Bow Wow has taken a page out of JAY-Z’s book to call upon his fellow rappers to step up to the plate and protect their rights as artists.
The rapper took to his Twitter on Saturday (January 14) and declared his peers should unionize and used the NBA’s Player Association as an example of how something like that can happen in Hip Hop.
According to Bow Wow’s tweet, there has to be something in place to protect the genre and culture while adding he’s tired of seeing his “heroes” in terrible shape with no money to their name.
“Hip hop needs a board!” Bow Wow tweeted before referencing the NBA Players Association. “No different than the NBA [with] the players association. A committee that can set rules, keep things in control, and protect this thing we call hip hop! And have a retirement plan for the OG rappers. I hate seeing my heroes liquored out, no money, just washed.”
Hip hop needs a board! No different than the NBA w/ the players association. A committee. That can set rules and keep things in control and protect this thing we call hip hop! And have a retirement plan for the og rappers. I hate seeing my heros liquor’d out no money just washed
— Bow Wow (@smoss) January 14, 2023
The NBPA was founded in 1954 by Bob Cousy and Joe Sharry, making it the oldest trade union of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum is the current president of the union.
JAY-Z declared Hip Hop needed an actual board during an interview with Funk Flex in 2006. Jim Jones had dissed Hov on wax, and the Brooklyn rapper asked how such a thing could be allowed in Hip Hop given his superiority over Capo.
“We need, like, a Hip Hop board to approve certain things,” he said. “Who is Jim Jones? You know, to be saying something about me? If we’re looking at it as far as career accomplishments or lyrical skill … that’s like the ninth man off the bench sitting there shouting, ‘You a bum’ to the superstar on court putting up 50 every night.”
Bow Wow isn’t the first rapper to call for something to protect Hip Hop and its contributors. In March, Big K.R.I.T spoke on rappers needing to unionize during an interview with Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1.
“We were talking about a union before we got on this show,” K.R.I.T. told Ebro. “And I was like, ‘Musicians have a union, most people have a union, why artists don’t have a union? I see mad artists they go through the process. They either have a hit record or they don’t. They get signed, they get dropped.”
He added, “They break down, they get on drugs, they go to the streets. But there’s no collective to call and be like, ‘Hey, man. I need to go to rehab. Hey, man. I need help with these bills. I acquired too much. What’s a good lawyer I can go to? What is the deal I signed?'”
There is something in place that may lead to Hip Hop getting the protection and advocacy it needs to sustain itself. In July 2022, Chuck D, Kurtis Blow, KRS-One and Doug E. Fresh introduced The Hip Hop Alliance.
According to the group’s official website, the alliance is a “strategic partnership that represents the needs and concerns of the Hip Hop and R&B workforce through advocacy, information, and service.”