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Oh, the irony. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been consistently standing against drill rap all while his son, Jordan Coleman, is an aspiring artist in the very same genre. As expected, this posed a conflict between the two as one believes the music videos and lyrics contribute to city crime and another has an appreciation of the art.
“Dad, you cannot speak for me. I have drill rappers on our label as clients, and I like drill music. You cannot ban a genre. And I’m not sure why you said what you said, but I disagree,” Coleman told Adams. The mayor then responded that he understood what Coleman was saying but that they come from “different times.”
Critics have accused Adams of using the music as a scapegoat when trying to tackle the rising crime rate. However, some artists do tell on themselves in their music. To that point, Coleman agrees with his father.
Read more of Coleman’s interview from COMPLEX:
Coleman vies to be a liaison between City Hall and the New York hip-hop scene as his rap career ascends, but at this point, he has no plans to get formally involved in his father’s administration, because he’s prioritizing his music and film endeavors. The 26-year-old has an extensive entertainment background. He started as a child model for the New York Daily News, where his mother worked as a reporter, before trying his hand at acting, with auditions for the 2008 film A Raisin In The Sun and the role of Drew on Everybody Hates Chris. Eventually he found success voicing Tyrone The Moose on The Backyardigans, which he says helped open doors for his Say It Loud film, which features stars like Kobe Bryant, Jadakiss, and Swizz Beatz talking about college.
“I decided to make a documentary about the importance of education for kids of color and it incorporated their favorite celebrities,” Coleman recalls. “[The celebrities] were speaking as if they went to college, or wished that they stayed in school.” In 2016, Coleman held a Ted Talk on “Steps To Success,” in conjunction with his alma mater American University. These days, Coleman works at Roc Nation as a creative coordinator for the film department, where he helps develop movie projects, while also pursuing his rap career.
Though Coleman believes he and Adams are from two different Hip Hop eras, the sit down with Fivio Foreign, B-Lovee and others helped him understand that people connect with the music he’s attempting to censor. Plus, if we want to talk about “problematic” genres, drill isn’t the only one.
“There’s plenty of genres, like heavy metal or different genres within the rock world, where it’s pretty demonic. Or it’s seen as if it’s really aggressive and they’re talking about killing and bleeding and all this other stuff, but it’s not the main genre on the billboards,” he said.
Coleman said he understands Adams has an old school view of things, especially when it comes to cracking down on crime. The mayor’s efforts to incarcerate people based on their music lyrics received national attention, both support and opposition.
Recently, it inspired lawmakers to draft the Restoring Artistic Protections (RAP) Act to limit the use of rap lyrics to incriminate artists.