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HIP HOP: Y’all Done Started Something Now

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And you know who you are, 50 Cent & The Game. Arrggggh! As an adult over the age of 30 (just barely), I can’t believe I’m calling other adults 50 Cent & The Game. I think once someone turns 25, they have to use the first name their Mama gave ‘em.

For me to agree with Al Sharpton on any issue is clearly one of the signs of the apocalypse, but I was beginning to think we are at the End of Days when I heard that Sharpton was taking a stand against violence in the rap industry. Still, full of doubt, I did my own investigation and found that he isn’t playing around and a few major urban radio networks say they are willing to listen.

Chronic Magazine: Al Sharpton Goes After Violent Artists
MSNBC: Al Sharpton proposes ban on rappers
Rap News Network: Sharpton Talks Violence Ban To Radio Execs
Black America Web: The Rev. Al Sharpton Calls for 90-Day TV, Radio Ban on Violent Music
Philadelphia Daily News: Sharpton’s rap vs. rappers

Sharpton recently called for the radio and television industry to ban records by any artist connected with violent acts for 90 days. Does that necessarily mean rap music? Come on, people. If we’re going to have an honest conversation about this, let’s admit that it does. When was the last time you heard about a leading country, R&B or pop artist getting in a gun fight? It happens occasionally, and I’m sure Sharton would say the same should apply, but we’re talking about hip-hop.

I guess I was naive to believe that most of these guys are just criminals, as they claim very proudly to be, and violence is part of their lifestyle, which they claim to be proud of as well. I didn’t, however, think they would use it as a promotional tool to sell records. I mean, a controversy is one thing…getting someone in your posse shot to boost sales is quite another.

At this point, I wouldn’t put anything past rappers. The industry is so void of standards. The heads of the record labels are ex-cons and their leading artists celebrate their images as pimps, hustlers, gangbangers and drug dealers. To expect them to have principles when it comes to promotion would make me the idiot.

I think it’s fair to be suspect of any stand that Sharpton takes, because his history is very sketchy and he has proven himself more than once to be out only for number one. However, I would say that it appears that the tide is turning in rap music because it has gone too far. Those who defend the industry are only concerned about making money. They feel no responsiblity for their influence and the public apparently doesn’t care to make them.

But this is about money; the almighty dollar. 90 days is really the shelf life of a song these days. The better ones last longer, but airplay is all about the buzz; especially in those communities where most people get their music from the radio because they can’t afford CDs. It may seem lame to incentivize people to obey the law, but it’s come down to that. The only way rappers, managers and billionaire music moguls will care about this is if it hurts their pocketbooks.

Federal investigators have also jumped into the game and it’s said they are investigating crimes such as extortion to robbery and even the street crime that can’t seem to separate itself from the industry. I’m not going to dog this investigation because it’s possible they may identify and prosecute some people making the industry nothing more than an incorporated street gang, but it isn’t likely they’ll go to the top. They’ll probably nip off the talent, which will just be replaced by more of the same.

MSNBC:Hip-Hop Probe
EurWeb: Shootings pep up federal hip hop probe

What’s right is right and what is wrong is wrong and that applies no matter how much money it is making for someone. We need to stop worrying about the sensitivities of people who are profiting from the music. We need to stop caring about being labeled racist or against our own people by those who think any criticism of something black people do is unacceptable.

We need to stop worrying about the nasty responses from those who defend the indefensible just because they like to bop their head to it. We need to stand up for our kids because they deserve our support more than the rappers and billionaire music moguls do.

We need to stand up for the under-represented rap music that has remained true to the old school concept and doesn’t deserve to be vilified under a generalized brush of the industry.

I think the way we as a community respond to this will show a lot about our values and our priorities. I hope we do the right thing.

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About awinters

  • Blaze 350

    Its the new big thing for young upcommers to buck thier proteges. Like the Game and 50, Luda and Chingy, and others Ive read about recently. Too much cheese for me lately. Like 50s cover, hes shirtless, shaved, oiled down, and his muscles are traced over to accentuate his steriod use with gun clip-art in the background. Put the vest back on 50. And why is he called 50 cent, he never explained that. He doesnt think very big does he. Not as big as the ‘cash money millionaires’.

    Madona and Alanis didnt have this problem or Dre and Em or 50 and Em or whoever.

    I hate all rap clubs, they have a bad energy and people there are sleazy. You have to swim throught he testosterone laden desperation to get the the dance floor. 50 people are trying to hump your girlfriend all at once. Chill….

  • HW Saxton

    I say GO! Al Sharpton. I’m a fan of a
    lot of Hip Hop.Some Hip Hop is really
    good,funky & fun but does not get down
    with the whole Gangstas,Guns,Dope & $$$
    bullshit. Artists should take some kind
    of responsibility for the contents of
    their recordings. Beyond that though,it
    is the record companies that should be
    held to task because as long as violence
    will turn a profit for them they will be
    marketing it.

  • http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0036,noel,17936,1.html Jovan Gardier

    We need to boycott major record executives who pimp our young brothers and sisters by paying them to promote: drugs (whether dealing or using), black on black violence, hatred of ourselves, and the overall dehumanization of the black race. I don’t refer to this type of speech as artistic expression; it’s straight up racist (nigga) and sexist (bitch) filth. We cannot perpetuate the myth that this degrading music is some sort of artistic culture. I hear rappers make horrible statements such as, “I’ll leave a nigga’s brains on da curb”. What’s so artistic about that? 24 inch rims are not artistic. These rappers need to grow up and rap about how to clean the ghetto up and stop glorifying it. They need to try to help the so-called “hood rats” and stop flaunting them in their videos. These rappers today are nothing but silly buffoons and hypocrites. I’m a black man who grew up off of real hip hop. Real hip hop lived in New York. I agree with Nas, HIP HOP IS DEAD!
    P.E.A.C.E. to the true and living!

    Jovan

    Russell Simmons is an uncle tom who profits off of the dehumanization of the black race and calls it “Art” and “Poetry”. Benjamin Chavis is a money stealing sex offender.

    Reverend Benjamin F. Chavis, the disgraced ex-chief of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was forced out of the nation’s oldest civil rights group after he secretly diverted more than a quarter of a million dollars of the organization’s funds to settle a sex-discrimination claim. Anita Williams, the former volunteer recording secretary for the NOI’s Staten Island Study Group, alleged in a $140 million lawsuit that Minister Benjamin sexually harassed and attacked her. In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, Williams, 30, claimed that Minister Benjamin, 52, pressured her for sex for several months and that she repeatedly rebuffed him. He showed up at her house without his usual bodyguards, according to the documents, first published in the New York Post. “Complaining that he had not had sex with his wife for six months… Chavis suddenly grabbed [Williams’] breasts while grabbing his erect penis and said, ‘I want to make love with you,’ ” the suit charges. Williams claims she chided Minister Benjamin about his persistence, pointing out that they both were married. A few weeks later, Williams charges, Minister Benjamin asked her for oral sex. When she refused, he allegedly told her: “This is the will of Allah that the two of us be together.” Then he “coerced her into” letting him “perform oral sex” on her. The lawsuit also charges that Minister Benjamin often made lewd remarks to Williams and asked her for sex in his office at Mosque No. 7. Khalid, the founder of the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, reminded a reporter about a prediction he had made after Farrakhan elevated Benjamin Muhammad into his inner circle.
    “Ben Chavis has never atoned for a damn thing!” Khalid had charged in a fiery speech at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn on February 26, 1997. “If one of our points here is that stealing money from the movement is counterrevolutionary, what about the money he stole from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? Goddamn it, you can’t sweep that under the rug! Ben Chavis is a goddamn thief and a rogue! … Now what is the nigga gon’ do…? Steal from the Nation of Islam? …He was busted for chasing women and buying the women, paying the woman to go to bed with him,” Khalid alleged. “Nigga should have been named John instead. Name him John F. Muhammad, not Benjamin F. Muhammad. No-good bastard!” Khalid offered these words of advice to Farrakhan: “I warn you, my dear spiritual father, Minister Farrakhan, not to have a nigga like that next to you. Be careful! Make sure everything is on a need-to-know basis because that kinda nigga will sell you out if he can.”