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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Banning Rap

Today's morning news shows included interviews with the Rev. Al Sharpton over his proposed ban of hip hop artists who engage in violent behavior. It's all over the web, but check out the story on MSNBC, which is particularly amusing as the banner ad to the right, at least a moment ago, was for 50 Cent's new album. Guess MSNBC won't be participating in any bans.
Although Sharpton isn't singling out 50 Cent, whose new album, "The Massacre" comes out next week and is expected to debut high on the charts, it's believed Sharpton's call to ban rappers from radio stations for 90 days if they participate in violence, was prompted by a shooting at a radio station last week of one of the colleagues of The Game, after 50 Cent and The Game had a dispute. The MSNBC also details some other rappers' current alleged criminal activities, including 'Lil Kim's trial for perjury and conspiracy ("I'm the one that put the Range in the Rover!").
Sharpton's best line, this morning, was comparing the lack of censor of rap artists with the huge flap over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." Of course, as a society, we do tend to go more apeshit over sex than violence. One of the pundits this morning speculated over whether or not rappers fabricate these incidents to boost record sales and, later, Sharpton said he thought such things were possible and the goal was to let them know that violence could hurt their radio play so that they would think twice about pulling a gun. I'm not sure anyone ready to shoot someone would control themselves because it might keep a track off the radio for three months. After all, killing someone could put you in jail for the rest of your life, so clearly there's a self-destructive element at work the finer points of which Sharpton may not grasp. Hell, I probably don't grasp it neither. Actually, I have mixed feelings. I'm pretty against censorship of any kind and I think there is something wrong with Sharpton's analogy with sports figures who are kept off the court for engaging in certain behaviors. Regulating professional sports and regulating hip hop strike me as pretty disparate undertakings and regulating art at all doesn't sit too well. Of course, Sharpton's correct that, in an ideal world, people wouldn't make more money as a result of criminal acts, but maybe we could start with our elected officials' behavior and then move on to hip hop artists. Whatever the case, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is "The Massacre" isn't much of a follow-up to 50's first album but, my friends, I can not speak to that. I ain't heard it yet.
I'm off tomorrow, so this ends my blogging until Friday. If anyone out there is even READING! Despite my perpetual nagging, I can't seem to get any of my friends to visit, let alone bookmark, my cyber-ramblings. Which should be very freeing but instead I feel like that tree falling in the forest, pretty sure I am making noise and yet, and yet, no one can hear me!