all the time.

  • Anonymous

    HipHopDX tryna get some views over Lord Jamar stupidities...Fuck outta there!



    • GreenNYC

      Put out music for what. If he does it'll be conscious music you'll never listen to cause lil Wayne and Rick Ross got control of you. Go listen to rappers who lie to you about their gangsta lifestyle. Jamar talking to you is like your parents telling you don't touch that it's hot. Your to young to understand.

  • @RichieDukes

    I really wish you had a round table discussion instead of the twisted journalism you put forth. Firstly even Paul Wall a white rapper was against Macklemore being in the rap category. Secondly just because someone raps Does not mean they are Hip Hop. Lord Jamar eloquently made the distinction between Hip Hop and Rap and would place Macklemore in the Pop/rap category. The problem comes when the Grammy's who were never really fans of Hip Hop (The first year the rap category was announced the presentation was not televised unlike Rock which was first presented the same year). Macklemore were put into the category against the wishes of Paul wall and other members and "Thrift Shop" beat songs like "Started from the Bottom" and "Fuckin Problems" ."Bezerk" by Eminem was entered even though it did not match the Grammy's criteria and "Same Love" won nothing despite the elaborate performance with Queeen Latifah and Madonna. Was the Heist the best Rap Album? Really! If you can't see the grammy's were trying to push an agenda but didn't have the balls to give the song a award or even put it in the pop duo award category. Hospin is an idiot, the type of person who can listen to "Rap God" by Eminem and not understand the nod to people like Lord Jamar and the 5% ers and then call Lord Jamar some dude, he might rap be he ain't Hip Hop if he can't decode Hip Hop lyrics. It kinda frightens me that he would be used as a example of a modern day Hip Hopper. The new Rockers rarely if ever disrespect their elders and if you are advocating that we forget the great traditions. Turn against the elders that are trying to protect the frame work that made one of the greatest cultures/art-forms so you can feel comfortable, then you are weak.

  • Anonymous


  • Slum

    This is funny shit, hiphopdx is obvy ran by racist ass black guys with the same mindset as jamar. Theres no argueing. or he woulda showed jamars old interviews where they say, Fuck black people, Fuck my family, Im only in this for the money. He used to say that shit all the time. we shouldnt listen to anyone opinion that only cares abou the money.

  • Anonymous

    it's not Lord Jamar who's the racist, damn white people hardly know the meaning of the word, their whole whole was built on racism and since rap has been such an influential force they figured they want to steer the sound to fit their ideologies. Too many rappers bowing talking in the media that shit wish to hear. Rap was never built that way...Thanks Jamar

    • Johnny

      I will try to clarify with the example I gave of the black homeless guy and the white homeless guy. They don't know anything about eachother except for appearance. Both of them are prejudiced and think bad things about the other. If the white guy thinks the black guy is stupid and violent, I think most people would say he is being racist. But quoting above, "actual racism includes elements of systemic or institutionalized oppression which manifest as a system of race-based group privilege." So the white guy is NOT being racist according to this definition. Now what if the white guy was a businessman. Is he being racist or just prejudiced? Slum called hiphopdx "racist ass black guys" which is what started this whole thing. My point is that I think black people use the terms "racism" and "prejudice" inconsistently, just like white people do.

    • Anonymous

      @Johnny I don't fully understand the point you are trying to make.

    • Johnny

      I agree that it would be good if everyone made a clear distinction between systemic racism and prejudice, but that's not the case. If you talk about racism AGAINST blacks, you might be talking about oppression and systemic issues, or just general prejudice. If a homeless white person sees a homeless black person and thinks they are stupid, that's prejudice but I doubt many black people would complain if I called it racism. Yet it's obviously identical if you switch the race of the two people since neither of them has power. So it's not really fair to say "there's no such thing as racism against whites". If you say there's no SYSTEMIC racism or oppression against whites than obviously no one is going to disagree with you.

    • Anonymous

      racism - Racism is actions OR practices OR beliefs OR social or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.

    • Anonymous

      "it's not Lord Jamar who's the racist, damn white people hardly know the meaning of the word, their whole whole was built on racism" I agree. What many white people call racism is actually prejudice (bias against white people), or at best racial discrimination. It's totally lost on many of them that actual racism includes elements of systemic or institutionalized oppression which manifest as a system of race-based group privilege. However, since white people are the dominant cultural group in America, they are, by definition, not oppressed. They have overwhelming political, economic, and cultural dominance in this country. - have a good one, brother!

  • Potato_with_Jive

    I really commend the author here Homer for putting together a respectful (probably too much) analysis of Lord Jamar's "Media Tour". Your point is well taken that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I personally don't agree with what this guy says but that's fine. MY personal beef still lies in this notion that this will not end till we stop clicking. Not all clicks carry the same weight, fam. There is a HUGE difference between clicking because we are interested...and clicking to voice disdain for the story. Are we to believe that any old click is all that matters to yall? What about the actual CONTENT of the comments? Does it not matter much that your core audience is saying this guy does not represent us? NEVERMIND WHAT THEY SAY...THEY CLICKED SO KEEP RUNNING IT! Is that what it comes down to? How bout, I dunno, interviewing someone else? ANYONE else! To hear another side of the story? Create a dialogue. Yknow, JOURNALISM. Otherwise, HipHopDx is simply trolling all of us and that's real corny. HipHopDx, your move.

    • Justin Hunte

      That's a great point. And I agree. No, not all clicks are created equal. There's a ton of stuff that we stay away from everyday that fall 40 yards short of cultural relevance. But this conversation is different because, comments section aside, Lord Jamar speaks for a generation of Hip Hop fans. Personally I've been in barbershops and cookouts and blocks and block parties and facebook threads where this conversation plays out daily. In my view, it's closely tied to the generational gap (young people always screaming that old rappers should retire, as if Hip Hop has an age limit), regional bias (new york rappers hating everything not New York in Hip Hop, other regions reveling in new york's recent nationally lackluster decade), rappers wearing dresses and skinny jeans and whatever else high fashion says is cool. Not having this conversation does nothing to bridge the gaps between segments of the Hip Hop community. Clicks are part of it because that's how interest is gauged with any story. But they're not the only measure. We could notch a bucket of pageviews covering Hip Hop rumors and child support stories all day long, but none of that is culturally important enough for us to spend resources reporting. Whether Lord Jamar or Scarface or New York Hip Hop fighting for its identity, these are all conversations that Hip Hop has fostered since Public Enemy. The only difference is now critical mass has reached a point where large chunks of the culture openly and vocally disagree with Lord Jamar. To me, that's a sign of progress. Thank you for the comment, sincerely. The only people that comment on any post anywhere are people who vehemently agree with something or vehemently disagree with something. Rarely do people in the middle take the time to say anything. I'm glad you shared your opinion on our coverage of this conversation.

  • hal

    if i was lord gaymars other members i would be telling him shut his mouth.. bc i never know who gaymar was before this and bc i know hes a racist i wont even bother checking out any of their music.

    • hal

      dont care.. i dont support a racist. ill never check them

    • Anonymous

      brand nubian was OK and barely stuck together.. everyone knew brand nubian was going to break up before there first album was done. please stop pretending like BN was ATCQ or De La

    • emceecombs

      that's a mistake dude. Brand Nubian is dope, even if you don't agree with Lord Jamar on a few topics, which I certainly don't. All this shit has soured how I feel about Jamar, but the dude and his group still have hella dope music.

  • lol

    eminem IS hiphop..hes one of the innovators in hiphop and forever a top tier all are guests under eminem bc he can lyrically destroy any challenger.. lord jamar should be serving eminem his pancakes.

  • wow

    HipHopDx: Nobody cares about Lord Jamar, literally nobody. Please stop posting what he says every week because if you dont ill stop coming to this website. The site has already fallen off big time. thanks, a guy who cares nothing about lord jamar

  • Anonymous

    Author's name is HOMER! DOH!


    refuse to read anything that condones the views of a racist. what's happened to this site??

  • Anonymous

    "Im just about humans being equal. Everybody is equal. That shouldnt even be brought up. Thats racist. Like thats so foul. Thats equivalent to a white guy going, Why are you in this fucking bathroom?"....

  • Gary

    I agree with Lord Jamar, it's been a long time for me to say this but, I am what I am... white and deeply rooted in Hip Hop. I am Hip Hop. I want to share that as a white cat that's into this as deep as I am, I do NOT gravitated towards white artists. It took a long time for me to even listen to Em's Slim Shady LP as I didn't want to insult the culture, but when I hear it, it changed my perspective. Because of Def Jam and it's amazing roster of artists back in the day, I listened and danced to the Beasties and 3rd Bass, but never owned the albums because I just didn't think it was right to move in that playing field. I've been in to Hip Hop since I was 12... 1982. Before Beastie's, before 3rd bass... and of course... Vanilla white... I will always respect the African-American heritage along with the Latin heritage that was most present in those days of media when trying to get your hands on ANYTHING about break-dancing, being a B-Boy, DJing, Beat Boxing and the clothing they /I wore. Things have changed... but I am still a guest. Being a turntablist in my early teens, I would rock parties that others were pissed that I was even behind a set of 1's & 2's as these places were where my company (Get-away DJ Assoc.) placed me... I was never afraid to walk into an non-white club and start my gig... I always got odd looks and when I started my set and there were many doubts... but once a few tunes went through, the people had some great times with me on the set... I'd get compliments on my performance and it was always started with "for a white-boy, you got it!". As proud as I was of the comments, I stayed humbled because I took something from someone else, made it mine and tried to live my life with it. Hip Hop saved my life. I know it did... but all in all, I am a guest. Peace goes out to the Lord, KRS-ONE, the Brother Paris and Chuck D and Public Enemy and several other, for teaching me how to accept others no matter the race, color or creed. Peace goes out.

  • Jefferson Starship

    "Even now, in February 2014, we still havent heard the last of it." THAT'S BECAUSE YOU MOTHERFUCKERS (DX) DON'T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

  • Uuuummmmm...

    SMFH You know that no-one is making you read this...right? Free will goes along way people

  • ShystyOne

    Jamar is the equivalent to an old racist grandfather...mind set is in a whole other place than the majority.

  • R.Pgh

    At least you recognized you're only running the story for adverting money.

  • Red

    Pretty good article. It explains a lot more that Lord Jamar coming off as a complete ass.

  • Jamar's old

    Does anyone even listen to jamars bullshit? Its a shame he's getting any attention for his stupid views. Get a life Jamar, you fuckin racist bitter old asshole

  • Anonymous

    R.I.P Hip Hop DX you was once a contender

  • Desperate Times

    LOLZ ...This again HHDX ....Desperate for those advertising $$$ are we ?

  • AlecDawesome

    Seriously, why do articles about what this never-was has to say continue to be written?

  • Anonymous

    Dont feed a troll