In an op-ed published in Rolling Stone on Wednesday (Feb. 8), the journalist and rapper spoke out about the move by the Black Music Collective to bestow that honor. Barnes was assaulted by the producer and rapper when he was then a member of N.W.A. At the time, she was the host of Pump It Up!, a Hip-Hop show on Fox that ran for two years and was key to the rise of the culture. Dre issued an apology in 2015 to the New York Times, not naming anyone in particular.
In the op-ed, Barnes spoke about how she initially was welcoming of the Impact Award being given to industry legends Missy Elliott, Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone and Lil Wayne along with Dr. Dre. Her position changed once she learned that the award would be named after him.
“Everybody wants to separate the art from the artist, and sometimes that’s just not possible,” she said, referring to his past history of abuse by saying “to name an award after someone with that type of history in the music industry, you might as well call it the Ike Turner Award.”
After speaking out about the struggles she’s endured, Barnes was shut out from the industry. Which led to her battling to house and provide for herself on a long-term basis. “The blacklisting I’ve faced still feels active, and it took me a long time to accept that,” she said.
Barnes likened her situation to the vitriol that Megan Thee Stallion endured after being the victim of assault by Tory Lanez. “I watched what happened to my little sister Megan, and it just was heartbreaking to me because we have not changed in all these years.” She ended the op-ed by revealing that she is working on a memoir and getting back into journalism, thanks to the support of Black women writers and journalists.
She also hoped for a chance to settle things once and for all with Dr. Dre in a face-to-face summit. “But I think that’s going to be the only thing to turn the tide, so to speak — if we have a come-to-Jesus moment in person, in public. Because everything happened publicly, it’s got to have closure publicly.”