Suge Knight, one of the most controversial figures in music, will speak
Thursday (February 14) to a contingent of the hip-hop community that will gather to discuss the future roles of rap in society.
Knight, along with comedian and radio personality Steve Harvey, will
give opening remarks at the West Coast Hip-Hop Summit at the Four Seasons
Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, will follow with
the keynote address, according to a spokesperson for the Hip-Hop Summit
Action Network, which is organizing the event (see "West Coast Rappers
Steppin' Up To The Mic At Their Own Summit").
Afterwards, invited artists, politicians, music executives and religious
leaders will convene behind closed doors to tackle many of the same issues
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Ja Rule and others discussed at last year's inaugural
summit in New York (see "P. Diddy, Luther Campbell On Hand As Rap Summit
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who launched the Hip-Hop Summit Action
Network last year (see "P. Diddy Joins Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit
Action Network"); Minister Benjamin Muhammad, the network's
president; and Bay Area radio personality Davey D will be among the
attendees at the West Coast Hip-Hop Summit, along with rappers Xzibit,
Kurupt, the D.O.C., DJ Quik and others.
Issues on the table include becoming more politically active, economically
empowering impoverished communities and fighting federal censorship.
Muhammad, the moderator of the meetings, will announce plans by the network
to support spoken-word artist Sarah Jones, who is battling the Federal
Communications Commission over the banning of one of her pieces of work
The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, which held a youth summit in January in
New York (see "Nas, P. Diddy, Wu-Tang Addressing Youth At NY Hip-Hop Summit"), will hold its second national summit in Los Angeles in June, the
spokesperson said. National issues will be discussed at that event.
Last year's summit, titled "Taking Back Responsibility," resulted in the
formation of a mentoring program and an agreement for a new set of marketing
guidelines (see "P. Diddy, Jermaine Dupri Help Announce Hip-Hop Initiatives").
Knight was recently released from prison, where he served five years on
charges stemming from a 1992 assault (see "Suge Knight Talks About Freedom,
Tha Row And Who Killed Tupac") and is currently recruiting artists
for his new label, Tha Row (see "Left Eye Signs With Suge Knight's Tha Row").