Russell Smimons and Bill Cosby

Comedy legend Bill Cosby recently announced plans to release a politically conscious rap album entitled, 'Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency.' The irony is that Cosby, a jazz enthusiast, has always been one of hip-hop's most vocal critics.

Def Jam founder and industry mogul Russell Simmons recently addressed Cosby's foray into hip-hop on his website, He discredits the funnnyman and one time Jell-O pitchman as "someone from the older generation who has consistently blamed the poets ... " Simmons further reasons, "What they don't understand is that the young people who they criticize did not create their own realities."

Cosby's album features appearances by formerly unknown MCs, Supa Nova Slom and Jace the Great, who have both responded to Simmons' statement, arguing that the album should be viewed as an attempt to make peace with the community that Cosby has famously attacked.

"It is clear to see Cosby has actually moved beyond just addressing or blaming the youth," Jace the Great explained. "He is working from an inter-generational standpoint, not only by involving us emcees who come from the hip-hop generation and lifestyle, but he also spoke openly to the elder generation about their involvement and accountability ... Point blank, the problem right now is there is a state of emergency in our communities and we need to act fast."

Supa Nova Slom made a similar arguement, stating that Simmons would be better served focusing on Cosby's current initiatives than dwelling on his past criticisms.

"Cosby is taking a whole other route by investing in politically charged hip-hop that does not condemn but instead inspires and uplifts during a time when there is next to none of that happening in the music industry," said Slom. The rappers also stated that they hope to motivate the hip-hop community with their album and inspire a positive change in the landscape of the music.

"People need to be inspired and empowered again to get involved just as we got involved during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements," Supa Nova Slom explained. "This CD hopefully will inspire not only conversations, but also actions, programs, and raised self-esteem."

'Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency' is scheduled for a Nov. 24, 2009 release date.