What's Wrong w/ This Picture?

This picture was snapped by veteran Hip Hop photographer Ernie Paniciolli in Atlanta. He was as surprised as everyone else to see the God Rakim pushing Hennesy...

What are your thoughts on this? Drop me a line..mrdaveyd@aol.com


The man's gotta get paid. He hasn't had an album out in a while. Plus is there anything wrong with doing a liqour ad.


Wow, if Rakim has resorted to doing Henny' ads what does that say about what he has turned into? Maybe more importantly, what does it say about who he really is?

= Erik G. (disappointed fan)

I am disappointed by seeing rakim in this picture, but not surprised. Hip-hop is more and more being used commercially, and pushing the wrong type of merchandise. This will have a negative affect on hip-hop, giving arsenal for people like Bill O'reilly to confuse hip-hop culture with what these rappers nowadays are rapping about. This will not change until more people raise up and realize we have a crisis on our hands. WE NEED A REVOLUTION!!

Killer Rice Bowl

It's a fine line between Entertainment and Education.

Rakim has taught many in the Hip Hop and Rap World for over 16 years. He will always be a god in that regard.

Rakim has rapped about the bad times and the good times of his life. Rakim has been a great artist and entertainer.

It's my opinion that Rakim the man is seeing life a little different now.

Dr. Dre justified his gangsta lyrics by saying only a fool would do a crime because he heard it on a song.

Rakim may feel similarly. He may feel that a man must be able to pay for his things and responsiblities in life.

Your website asked for my opinion. Here is my opinion.

It actually is the parents and leaders who bare the responsiblity of teaching the youth. It becomes the lawful responsibility of a legal adult to act in accord with the Law of the land.

Entertainment is an art form. It is Escapism. Artist say that they are "real" because they want to be believeable and sellable. Unfortunately, many young minded people fall into their myth.

Entertainers are actually workers slash employees. It is their job to sell a believeable, desireable product.

In my opinion, the parents and leaders of the people should find ways to communicate with artists who "sell" a destructive image.

I do not believe artists should be blamed for the actions that another person decides to take.

I'm so glad to see Rakim back in the Booth, and making money. God knows he deserves it.

Gary Colin
Neptune, NJ

I don’t have a problem with Rakim selling Hennessy. I don’t. Billy Dee Williams sold malt liquor. Why can’t Rakim Allah sell Hennessy? Hey, he sold St. Ides remember that? Let me see… King Tee, Ice Cube and Rakim all did St. Ides commercials. This was when St. Ides was the big ghetto drink. Before St.Ides got in the game there was Schlitz. But the first real homeboy drink was Old English 800. Remember that? Everybody drank that. DMC should’ve been on big billboards on ghetto corners all over America because of all the Old English he drank. Fortunately, he can’t drink that crap anymore.

Before “Thug Passion” real thugs drank Old English. When St. Ides got in on the game they purposefully targeted the black male audience with rap ad campaigns. Ice Cube was the chief spokesman but the ironic part about that whole venture was that his “spiritual advisor” yes y’all his “spiritual advisor” was none other than former N.O.I. spokesman the late Khalid Muhammad. Cross my heart and swear to god, Khalid Muhammad told Ice Cube to go ahead and take St. Ides money and re-invest it back into the black community. What kind of rationale was that? What nationalist in his right mind would say that? Why not tell all the young brothers that are hustling drugs on the corner that it’s alright to do what you’re doing so long as you re-invest in the community. Sick.

So, now Hennessy is targeting the young black male audience with rap ad campaigns. Well, not that Old English or St. Ides are out of business they ain’t as popular as they were 10 years ago. In time Hennessy will play out as well and the next generation of thugs will take to patronizing someone else maybe they’ll like Ripple or Cold Duck or Wild Irish Rose those drinks were popular at one time too.

I’m no thug – I’m too much of a lover to be a thug- I tried Thug Passion it tastes allright. It’s nothing for me to be singing songs about. And I sure wouldn’t have it tattooed on my chest either. I tried Hennessy too…and I won’t be singing songs about that drink either…unless you wanna hear about the 30 minutes I spent on the toilet after drinking that crap. My stomach can’t handle hard liquor anymore. I hear the more of that crap you drink the more it ages you. That’s why I’m keeping my baby face. You ignorant asses can keep drinking that crap and be 25 looking like your 45.

Mark Skillz

"Wow, I love(d) Rakim. I guess since the White supremacist are in control of every channel of distribution, then we find ourselves in the matrix selling our souls a bit to gain monetary means, but I never expected Rakim to be placed next to a bottle of Liquor.

This is just only proof that we need our own vessels of advertisement. I am trying to not be judgemental of brothers and sisters who have this need to survive. But Rakim next to a bottle of liquor is a clear indication of how desperate we are. And before all of you corporate lovers make a comment and state what about Jay Z and his advertisement. Jay Z's role as an artist is one that relates to the most desperate Black men in the neighborhood.

Rakim's role as an artist or icon is one that had hidden jewels that talked about positive empowerment, if you truly listened to the allegories and metaphors. That picture. Yep. This is not a picture of a Black man being in power. This is a measure of desperation. This is a clear indication that we truly are not in power in 2003. We have gone backwards. Hip Hop has gone backwards. "

Black Power Marketing Specialist

Read more letters about Rakim and his Hennesy ads..


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