The Love Affair

There has been a lot of talk on the internet in relation to the Jewish community’s
involvement in HIP-HOP over the past few years. A few years ago, HIP-HOP mogul Damon
Dash labeled Jewish business leaders -with emphasis on Lyor Cohen- as “culture vultures”. This
terminology led to rampant discussion and commentary on the internet. Naturally, this kind of
candor led to a lot of debates and discussion within the HIP-HOP culture. Kanye West recently
made some anti-Semitic comments about the Jewish business community on DRINK CHAMPS,
one of these more popular HIP-HOP podcasts on the internet. The Jewish business community
found Kanye‘s statements to be inflammatory enough to suspend and/or cease doing business
with him. Adidas, Balenciaga, his bank, his attorney, and major record company executives
were all outraged at Kanye’s perceived anti-Semitic stance. What a nightmare.

The basis of the “culture vulture” stance is a belief that Jewish business leaders don’t
LOVE hip-hop as a culture nowhere near as much as they do the potential profit to be made on
the back of the artist, producers, and smaller African-American owned labels. Under this
ideology their concern in purely profit and they will manipulate, rob, and/or scam whomever
they see fit. Young blacks/Latinos from the projects with no other interest beyond having an
opportunity to showcase their talents, and become “stars”, are perfect victims. This is real.
However, these practices are not limited to JEWISH business leaders. There are Black business
leaders who have been just as cold, if not worst, in their dealings with artist than the Jews have

Jews/Hip-Hop Love.. What Exactly Is a “Culture Vulture”?

I am aware that all Jews who participated in the culture are not innocent. I won’t pretend
that I wasn’t skeptical of Beastie Boys or Vanilla Ice. Of course, I believe that Jerry Heller
encouraged Eazy E to rip off his friends -Dr Dre, DOC, Ice Cube, etc.- at Ruthless records. I am
absolutely certain that a lot of Jewish party promoters were rigging the head count at the club,
and playing other games to short-change performers on show money. I am not writing this in
defense of ANY Jewish business leaders or entertainers who were culture vultures. I just want
to list some Jews that I absolutely DON’T think are culture vultures based on what they
contributed to the game from their hearts and souls. I think that they truly love HIP-HOP AND
African -American people.

Here is my list..



The “culture vulture” talk grew really popular when Damon Dash began throwing darts at Lyor Cohen. I have
tremendous respect and admiration for Dame, but Lyor Cohen as a “culture vulture” is a bit much. I truly believe that Lyor Cohen
is one of the greatest executives to happen to our beloved art form. How could Lyor be a culture vulture?

Lyor Cohen is from Los Angeles. Lyor earned a collegiate degree in global marketing from the University of Miami. He worked as a promoter for a club called the Mix club in Hollywood. He was responsible for promoting shows which included Run-DMC and Whodini (the two biggest rap groups of the day). These groups were managed by RUSH management, the premiere artist management company owned by Russell Simmons. It was the late great Jam Master Jay who connected Lyor Cohen to Russell Simmons. Russell hired Lyor Cohen. His passion was unparalleled.

Rush management was the company who managed Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Run-DMC, Eric B. and Rakim, EPMD, and other superstars of the day. Lyor was at the helm. Eventually, Lyor would become CEO of the legendary Def Jam records. He groomed some of the greatest executives in the history of HIP-HOP. He gave label deals to Jam Master Jay (JMJ), Dee Dean (Ruff Ryder), Irv Gotti (Murder Inc), Damon Dash/Jay-Z (Roc-a-Fella), and he empowered former RUSH/Def Jam executive Chris Lighty. The Def Jam office at 160 Varick Street in Manhattan was legendary for the urban environment created. There was an atmosphere of street culture mixed with corporate excellence that was uniquely HIP-HOP. This atmosphere allowed HIP-HOP artist, producers, and managers to feel that Def Jam was THEIR home. Lyor was the captain of that ship.

Is There A Jews/Hip Hop Love Affair Without Lyor!

After years at Def Jam Lyor departed to Warner Bros Lyor Cohen made a tremendous contribution to Warner. He brought James Prince on board and he gave deals to a slew of record labels started by “gangsters turned entrepreneurs”. Charles ‘Chilli’ Patton (1st and 15th), Shawty Lo (D4L), Jason Jeter/ T.I (Hustle Hard), Michael “5000” Watts (Swishahouse), Gucci Mane (Brick Squad), and others received label distribution deals. Lyor was front row in the federal courthouse when T.I caught a Fed Case. After his tenure at Warner, he went on to start 300 entertainment signing Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Gunna, and Megan thee Stallion. For all of you guys who think that the internet is more important than the record company, LYOR COHEN IS THE CEO OF GLOBAL MUSIC AT YOUTUBE!!

Let’s be fair. I think it’s fair to say that this man loves our culture. Lyor has spent more time of his life around HIP-HOP than he has in a synagogue. He is not a racist or a culture vulture. Instead, he is a shrewd business leader who LOVES HIP-HOP.

  • MC Serch


MC SERCH was born and raised in Far Rockaway Queens. MC SERCH has a pure HIP-HOP story. He was not in a punk rock band
that experimented with a little HIP-HOP and loved it. MC SERCH was traveling through the most violent neighborhoods in New York
City engaging in M.C Battles. Serch was down to get on stage and have an MC battle with whomever. He formed 3rd Bass with Pete
Nice and was signed to Def Jam in 89. There song Gas Face is a HIP-HOP classic. The song makes reference to several racial
stereotypes asserted against blacks. That song is classic. MC SERCH is credited with securing Nas a record deal with Columbia records. SERCH also helped OC secure a deal with Wild Pitch records. His solo album had the HIP-HOP classic, Back to the Grill on it. Serch hosted several HIP-HOP radio shows in Detroit and is considered a HIP-HOP purest from the golden era. He is
married to beautiful African American woman named Chantel and the have 3 beautiful children. NO ONE IN THE HIP-HOP COMMUNITY HAS EVER ACCUSED MC SERCH OF BEING

  • Steve Rifkind


Steve Rifkind is a legendary executive in the culture. Steve was born and raised in New York. He is the son of Jules Rifkind, the
founder of Spring records. He was raised in the music business. Steve Rifkind is the inventor of the “street team”. Street team
promotion is a marketing tactic of going to schools, clubs, shopping areas, beaches, parks etc. to pin posters, give out promotional
material of the artist, blast their music, or have in-store campaigns across a region to raise awareness for the project. There are other marketers who have tried variations of street promotion, but no one else considered the street team an essential part of their marketing staff or had a budget specifically for it before Steve Rifkind.

Steve Rifkind founded Loud Records in 1991 with a clear understanding that a label with a strong “street team” can build buzz for a “hardcore HIP-HOP act” producing music with limited mainstream commercial appeal. Loud boast Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Three 6 Mafia, dead prez, Xzibit, Mobb Deep and Terror Squad. Loud gave artist artistic freedom. Steve also negotiated unprecedented label deals with RZA and DJ Paul that did not restrict their labels independence. Steve Rifkind formed SRC marketing and SRC records based on the same principals. He managed DMX up until the time of his untimely departure.
Steve Rifkind was engaged to Sanaa Lathan. He went on to marry Nicole Lamy, an African American model. They have two children. This man loves Black people and HIP-HOP culture.

  • Peter Rosenberg


Peter Rosenberg is an on-air radio personality who was born and raised in Maryland. He attended the University of Maryland. He
hosted the “Dusk till dawn show”. He served as a HIP-HOP DJ at several stations and was also known to rock a party. He became a D.J as well as a host of Ebro in the morning. Rosenberg also hosted the Peterpalooza HIP-HOP concerts. His radio DJ sets are primarily geared towards breaking new HIP-HOP artist. He has a very unique and detailed knowledge of HIP-HOP culture that makes him a well-respected HIP-HOP broadcast journalist. He is not a culture vulture. Peter Rosenberg is part of the culture.

  • Drake


I need not give too much background on Drizzy Drake. Drake has been the biggest HIP-HOP artist of the last 15 years- bar none. He is undisputed – #1 hits, physical units, downloads, stream, tour revenue, video views etc.- champion. Nobody saw this coming. He was a French Canadian, mulatto, soap opera star WHO CAN SING!! In addition to all of that, he is a JEW!! Now how can Drake be a “culture vulture”?

  • Mac Miller


Mac Miller came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When we first saw his face, we may have assumed “culture vulture”
but then we learned that the boy can really rhyme and he loved to prove it. Mac started putting out music at 16. The boy is a
beast. He was signed to the independent Rostrum Records. He put a slew of independently released mix tapes that sold a slew
of units. Miller later signed to Warner where he released a few albums. He has songs with serious spitters such as Royce da 5’9 and Kendrick Lamar. Miller was a really dedicated artist who loved HIP-HOP until his untimely demise. Mac was not a “culture vulture”.

  • Action Bronson


I feel really sorry for Action Bronson. Action Bronson is really dope but because he has the voice and vocal dynamic of Ghostface
Killah he was dismissed as a culture vulture. What a shame. He had
something really dope to bring to the party. Action Bronson is from Queens. He released several mix tapes
on his own, before he was signed to Warner. One of his mix tapes was produced by Alchemist, a funky Jewish producer who gave Mobb Deep some of the hardest beats ever heard. Alchemist is another funky Jew who loves our culture.

BET nominated Action Bronson for Rookie of the year in 2013. That’s right BET. Action Bronson went on to host The untitled Action
Bronson show and host a travel show called Viceland. Action Bronson spits fire but he can’t shake that stigma of being “the White boy who tried to sound like Ghostface”. Action Bronson is a beast. Ghostface Killah himself admitted that he had heard songs of
Action and thought that he was listening to HIMSELF. Action is not guilty of wrongdoing. He was born with that voice. Shyne was not “trying to sound like Biggie”. Bathgate was not “trying to sound like Jay-Z”. Fabolous was not “trying to sound like Mase”. Action loved HIP-HOP just as much as the rest of. He never exploited HIP-HOP in any possible way. He just happened to sound like Ghost. Action is a beast. Not a culture vulture!!

In Closing

There are others that deserve a spot on this list, but I think that that I have made my point clear. Yes, HIP-HOP is absolutely black music. Yes, there have been Jewish “culture vultures”. However, there are plenty of Jews who passionately love HIP-HOP. They must be respected, celebrated and beloved for their contribution to the culture as well.

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