Updated: Jan 22
I watched On The Record, and my reaction is I want all of y'all to go watch it too. This documentary doesn't just address Drew Dixon's accusations of rape against Russell Simmons. It shows how Black women love and contribute to Hip-Hop, but so often, the love is not reciprocated. On Fck Yaya, we often discuss sexism, misogyny, and double standards when it comes to female rappers. However, Drew Dixon's story shows that no woman is truly safe no matter how high she rises within Hip-Hop because sexual harassment is "baked into the culture." This doc also examines why, particularly, we as Black women often do not want to speak up against our abusers even at our own expense.
"IF THINGS WHERE MISOGYNIST OR SEXIST; YOU DIDN'T GET A LOT OF SYMPATHY FOR THAT. THAT WAS CONSIDERED THE PRICE OF ADMISSION" - DR. JOAN MORGAN
Russell Simmons hired Drew Dixon as an A&R executive at Def Jam. She was behind "The Show" soundtrack, came up with the idea for Method Man and Mary J Blige to record "All I Need," collected plaques, and was celebrated for her hard work. That did not save her. Drew alleges that in the office, Russell would try to kiss her and exposed himself. He would always "sheepishly" apologize...until he did it again. Drew said, "I guess I thought it was just part of the culture, and I need to manage around it."
"I THOUGHT I HAD PROVEN MYSELF AND WAS NOW TOO VALUABLE FOR HIM TO WANT TO BURN THE BRIDGE. I THOUGHT I AM AN EXECUTIVE WITH VALUE" - DREW DIXON
On the night of the alleged rape, Drew at a bar with a group of friends that included Russell. She purposely waited for Russell to leave first to avoid him following her; however, she had to walk past his
apartment to catch a cab. As she was walking past his place, Russell stopped her and asked where she was going. She told him to get a cab, and he replied, " Don't be ridiculous like you got this hit record. You're a big deal, you're a big executive now. Why don't you let me order you a car?" So, she went upstairs with Russell to his apartment. She started to feel uncomfortable, so she told him, "why don't I wait downstairs for the car?" That is when Russell, appealing to her A&R side, told her there is a demo he got that she is going to love. She described it as being like "catnip" when he said that. She offers to take the demo with her to listen to it later. Russell agreed and told her the demo is in the CD player in his bedroom. As she was trying to get the CD, Russell comes into the room naked and wearing a condom. He allegedly raped her.
"I WAS REDUCED TO NOTHING IN THAT MOMENT. I WAS NOTHING. I WAS TRASH" - DREW DIXON
Drew ended up leaving Def Jam soon after the alleged incident. She did confide in a friend about the rape but did not report it because she did not believe anything would happen to "The King of Hip Hop." This is when the doc goes into examining Black women's reluctance to report abuse by Black men.
WHY BLACK WOMEN DON'T REPORT ON BLACK MEN:
On one hand, we are in pain, but also fearful of being cast as the person who put the Black man in the line of fire
Many Black women will allow race loyalty to buy them an early tombstone
We're designed to protect Black men from what America has historically done to them
The history of lynching Black men over accusations of sexual assault
Our responsibility to muffle our screams is greater than his responsibility to not do it in the first place
Being judged as a traitor
"I WANTED RUSSELL TO BE A HERO TOO" - DREW DIXON
NEW LABEL, SAME SH*T
What I did not see coming was that Drew ended up working her way back to a top executive spot at Arista Records under Clive Davis. She worked on hit records with Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, and Whiney Houston. But, then Clive Davis was replaced by L.A. Reid. Reid wanted Drew to meet him at his hotel to "listen to music." She kept refusing, so Reid became hostile towards her. She brought him Kanye and John Legend to sign; he passed and said Kanye was a waste of his time. I know L.A. feels like the biggest dumb-dumb in the industry.
Drew ended up leaving the industry that she loved. She said she couldn't even listen to the records she helped make. I hate to be this harsh, but Drew was "raped" out of the industry, and sexually harassed out of the industry. We always wonder why there are not more women in power positions. Look at that Roc Nation Brunch.
Russell Simmons has proclaimed his innocence when it comes to any rape allegations and says he took multiple lie detector tests to prove his innocence. He declined to be interviewed for the documentary. This is the doc that he asked Orpah to back out of and she did.
“I have issued countless denials of the false allegations against me,” Simmons said. “I have lived my life honorably as an open book for decades, devoid of any kind of violence against anyone.” - Simmons
Watch the doc on HBO Max.
SIDENOTES: Why did Nicki Minaj have to be used as a transition scene? I popped up so quick when I saw her. But, they used her because she has a Russell Simmons rap verse. Is there anything Nicki has not rapped about?
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