“I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change,” the Public Enemy rapper wrote on Instagram. “As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up. Same old bullshit. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery.”
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On Thursday night, the Recording Academy put Dugan on “administrative leave” over “concerns raised” by its Board of Trustees and “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member.”
However, insiders subsequently called Dugan’s dismissal “a coup” to Variety after the CEO sent an email that challenged the Recording Academy’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” spending, voting irregularities, conflicts of interest and more.
In his Instagram post, Chuck D aligned himself with the ousted Dugan, who held the job for only five months following the exit of longtime Grammy chief Neil Portnow. The rapper relayed his positive experience working with Dugan following news that Public Enemy would receive the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line,” Chuck D wrote. “But it was obvious [Dugan] was having her own struggles with an academy that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992 yet want to give us a lifetime achievement award without acknowledging a lifetime of work. We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award.”
Public Enemy are just the second hip-hop group, following Run-D.M.C., to receive the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award; Chuck D stopped short of saying whether Dugan’s exit will impact Public Enemy’s participation in the award presentation.
“I hope this letter will be a wake-up call for them,” the rapper wrote in conclusion. “New folks but the same ol bullshit pattern doesn’t change a thing. So I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive, a New Whirl Odor that considers the masses simply as ‘them asses.'”
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