November 21, 2010 BY LISA DENEAL, POST-TRIBUNE CORRESPONDENT
GARY — Thanks to modern tecnology, “Freeway” Ricky Ross spoke at Indiana University Northwest after all, even though his probation officer wanted him back in Los Angeles from Chicago.
Through a Skype connection, convicted drug trafficker Ross told the small crowd in Savannah Hall he would be a free man had it not been for the influence of drugs and gangs.
Ross was to have appeared in person for a presentation sponsored by the Gary Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, IUN and the Chicago based organization Hip Hop Detoxx.
Hip Hop Detoxx — which consists of Chicago-based spoken word artists Enoch Muhammad, “Phenom” and “Awthentik” — was in the midst of a brief Chicago-area tour with Ross. Their message: Hip-hop music is poisoning urban society.
“We are educating you to eliminate the poisons that run through hip-hop and to understand how they removed the fifth element of hip-hop music, which is science and acknowledgement of realizing the poison,” Muhammad said.
“We once had hip-hop music educate us about where we came from — Public Enemy, X-Clan, KRS-One,” Muhammad said. “We should be a work in progress; instead, we are a work in digress because we won’t acknowledge the problems we have, what we are responsible for. But for every generation, there is an opportunity to detox and be honest with ourselves.”