In an exclusive with the NY Daily News, former Democratic presidential candidate the Rev. Al Sharpton said he plans to buy stock in record companies that put out hip-hop music, and then arrive as a shareholder to have his say.
“I don’t think too many CEOs want to see me come into his stockholders’ meeting to say they’re not doing enough to stop the violence,” he intoned.
- His latest attack on hip-hop mayhem comes after the feud between Queens-bred bullet magnet 50 Cent and former protégé The Game erupted last month in gunfire – and days after Lil’ Kim was convicted of perjury for lying about a 2001 gunfight.
Both shoot-’em-ups occurred outside the SoHo studios of radio station Hot 97, which Sharpton accused of stoking the violence by having rappers taunt each other over the air.
“At what point does it go from programming to inciting?” he asked.
Sharpton said he is set to meet Thursday with new FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to push for stricter oversight of hip-hop radio stations.
“I do not understand how the FCC can make a lot of noise around Janet Jackson and that case with Howard Stern,” he said, “but [the FCC] has not said anything about a pattern of shooting and other violence at radio stations.”
….”I’m not giving up on rap music,” Sharpton said. “I’m trying to make sure it’s rap music and not attack music.”
Sharpton is teaming with The Source magazine to put the squeeze on record companies and radio stations that promote rappers prone to gunplay.
….”It’s the record companies and the radio stations that allow these artists to go on the airwaves and spew hatred and spew threats,” said David Mays, co-founder of The Source. “You create an environment where violent conflict is going to take place.”
Grandstanding or not, the Rev’s point is rather obvious and needs to be made. The “artistic” glorification of violence in music is one thing, but when the well-armed culture of confrontation is played out in real life, people get shot and killed. Perhaps it takes the economic angle to get those profiting to take some responsibility.