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Stokes, who brings with her a long résumé that includes having been a member of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council under President Clinton, writing, and motivational speaking, says: “My first approach is what I don’t want to offer—a talking head telling them what to do,” she says, sharing that she offers up her experiences to teens—learning about infection at a young age, trying to adjust to living with HIV/AIDS, a slew of bad decisions and their consequences, her feelings through it all—and then challenges them to become more self-aware about their decision-making processes.

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” Johnson continued, perhaps echoing a wider dialogue within the African-American community that has wrestled with what some see as an exploitative mainstream trend of promoting the denigration of women and the glamorization of violence and materialism, and which threatens to shift hip-hop away from its roots as social critique. ” responded one of the members of J Adore, adding that individuals should analyze the video or the lyrics for themselves.

“I’m going to flip that coin,” Rucker said in response.

Editor’s note: Lamman Rucker spoke with A&U for the January 2007 cover story.

At the time, he focused his energies on raising awareness about HIV prevention, especially among youth of color and he is still dedicated to the fight.

And receivers need to be accountable, too; otherwise we’ll just point fingers.” Rucker might as well be describing BET’s value system, whose bottom line seems not to rest with profits but with its viewers’ lives.