This October, a video surfaced of Chicago rapper Lil Reese viciously beating a woman in her own home. He releases a flurry of punches at her, knocking her to the ground, and then begins stomping on her as his friends cheer him on.
When we saw the video, we were outraged. Outraged that women, and especially black women, aren't better respected. Outraged that Lil Reese has gotten support from young men and boys in online hip hop forums and on Twitter who openly justify or even celebrate the rapper's actions. And outraged that more in the music industry haven't spoken out about his vile behavior.
The responsibility to speak out starts with the record label that promotes his music, Def Jam Records. Their silence -- their refusal to create any consequence for Lil' Reese in the face of this awful violence -- reinforces a culture of misogyny and violence against women far more than any music lyric could.
That woman could have been either of us. Sasha may be working on an MBA and Christelyn may be a published author, but all too often, Black women are seen as easy targets. We don't always enjoy much protection from this kind of violence, even in our own communities. Today, we're standing up for ourselves, and for women of every race and class.
Please join us in demanding that Def Jam Records FIRE Lil Reese and publicly condemn his brutal acts.
As far as I'm concerned, silence is consent. You have a responsibility to the public to reject the abuse of women whenever an artist in your stable -- especially an artist who casually demeans women on his records -- commits it.
I demand that you immediately release Lil' Reese from his recording contract and publicly condemn the brutality caught on video.