Chuck D Slams Grammys Over CEO's Ousting: 'Same Old Bullsh-t' - Rolling Stone
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Chuck D Slams Grammys Over CEO’s Ousting: ‘Same Old Bullsh-t’

“I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change,” Public Enemy rapper writes

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Chuck D slammed the Recording Academy over their decision to part ways with their new CEO Deborah Dugan 10 days before the Grammy Awards.

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Chuck D slammed the Recording Academy over their decision to part ways with their new CEO Deborah Dugan, a stunning move that occurred just 10 days before the Grammy Awards.

“I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change,” the Public Enemy rapper wrote on Instagram. “As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up.  Same old bullshit. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery.”

On Thursday night, the Recording Academy put Dugan on “administrative leave” over “concerns raised” by its Board of Trustees and “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member.”

However, insiders subsequently called Dugan’s dismissal “a coup” to Variety after the CEO sent an email that challenged the Recording Academy’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” spending, voting irregularities, conflicts of interest and more.

In his Instagram post, Chuck D aligned himself with the ousted Dugan, who held the job for only five months following the exit of longtime Grammy chief Neil Portnow. The rapper relayed his positive experience working with Dugan following news that Public Enemy would receive the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line,” Chuck D wrote. “But it was obvious [Dugan] was having her own struggles with an academy that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992 yet want to give us a lifetime achievement award without acknowledging a lifetime of work. We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award.”

Public Enemy are just the second hip-hop group, following Run-D.M.C., to receive the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award; Chuck D stopped short of saying whether Dugan’s exit will impact Public Enemy’s participation in the award presentation.

“I hope this letter will be a wake-up call for them,” the rapper wrote in conclusion. “New folks but the same ol bullshit pattern doesn’t change a thing. So I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive, a New Whirl Odor that considers the masses simply as ‘them asses.'”

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My open letter To The Grammy’s and Hip hop ✊🏾 ………… Figures… I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change. As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up.  Same old bullshit. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery. In 1989 we protested the Grammys because they refused to acknowledge a new art form called Hip Hop/Rap.  I responded with the lyric, “Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.” We fought to be recognized and for things to change. We kicked that door in for others to come through. After 35 years in this industry, folks should know that I always defer any individual accomplishment, always giving salutes to those before me and trying to open the door for those after me.  In agreeing to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award when Deborah called me was no different. We discussed these issues and what needed to change. Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line. But it was obvious she was having her own struggles with an academy that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992 yet want to give us a lifetime achievement award without acknowledging a lifetime of work. We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award. We had to question why our biggest UK hit and the theme to the global Paralympics Games, “Harder Than You Think,” was left out. Maybe because it was released on my own independent label, SlamJamz, and not a major? Never could I have imagined that pushing for the recognition our art form deserved would turn into artists being coerced into disrespecting the craft, themselves, the culture and other people only to chase the bag and validation from corporations and award shows who don’t care about you.  I hope this letter will be a wake-up call for them. New folks but the same ol bullshit pattern doesn’t change a thing. So I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive, a New Whirl Odor that ..

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