Weeks after Cash Money Records CEO Birdman raised eyebrows by signing Reverend Al Sharpton to his Cash Money Content publishing company, the renowned civil rights activist has received backlash from a former employee.
Sharpton’s ex-driver Carl Redding recently penned an open letter bashing him for joining forces with the growing music empire.
“I recently read that you had penned a book deal with Cash Money, the very company that touts Lil Wayne as one its most recognized artists. Though I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, I am not. As one who has spent years publicly crusading against the harmful effect of misogynistic lyrics on our young people, it’s clear that your decision to cut a lucrative financial deal with those who propagate such destructive images in our community, is the latest example of your failed leadership. Dr. Martin Luther King, who you claim to emulate, is doing somersaults in his grave. As you know, I was drawn to your social justice work when I came to work for you in 1990. Fresh out of the US Marines, I temporarily put my culinary ambitions on hold to serve as your personal driver and then later, chief of staff. Though you give me no credit, and have attempted to rewrite me out of the history books, it was I who was a founding member of National Action Network and I who even helped to name the social justice organization. Like the dozens of people who worked for you, I believed back then, in your mission and your calling.” (Rap Rehab)
Redding then goes on to ask Sharpton to cut his ties to Cash Money Content.
“I believe in my heart of heart that the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have traded 30 pieces of silver to the likes of the Little Wayne’s of our world today as you have done by signing a piece of book deal paper with Cash Money… So Rev Sharpton, in conclusion of my Open Letter to you, I am publicly imploring you to end your business relationship with Cash Money and return the “blood money” that you have accepted from those very people who continue to have the highest disregard for our women and our community… Our community is in desperate need of real leadership to solve the issues such as mass incarceration, an alarming level of black on black crime, and high unemployment that continues to impact millions of blacks. Sadly, as you have personally climbed the corporate ladder–securing a job at MSNBC–you have forgotten about the countless number of your supporters who stood by you when you were deemed as a racial pariah and agitator.” (Rap Rehab)
Reports of Sharpton’s big move surfaced across the Internet earlier this month.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is working on a book to be co-released this fall by the publishing arm of Cash Money Records, home to Lil Wayne, with whom Sharpton has feuded over some of the rapper’s lyrics. Sharpton’s “The Rejected Stone” is scheduled for release Oct. 8. The book will be published by Cash Money Content and Massenburg Media, in partnership with the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria. The book will track Sharpton’s “personal evolution” from New York street activist to political candidate and civil rights spokesman. Sharpton told The Associated Press on Thursday that the book would include his thoughts on Lil Wayne and other rappers and that he was anxious to have a positive dialogue. He added: “Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we have to be disagreeable.” (Newsday)
Four years ago, Weezy F. Baby and Sharpton made headlines over their differences in controversial language.
Sharpton told The Associated Press on Thursday that the book would include his thoughts on Lil Wayne and other rappers and that he was anxious to have a positive dialogue. For those short on memory, the reverend and Lil Wayne sparred in 2008 over the use of the b-word and n-word in the rapper’s lyrics and Weezy ceremoniously referred to Sharpton as Don King with a perm. Sharpton explained to the AP that “Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we have to be disagreeable.” (The Smoking Section)