Model Aoki Lee Simmons Calls Out White America’s Silence to Deaths Within Hip-Hop Community
Aoki Lee Simmons isn’t feeling the silence from the white community when it comes to deaths within the hip-hop community.
The daughter of Def Jam Founder Russell Simmons and fashionista Kimora Lee Simmons is very vocal on social media and enjoys using her large following to raise awareness on issues and causes important to her.
Over the weekend, Aoki posted a three-minute TikTok video bringing attention to white America’s lack of response “when Black artists die in America.” Aoki’s video rant came in the wake of the death of Migos rapper Takeoff, who was fatally shot in Houston last week.
“I hope this was well articulated. Thinking of Kirshnik Khari Ball, and his loved ones, the artist take off and his fans, today,” Aoki captioned her post. “But he and so many black artists deserve better than this type of fan.”
“Who can post the music, the speculated drama, and everything else, but not their death,” she added.
In her video, Aoki explained why she feels like “every time a Black hip-hop artist or rap artist…dies, it is only those communities, the Black community, the hip-hop community, who are actively involved in their remembrance or in mourning them.” =”
“At the same time, so many privileged, non-black people living their lives—like the soundtrack to their lives is this music,” she explained. “They are using it for everything … parties, lives, moments, gym, motivation… it’s the soundtrack to their life.”
Aoki continued calling out white Americans. She says they praise rappers in their life but who fall silent in the wake of their passing.
“They are getting so much value from these artists and their life stories, and yet when the art dies, not a word,” she quipped.
The Harvard honors student likened the silence to “systemic oppression” that primarily hurts the Black community.
“The absolute worst parts of systematic oppression and the havoc it wreaks on communities in the hood, violence and drugs, but it’s fine to relate to and live vicariously through that when it’s all fun and games, yet these are ongoing issues that frequently kill these artists,” she said.
“And when that happens, it’s ‘Oh, hip-hop community, I mean, that’s, like, their community’s violence.”
Many applauded Aoki for shedding light on the topic.
“Thanks for using your resources to bring to the light!” one viewer wrote.
“People want our rhythm, but not our blues,” added someone else.