5 Points: Michael Eric Dyson’s Breakfast Club Interview

Breakfast Club interviews are one the most intriguing platforms we have in Hip Hop culture today. One could argue that the morning talk radio show triple handedly (Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy) took down the powerhouse that was Hot 97. They’ve interviewed the likes of Jay Z to Martin Shkreli and many in between.

The interview above is one of those in betweens. Michael Eric Dyson‘s Breakfast Club piece isn’t getting the same views that that Jay Z bit did, naturally, but Professor Dyson dropped gems that need to be picked up, just the same. Here are the major take aways from the interview just in case you don’t have the 45 minutes to watch the whole thing.

Michael Eric Dyson vilified Bill Cosby before it was cool 3:28

He admires and pays homage to Cosby’s legacy as one the most important black figures in the history of media but his brutal criticism of the man in his book Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind? was a much less popular opinion a decade ago when the book was published. Cosby has had a long history of denigrating elements of black culture, specifically black woman. You could say Dyson’s book was prophetic.

BET is not segregation, it is celebration 11:32

The argument that institutions such as Black Entertainment Television perpetuates segregation by creating a divide amongst races has been relentlessly pushed by misinformed individuals since inception of the network. Dyson references Gabriel Union paralleling that argument to the Country Music Awards. BET is a celebration of culture and diversity in the same way that the Puerto Rican Day parade, Greek festivals, and the CMAs are.

Tupac’s lyrics may be more relevant today than when we was alive 34:49

Michael Eric Dyson’s speaking style has always been endearingly unique in how he interjects rap quotes in context of some of the most thought provoking and articulate I’ve ever heard a man say. Dyson compares Tupac’s lyrics with the Black Lives Matter movement stating that they are both rooted in the same cause and effect. He then goes on quoting numerous Pac lines that are timeless in it’s relevance to society and how that society treats the unprivileged.

To be the best, you must beat the best 36:29

#OscarsSoWhite stirred a lot of conversation about the racial imbalance of the Oscars. Some were fed up to the point of completely dismissing the credibility of the award and saying that People of Color don’t need validation from the Academy. Dyson begs to differ. He argues that the Oscars is the pinnacle of success in film and people of color have just as much talent and work just as hard as any actor and to compete with the rest is a defeatist attitude and should not be entertained. The solution is in changing what we’re bothered by, not acting like we’re not bothered.

Rappers went against all odds to became the voice of a generation 40:51

A lot of the emcees you hear today, you weren’t supposed to hear. What Dyson means by this is that many of these rappers were not academically educated, therefore, how could they articulate themselves, let alone an entire culture of people? They were not supposed to be able to reach a platform where they could speak for and to millions of people, but through experience and unorthodox education they became the poet laureates of the community.



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