This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
Hip-Hop Publicist writes open retirement letter
Yesterday I read Sebastian Elkouby‘s open retirement letter published on PigeonsandPlanes.com. While I’ve heard about things like this done by media personalities sticking it to the man, this one was so interesting to read, as it combined two loves of mine: PR and hip hop culture.
40 year-old Elkouby grew up in the golden age of hip hop and wore many hats aside from Publicist — he probably had much to do with the rising careers of rappers and groups in California. He also created the first educational hip hop culture program for high school students (cue crush right about…now) and became a teacher. When the program lost its funding, he returned to being a freelance Publicist in 2011.
The world had changed, and Elkouby found himself in an ethical dilemma, his inbox flooding with requests from rappers wanting him to promote their albums with songs about “ass, weeds, guns, cars, strippers, sex, and money.”
There are countless people within a corporation that put their kids to school by helping rappers like this. And this is why Elkouby called it quits, as it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I agree. It’s why I am so conscious of who I work with that it is better for me to turn down money than work for a certain breed of people who just want headlines. It’s why, me, a girl who grew up in high school videotaping BET day and night, wearing baggy jeans and soccer jerseys, can’t find herself liking any of the hip hop lyrics that are on the radio today. I can still appreciate good producing, but I just can’t buy that kind of hip hop anymore.
I can totally relate to Elkouby, even though I am not a hip hop Publicist. Sometimes I wonder if the work I do even matters, when there is an ocean of other news and unethical people wanting – and getting – readers’ and viewers’ attention. But I haven’t given up quite yet. When I do, who knows – maybe I’ll let you all know why.
On a similar note, the awesome Mommy Rapper is creating her new conscious rap album, thanks to a successful $7500 Kickstarter campaign. I’m so proud to be a part of her movement and a new era of hip hop. Don’t worry kids, there’s hope for you yet!