Al Sharpton, Carl Redding, Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne, Rejected Stone, The Evolution of Al Sharpton

Has Al Sharpton changed based on the money trail?


The good right political activist, Reverend Al Sharpton turned MSNBC political commentator, has inked a million dollar book deal with rapper Little Wayne under his Cash Money Records’ publishing. The thirty year old rapper and the Rev. Al have publicly disagreed in the past but the two have apparently made up. Why? Because money talks and bullshit walks!

Although Wayne said the following about Sharpton in the past:

You see, you are no MLK, you are no Jesse Jackson // You are nobody, to me // You’re just another Don King, with a perm // Hahaha just a little more political // And that just means you’re a little unhuman, than us humans // And now let me be human by saying // Fuck Al Sharpton and anyone like him”

Sharpton is gearing up to release a book entitled “Rejected Stone” via Cash Money Records and today, they’re business partners. 

The book will chronicle his “personal evolution” from his time as a New York street activist, political candidate, to a national civil rights spokesman. Sharpton will also share his thoughts on Wayne and other rappers in the book. Sharpton has denounced Wayne’s rap lyrics in the past as well and it will be interesting to see what he will initially add regarding his thoughts on his new sponsor.

Speaking of “evolution”…many have issues with Sharpton’s, how can this man change his views and stance on so many matters spiritually, ethically and morally overnight? He has re-invented his image and watered down his rhetoric to appease those white and black politicians alike who are now supporting him fully, including the Obama administration.   

Is Sharpton’s new image aligned with a money trail?

ChefCarlReddingOne person not buying the reincarnation of the political activist is Carl Redding (pictured left) a former U.S. Marine who moved up in the ranks throughout Sharpton’s Organization, finally serving as his Chief of Staff. Redding not only knows Reverend Sharpton intimately but he can’t believe his former mentor and boss has transformed his position all for the sake of selling out.

Below is an open letter Redding penned to Rev. Sharpton and sent to me via email yesterday, calling out the man he once admired and worked so closely with, for having changed his core of beliefs at such a pivotal point in his career. 

Dear Reverend Sharpton,

I remember you preaching a sermon many years ago entitled, “I’m Still Here.” Well guess what Rev. Sharpton, I’m still here. And from time to time we all need someone to sometimes give us a smack upside our heads to bring us back on track when we veer off track…  Hopefully it is I who may be able to get you back on the right tracks of Social Justice.

I recently read that you had penned a book deal with Cash Money, the very company that touts Lil Wayne as one its most recognized artists. Though I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, I am not. As one who has spent years publicly crusading against the harmful effect of misogynistic lyrics on our young people, it’s clear that your decision to cut a lucrative financial deal with those who propagate such destructive images in our community, is the latest example of your failed leadership. Dr. Martin Luther King, who you claim to emulate, is doing somersaults in his grave. As you know, I was drawn to your social justice work when I came to work for you in 1990. Fresh out of the US Marines, I temporarily put my culinary ambitions on hold to serve as your personal driver and then later, chief of staff.

Though you give me no credit, and have attempted to rewrite me out of the history books, it was I who was a founding member of National Action Network and I who even helped to name the social justice organization. Like the dozens of people who worked for you, I believed back then, in your mission and your calling.

Sadly, you have lost your drive and have become disconnected to those who have supported you throughout the years (From the Tawana Brawley controversy, allegations that you were an FBI informant, the fire at Freddy’s in Harlem, just to name a couple of your life’s events). Those who were under your employ have been loyal to you even when you have not been loyal to them. They have remained silent in the face of your outrageous acts of self-aggrandizement. But I cannot and will not remain silent any longer.

I believe in my heart of hearts that the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have traded 30 pieces of silver to the likes of the Little Wayne’s of our world today as you have done by signing a book deal with Cash Money… So Rev Sharpton, in conclusion of my Open Letter to you, I am publicly imploring you to end your business relationship with Cash Money and return the “blood money” that you have accepted from those very people who continue to have the highest disregard for our women and our community…

Our community is in desperate need of real leadership to solve the issues such as mass incarceration, an alarming level of black on black crime, and high unemployment that continues to impact millions of blacks. Sadly, as you have personally climbed the corporate ladder—securing a job at MSNBC—you have forgotten about the countless number of your supporters who stood by you when you were deemed a “racial pariah and agitator”.

Yours truly, who endures the “real” struggle,

Carl Redding