Hip-Hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons has joined the mix of artists speaking out against Bill O’Reilly following a segment on O’Reilly’s Fox News program in which he and Dennis Miller criticized rappers Young Jeezy and Jay-Z for remarks they made at an inaugural ball last month. Whereas Young Jeezy publicly accepted O’Reilly’s offer for him to appear on his show to debate the issue of rappers criticizing former President Bush, Simmons wants to change the playing field, requesting O’Reilly to post a blog on his site, Global Grind.
“As editor-in-chief of Global Grind, I am calling out Bill O’ Reilly,” Simmons wrote. “If you really want to speak to the hip-hop community, even with your consistent targeted comments that take issue with what some hip-hop artists and other cultural leaders have said about America and about the world in which we all live, then I invite Bill O’ Reilly to write a blog directly to the hip-hop nation.”
Simmons has a history of confronting attacks against hip-hop in the right-wing media. He notoriously called for a summit meeting of music industry leaders to organize their reaction to the 2007 Imus racial slur controversy and appeared on a town hall episode of Oprah to discuss the issue with Rev. Al Sharpton and Common.
“For far too long Bill has used The O’ Reilly Factor on Fox News to spew inaccurate statements and ideological taunts about hip-hop,” Simmons continued in today’s blog. “We believe in dialogue, but it should be a real dialogue face to face, blog to blog.”