Afrika Bambaataa’s Universal Zulu Nation is speaking out against WorldStarHipHop.com. In an open letter addressed to the popular website’s creator Lee O’Denat, the hip-hop awareness group bashed
the site’s promotion of violent graphic videos. The letter — penned my the organization’s Minister of Information Quadeer Shakur (MC Spice) — accused World Star of being detrimental to hip-hop culture, and warned of action that would be taken against the site by the Nation.
“Doesn’t it bother you just a little that another Black man (that man being yourself), has ‘made it’ out of the ‘ghetto’,” the letter reads. “Only to display unnerving images and videos of young adults berating, belittling, and beating each other solely for the purpose of the enjoyment of who you are led to believe are ‘millions of Hip-Hoppers?'”
Referring to O’Denat’s Haitian origin and his former residency in Queens, Shakur shames the site owner for his alleged disservice to the hip-hop culture and Black community. Bashing the site’s nickname, “the CNN of the ghetto,” the letter proceeds to appeal to O’Denat about the consequences of the site’s content.
“Mr. O’Denat, the followers of your site are impressionable young men and women who ‘follow’ you for a reason,” Shakur wrote. “As salacious as you may want your site to be, our youth are looking for answers and solutions to the many problems that plague our communities. The young people use your site as an outlet to escape the world they are living in, only to find that you place them right back at the starting point.”
Shakur goes on his letter to officially proclaim that the Nation has declared to take action against “anyone who is against us,” including World Star. Denouncing the site’s lack of variety and alleged one-sided perception of “the ghetto,” the letter threatens the website with legal action, requesting that they remove a particular video of a young man being forced to strip while being beaten with a belt.
“This is not the first time you have posted content that has been of this nature, and from the looks of it, this is probably Child Pornography,” the letter reads. “Therefore, I will forward the link and the video
to the proper authorities to be sure that these young people are in fact of age and in full consent of being on your site in such a demeaning fashion.”
The Nation’s Minister of Information then concludes his letter with a request that O’Denat place a disclaimer on his website to separate World Star from the culture:
“You have forced the hand of the Universal Zulu Nation to take further action should you continue to promote your ‘CNN of the ghetto’ as ‘Hip-Hop’, and we are asking with all due respect that you include a disclaimer at the bottom of the front page of your website concerning your company and Hip-Hop Culture.” Shakur wrote. “A great footnote on your site should be: ‘World Star Hip-Hop is in no way affiliated with real Hip-Hop Culture or its’ founders or the Universal Zulu Nation. This site solely for entertainment purposes, and does not promote Hip-Hop Culture.'”
O’Denat has yet to officially apply to Shakur’s letter.