Russell Simmons has taken to his Web site GlobalGrind.com to blast the fight between Drake and Chris Brown, telling them in an open letter they need to end their feud. Below is what he wrote:
Hip-hop and violence should not go hand-in-hand just as violence and the black community should not go hand-in-hand.
Sadly, violence in the black community happens every day. The situation that occurred last night between Chris Brown and Drake should not have happened, but as a yogi and a supporter of non-violence, I can call the two young men and encourage them to bury their beef. It is a luxury we have as men with resources…we can settle our problems without taking it to the next level.
Unfortunately, I cannot do that for every kid in America. I’ve saved a lot of rappers. I’ve been in the middle of a lot of hip-hop beefs. But, unfortunately I cannot get in the middle of every beef between young black men.
53 people get shot in Chicago in one weekend. This is our reality. And what happened in the club last night is a reflection of our reality. It is a reflection of our communities riddled with violence. It is a reflection of young men learning to live with the numbness of violence. It is a reflection of a violent mentality being part of our culture.
We can focus on ending the beef between Drake and Chris Brown, which is important, because none of us want this to escalate. However, let us also take a moment to reflect upon why we have become so violent. Why did 53 people get shot in Chicago? Why did J. Futuristic get shot six times in Atlanta? Why did Lil Phat get killed after getting shot 20 times? This violence has become the norm for our people, and it absolutely devastates me. We have failed at giving real job and educational opportunities for those living in struggle, and thus the streets have take control of their lives. I fight every single day to bury beefs, and I will call Drake and Chris to bury theirs.
But, just because I might be able to stop two artists from fighting, doesn’t mean I can make the call for the 53 kids in Chicago.
And so, even if I could solve all the hip-hop beefs in the world, it wouldn’t change the reality that’s facing us. The reality that our nation will make a call for action (and rightfully so) when a Congresswoman is shot, but we remain silent when bullets run free in urban communities. Last night there were no bullets, but it definitely could lead to that. And that reflection occurs far too often amongst our people. So, I beg on all of our people to get involved to change the reflection so that 53 people don’t get shot again in Chicago this weekend.
If you think the violence in the industry is bad, check the hood.