On Tuesday's episode, hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN tapped several guests to talk about Black Lives Matter and the current state of the country. This included Marc Lamont Hill, Mysonne, Bun B, Talib Kweli, and Russell Simmons. Although the intentions seemed to be in the right place, it was clear the podcast's producers weren't reading the room as the public has made it known that accused rapists like Simmons shouldn't be given a platform to speak about societal improvement.
Sil Lai Abrams—who says she was raped by Simmons in 1994—called out Jay-Z and Tidal for allowing Simmons to speak about these issues.
"What in the entire hell are JAY-Z and TIDAL doing by giving Russell Simmons a platform to discuss #BlackLivesMatter," the journalist said in a quote tweet containing a deleted Tidal post promoting the episode. Abrams went on to claim powerful Black men in music media are conspiring to undermine the accusations against Simmons. She cited this interview and Simmons' appearance on the Breakfast Club as proof.
Tidal has since removed the episode. Marc Lamont Hill took to Twitter where he explained that the addition of Russell Simmons to the show came as a surprise to him. He claimed that he requested producers to wrap up the show because he was uncomfortable, and that he asked them not to air Simmons' portion.
"A few weeks ago, I appeared on Drink Champs. I was asked to join a discussion with Bun B, Talib Kweli, and Mysonne. About 2.5 hours into the show, Russell Simmons appeared. I had NO IDEA he was scheduled. I would NEVER have appeared if I had known," Hill tweeted. "During Russell’s 20ish minutes on the show, I was texting the producers telling them that I was not comfortable with his press and asking to wrap. After the show, I expressed my frustration with what happened. I also asked them not to air Russell’s portions."
He went on to say he assumed Simmons was not in the episode because it was aired in two parts without Russell in the first installment. But the second part, released on Tuesday, featured Simmons.
"I stand with, and fully believe, the women who have come forward about Russell’s sexual violence. I am sorry that I shared space with someone who has caused such harm without accountability," Hill wrote. "Although I had NO IDEA he’d be on, I am nonetheless deeply sorry that I was a part of it."
N.O.R.E. also tweeted out an apology, but Abrams was not moved. Bun B, Talib Kweli, and Mysonne have not responded to the criticism.