MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis hip hop record label Rhymesayers announced it is ending working relationships with two local rappers, Prof and Dem Atlas.
In the early hours of Thursday, Rhymesayers issued a tweet, saying “abuse of women is not acceptable and is not in alignment with our values”, although it did not list any specific allegations against Prof or Dem Atlas.
“The reports of abuse that have come to light this past week are not things that we’ve ever tacitly condoned or were previously aware of,” Rhymsayers said in the statement. “We have taken the last few days to process these reports because we felt it was important to allow survivors the opportunity to speak and for us to listen, discuss and reflect before adding our voice to the discussion.”
Rhymersayers says it will immediately end its relationship with Prof and Stophouse Music Group, as well as stop the release of Prof’s Powderhorn Suites album, which was set to be released Friday.
“We failed to not only vet the signing of Prof but also calling into question the intentions behind his music, messaging and content more strongly,” Rhymersayers said. “We, like many others, separated the music from potential behavior. Thus, we were complicit in promoting and marketing music that perpetuates misogyny.”
On Monday, Prof tweeted a statement regarding allegations of sexual misconduct he learned about against a DJ he worked with from 2009-2016. The statement says he and his team knew the DJ was involved with many women but “did not know the extent of his abuse towards women.” It goes on to say that the “behaviors outlined in the survivors’ accounts are disgusting, vicious, and completely unacceptable.”
Prof also apologized for a series of “disgusting” tweets he put out in 2012, a series of Valentine’s Day cards from 2014, and a song released in 2017 that uses language and imagery he calls “embarrassing and ignorant.” He said he is trying to remove that content from the internet.
Prof later posted an additional statement to Facebook, saying he fired the DJ in 2016 because “he wasn’t performing at his job and I didn’t enjoy his company.” He also said he’s aware of “misogyny and reckless behavior” that he was promoting with his persona. He ends the statement by saying he’s “going silent for the near future” to focus on self care and that he doesn’t want to be “complicit in creating anything like this ever again.”
It is not clear if these incidents outlined by Prof led to the decision from Rhymesayers.
Rhymesayers is also ending its working relationship with Dem Atlas due to “recent reports of his behavior,” but the label didn’t provide any other details or specific allegations.
As part of “additional immediate actions”, Rhymesayers says it will more strongly vet new artists and associated personnel, challenge intentions behind music and content, and will create a fund that awards grants for women, BIPOC and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
— Rhymesayers Ent. (@rhymesayers) June 25, 2020
WCCO has reached out to both Prof and Dem Atlas for comment, but has not heard back.