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.