CAM’RON associate JUELZ SANTANA has vehemently defended a lyric on the forthcoming album by the pair’s DIPLOMATS crew that pays tribute to September 11 highjacker OMAR ATTA.
The lyric, on a track called ‘I Love You’ from the Diplomats as yet untitled album, runs: “I worship the prophet/The great Mohammed Omar Atta/For his courage behind the wheel of the plane/Reminds me when I was dealin’ the ‘caine.”
Speaking to NME.COM, Santana said he does not regret the line and insists he simply admires the courage of Atta.
“I feel my Diplomats are my team and I’m going to do whatever it takes for them, for my people, the same way as he did for his people. Not that I support him or what he did, but in order for him to do that, it had to take courage and love for what he believed in. A lot of New York people don’t have that. Maybe if they did, something like that wouldn’t happen.”
Santana said people are wilfully misinterpreting the lyric in a bid to paint him as a supporter of terrorism.
“I never said I worshipped him, I said I worshipped his courage,” he said. “It had nothing to do with 9/11 or me supporting them because I know people in the towers too. If you really listen to the song it was talking about that and the whole situation.
“No matter what anybody says, that was courage right there. If anybody wants to say I worship them, well I know how I feel – I don’t worship them. I don’t appreciate anything they ever did. I’m not with them, not 1%, not 2% not 10% but I’ve looked in the dictionary and I’ve defined the word courage.”
Santana added that as the first anniversary of the terrorist strikes approaches, people should not be focusing on his lyric, but asking why the attacks happened at all.
“Why did that happen? Why did that happen on September 11, that is my question,” he said. “If that had have never happened, I would have never been able to sing that. It’s because United States have been going over there trespassing, stealing their stuff… now they make it seem like they came over here and bombed us for nothing.
“How did the United States let this happen. How can you talk about my words when the big question is how can you let this happen.”
Cam’ron and other members of The Diplomats, Jimmy Jones and Freekey Zekey, all feature on the album, due for release in late December. Santana said he doesn’t feel any backlash to his lyric will damage their career – and he insists he will not withdraw the lyric from the album.
“If Eminem can get away with the things he does, then I can get away with what I do,” he told NME.COM. “And to be honest, I really don’t think I did anything wrong. It’s not like I’m coming out speaking out all the time about the Taliban. What I do is music – it’s words coming out of my mouth. That was one sentence, you understand.”