Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Pioneering hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes has launched a GoFundMe campaign after revealing she was homeless.
“What made me finally say enough I’m going to ask for help is that quote, ‘You can overcome anything in life, but you must first be willing to live in your truth,” she tells HipHopDX. “I realized that I had come too far and had been through too much to just give up without trying.”
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Barnes, who has been credited as “the first female hip hop journalist to have a broadcast television show,” was a former member of the West Coast female rap duo Body & Soul and a popular Los Angeles radio personality when Pump It Up! launched nationally. On the weekly program, she interviewed rap stars such as Ice Cube, Will Smith, Queen Latifah and N.W.A., with whom she had a personal and professional relationship.
After being accused of instigating the ongoing feud between N.W.A. and Ice Cube, following his tumultuous split from the group, Dr. Dre allegedly attacked Barnes during a record release party in 1991. After criminal charges were filed and a civil suit was settled in 1993, Barnes faded into obscurity.
That was until Allen Hughes’s brilliantly directed 2017 HBO documentary series The Defiant Ones, which chronicled the life and times of Dr. Dre and his close business cohort Jimmy Iovine. In the Emmy Award nominated film, the hip-hop mogul finally addressed the incident, which he referred to as “a major blemish” on who he is “as a man.”
Twenty-eight years later, the attack has had an everlasting effect on Barnes, who said she suffers migraines and feels blackballed by the industry.
“I had never asked for public help before, but I then remembered a long time ago while I was going through the assault trial in 1991 people were sending me checks for my legal fees. I never cashed any of them — not one — but knowing I had that support kept me strong enough to continue to face each court date,” she revealed to the hip hop website. “Right now, I am officially homeless. My goal with the campaign is to regain stability, which is imperative for survivors of any trauma.”
Since launching last month Barnes’ GoFundMe account has exceeded its $5,000 goal.
“I have the sincerest gratitude for your help and thank everyone for your love and support,” she wrote on the fundraising page.