Comedian Bill Cosby always speaks his mind. While we’ll always have respect for TV’s Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable and the work the OG has put down for cause of African-American advancement over the years, his relationship with hip-hop has been enigmatic at best, and slanderous at worst.
May 2004 – At an NAACP ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. The Board of Education Cosby harshly reprimands African-American parents and youth for negative behavior and social ills—illiteracy, high dropout and teen pregnancy rates, etc.—he feels they are partially to blame for themselves. While Cosby does makes some valid points, he seems to heap a lot of that fault on hip-hop music and culture with little regard for any of its redeeming qualities.
February 2007 – At a Save Our Children forum in Philadelphia, Cosby takes the late Tupac Shakur to task for allegedly using money he made selling drugs to buy his mother a house.
December 2007 – Beanie Sigel and Bill Cosby, both Philadelphia natives, appeared at an anti-violence march in the city as part of Peace Week 2007.
April 2008 – Cosby announces he’ll be releasing a hip-hop album [as an executive producer] said to be an “unflinching look at life in the 21st century, but without the profanity, misogyny, violence and braggadocio” according to reports. The album, then titled Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: State of Emergency is supposed to be a companion to his book from the previous year, “Come on People: On the Path From Victims to Victors,” but would not be released for another year.
November 2009 – The hip-hop album stripped of any profanity and loaded with positive messages that Cosby executive produced, now titled Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency, is released. The music is performed by artists like Jace The Great and Super Nova Slam who are not exactly household names.
June 2010 – Ironically, considering his past remarks about the late rapper, both Tupac Shakur (“Dear Mama”) and Bill Cosby (“I Started Out as a Child”) had their recordings added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.