Offensive Rap/Hip Hop Lyrics Slooooowly Cleaning Up

BlogHer Original Post

Is that the sound of reluctant change I hear in the music industry? There's an AP article in today's USA Today, "Rappers Cleaning Up Lyrics Post-Imus" that suggests it might be.

It focuses on the platinum selling rapper Chamillionaire and why he's decided to clean up his lyrics:

"The rapper, who won a Grammy this year for his socially charged smash Ridin,' says he never cursed all that much in his music anyway. The N-word was a different story: "I've always used the N-word."

But after the success of his last album, he went out on tour and saw mostly white faces lip-synching the epithet along with his lyrics. I was like, 'You know what? I'm not going to say the N-word on this one because when I go back on the road, and I start performing, I don't want them to be saying it, like me teaching them,'" he told The Associated Press."

Good for Chamillionaire.

When this music issue comes up, I always think if women ran the music industry and there was a style of music and a bunch of videos out there with lyrics about gleefully chopping off penis's and how to do it in the most glorified and vulgar way, we'd hear a lot about how wrong and unfair and destructive it was. Don't ya' think? But I digress.

The AP article goes on to say:

"Tolerance for such language may be diminishing. Corporations had cozied up to gangsta rappers in recent years, taking their message mainstream — both Snoop Dogg and T.I., for example, were featured in major car ads. In recent months, however, companies seem less likely to align themselves with rougher artists."

The reason? The bucks. Slowly, very slowly the advertisers and music industry execs are getting the message that the offensive lyrics just ain't gonna get an easy pass anymore. They've been getting away with this crap long enough and more women, especially black women need speak up about it. Not only to the industry, but to high profile people like Al Sharpton and Russell Simmons who during the whole Imus flap promised to address the issue. Simmons actually called for a ban on certain words, but has anyone heard from him since? I don't think so.

Reverend Al said he and his followers are going to continue to keep the issue in the spotlight, but I haven't heard from him either. Maybe I need to write him another letter. Read the rest of this post at Megan's Minute.

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