June 14, 2001 11:46
FARRAKHAN WAXES LYRICAL
The veteran black leader addresses stars like Will Smith and Jah Rule at the inaugural Hiphop Conference...
Delivering a keynote address on the second day of the inaugural Hiphop Conference in New York's Hilton Hotel, the Nation Of Islam founder said: "With leadership comes responsibility. You've now got to accept the responsibility you've never accepted. This may be the most important speech I've ever given. You are the leaders of the youth of the world."
In a speech that ran to nearly three hours, Farrakhan also mocked those artists who thanked God during Awards acceptance speeches but "embraced" Satan when it came to the lyrics. "Speak to the issues that enlighten your people," he added.
Speaking to MTV after Farrakhan's address LL Cool J said he embraced Farrakhan's message. "It doesn't matter how good you're supposed to be at what you do. If you can't inspire people to be positive and be leaders and dream, you're not utilising the power that you have for the best," he said.
Will Smith, who arrived without fuss with his wife, said an event like the summit was something he had been awaiting for some time. "Rap music is the black American voice to the world. All people all around the world know about blacks in America is rap music," he said. "My only question I have is, is it an accurate depiction of who we are? A lot of rappers have no idea how important their voice is, how important that message is and how important that picture is."
The summit, which kicked off on Tuesday (June 12), will wrap up later today with a press conference.