Dee1 | Rick Ross | Meek Mill | Jim Jones

Does Hip-Hop Need To Change Lyrically?

Dee1, the New Orleans rapper and advocate for positive change, recently aimed hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and Jim Jones over their lyrical content. Dee1 called out the artists, questioning their contradictory messages of prison reform and the glorification of violence in their music.

‘You Can Do Better, Brother’

On November 1, Dee1 called out Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and Jim Jones on Sway Calloway‘s radio show, Sway’s Universe, questioning their contradictory messages of prison reform and glorifying violence in their music.

Dee1, known for his uplifting and conscious lyrics, expressed his disappointment in his fellow artists. He specifically addressed Jim Jones, Rick Ross, and Meek Mill, stating:

“Jim Jones you can do better brother, Rick Ross you can do better brother, Meek Mill you can do better brother, I love you too much not to be honest with you. Are you the face of prison reform or you sitting on here on your new song with Ross talking about getting somebody murked and shot at the red light which one is it bro, because I did a shoe giveaway in my city and gave out 1300 pairs of your shoes, because they said reform underneath them. I love that you partnered with a major shoe company and you out here pushing prison reform. But now I gotta to sit here, like man, this man glorifying getting people killed.”

Meek Mill Responds

The viral video of Dee1’s callout caught the attention of many, including Meek Mill, who responded by defending his lyrics. The Philly native stated:

“Nah we do everything lol, I was rapping this way when I became the face of reform…. That’s how I got there ya’ll forgot that fast.”

After Meek Mill’s response, social media users weighed in on the matter.

User @im_forreeal wrote, “Meek can play it cool all he wants but the seed has been planted. This interview is going viral and will continue to circulate. Meek won’t be able to forget about this and he’ll eventually let up off that chaotic lifestyle. May take a week. Maybe a month. Maybe 3 years. He’ll be eating his words one day.”

Following Meek Mill’s response to Dee1, the New Orleans native responded to Meek saying:

“Thank you for your reply to my video post brother but most importantly thank you for your honesty and your transparency and your reply. The fact that we could be on different sides of the fence with this or have different opinions but still remain respectful and actually address the topic at hand and not try to deflect that makes a huge statement. Now you said, “nah we do everything lol,” implying that you could be the face of prison reform and you could still be glorifying murder inside of your music and you said I’ve been rapping this way since before i was the face of prison reform ya’ll forgot that fast, no fam, we didn’t forget that fast  but through watching your evolution we look forward to seeing you evolve musically as well because your music still touches and has the ability to empower millions of people, bro. That way its not confusing or misleading to people. I know as an artist you could be thinking, but man what if i lose some of my fans when i’m making that change because they like me for the old stuff, trust me brother anybody that you lose when becoming a better version of yourself, that wasn’t of God, and you’re going to be better because of that loss.”

Rick Ross & Jim Jones Chime In

Rick Ross also chimed in:

“Lil man whoever you is, until you feed the kids where you from for 20 years straight, don’t question Rozay, wait until you about 10,000 bikes, 10,000 trikes, give all the young girls who pregnant pampers for Christmas for 20 years straight, don’t question Boss. Get that basket off your head so you can think clearly lil man, you going viral for speaking on niggas name not cause of your talent, not cause of your gift, go viral player off of your wisdom that you’re sharing.”

In response, Dee1 reiterated stating:

“Rick ross, first of all I love you brother. I love you too much to not be honest with you and right now you’re deflecting. I was talking about your lyrical content and you talkin’ about turkeys. I’m talking about you as a hip hop OG still glorifying murder and drug dealing in your music and you talking about turkeys. Bro more people are streaming your music than eating your turkeys. I’ve been a middle school teacher, now I’ma full time hip-hop artist. I’ve helped to give out $100,000 in college scholarships for students around this country.”

Jim Jones even granted his response, where he stated:

“In a real life, I do a lot for the people, miss me with the rhetoric about what I do with my music, I get money off my music. Don’t tell me how to make my dollars. You gotta know whose names you mentioning out here, because my little cousin might not like how you mentioned my name, and then he might want to slap a dread out your head just because he don’t understand you using my name for fame.”

Hip-Hop & The Youth

Dee1’s dedication to promoting positive messages extends beyond his music career.

He is a professor at Tufts University and has even written a hip-hop children’s book focusing on anti-bullying called David Found His Slingshot.  Dee1’s passion for promoting positivity in the Black community is evident in his extensive work, including ten albums and his latest release, Uno.

As the conversation surrounding the need for lyrical change in hip-hop continues, it raises more significant questions about the impact of music on the younger generation.

Recently, a viral video of a nine-year-old rapper named Lil RT ignited concerns about the explicit and violent content present in some rap lyrics. Many argue that the genre should prioritize empowering and positive messages, especially for its young listeners.

YSL Trial: Prosecutors To Build Case Based On Rap Lyrics

The lyrical content of hip-hop remains a topic of debate, with artists like Young Thug facing legal challenges as their lyrics may be used against them in court. Young Thug, known for his provocative and gritty lyrics, is currently dealing with a RICO case that puts his art under scrutiny.