Shad Moss sparked a debate among rap fans earlier this month when he fired off a tweet calling for Hip Hop to unionize in order to govern the culture and take care of its aging stars.
“Hip hop needs a board!” he wrote. “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.”
Chuck D, KRS-One, Kurtis Blow and Doug E. Fresh teamed up to establish the Hip Hop Alliance in July 2022 to address and represent the needs of the culture. Now, they’ve released a joint statement addressing Bow Wow’s comments.
“Like every other aspect of society’s workforce, the artists and creators of Hip Hop need protection, support and advocacy,” read the statement, per Rock The Bells. “From label disputes to intellectual property retrieval and the need for an overall governing body, the Hip Hop Alliance was established.
“Recent comments this weekend created a unique opportunity to bring forth a conversation that many in Hip Hop & R&B have been addressing for a long time. The need of a governing body of Hip Hop. The goal of HHA is to empower artists to make informed decisions about their career and ensure that their rights are respected and protected.”
The Hip Hop Alliance also extended an invitation to Bow Wow to join a conversation on Clubhouse on Friday (January 20) at 7 p.m. EST so he can become better acquainted with the organization’s efforts and goals. The former child star also received an invitation to HHA’s Black History Month online conference on February 25.
“As our culture comes together to honor and celebrate the 50th year of the creation of Hip Hop, now is the time for all of us to come together,” the statement continued. “In that spirit, we invite our brother Bow Wow to join us this coming Friday (January 20) at 7 p.m. EST on the Clubhouse app and/or our Black History Month online conference on Tuesday (February 25) at 4 p.m. EST on the HHA YouTube page.
“In fact, all of the Hip Hop community is invited to these two informative conversations about the HHA, as we continue to build this organization to advocate, inform and service our brothers and sisters’ needs and concerns throughout the Hip Hop ecosystem. We welcome all of the Hip Hop culture to roll up their sleeves and join us, as we work to uplift, honor, and protect Hip Hop, for its past, present, and future.”
According to its website, the Hip Hop Alliance is a “strategic partnership that represents the needs and concerns of the Hip Hop and R&B workforce through advocacy, information, and service.”
Bow Wow is far from the first artist to have called for structural reform in the rap game. Last year, Big K.R.I.Tspoke about the need for a union in Hip Hop during an interview with Apple Music’s Ebro Darden.
“We were talking about a union before we got on this show,” the Mississippi native said. “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?’”