Metro Atlanta hip hop community leaders condemn COVID-19 claims from some celebrities

ATLANTA — Some of the top leaders of metro Atlanta’s hip hop community are speaking out against the claims from some celebrities they say are giving out misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Nicki Minaj is one of the most popular rappers in the world, and a few days ago, she set off a firestorm when she tweeted about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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In short, she claimed to know a man in her native Trinidad who became impotent after getting the vaccine.

The Health Minister of Trinidad and Tobago quickly debunked that claim.

Many health officials and metro Atlanta leaders say that damage was done as soon as she sent the tweet to her 22.8 million followers.

“It’s unfortunate that people with really large platforms may or not have the correct information and are sharing it,” said Atlanta music producer Isaac Hayes.

In the tweet, Minaj claimed she would do her own research, but Board Certified Family Physician Dr. Cecil Bennett told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington he doubts the rapper will visit a medical lab and study infectious diseases any time soon.

“Social media can be helpful or social media can be harmful,” he said. “There really isn’t a whole lot of research necessary when we know 600,000 people or 1 in every 500 people have died of COVID.”

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Minaj isn’t the only major celebrity to speak out against COVID-19 protocols.

At a recent concert, rapper Busta Rhymes told the crowd, “No human being is supposed to tell you you’re not supposed to breathe. [Expletive] your mask!”

“When people are following you, you have to lead them right,” said Atlanta rapper Pastor Troy.

Pastor Troy recently performed at the Vax Up concert in Fulton County. The goal of the event was to promote vaccinations, especially among the Black community.

“I just felt like it was important to let the brothas see and the sistas see that maybe we should take this vaccination thing seriously,” he said.

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When Washington asked music producer Hayes what the hip hop community should do, he said they have to educate themselves.

“I think the hip hop community should find medical professionals that they trust. Speak with them publicly, like I’m speaking with [Channel 2 Action News] and exchange in dialogue and really explain how vaccines work,” he said.

“For every Nicki Minaj and for every Busta Rhymes, we need to find ten other individuals who understand the science,” Dr. Bennett said.

Minaj has said that she would consider getting the vaccine so that she can once again perform in front of large audiences.

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