Our coalition of men, women, parents, advertisers, stock holders and consumers are demanding responsibility from the broadcast and recording industry.
Rap Rehab, Parents Television Council, Global Awareness Through Hip Hop Culture, Industry Ears,103.7 The Beat, Paradise Gray 1 Hood, We Act Radio, No Oxygen Coalition, Dee Dee Cocheta, Project Islamic Hope, Urban Cusp, Rock Newman, National Action Network, Malik Rashaan Occupy the Hood, FAAN Mail, Kweisi Ronald Harris, ThyBlackMan.com, Davey D Hard Knock Radio/SF State, Lisa Chase Patterson, Black by Nature/Conscious by Choice, Rosa Clemente 2008 Vice President candidate and Ujima Jane
In 2012, a drug named Molly, made up of pure MDMA (Ecstasy’s active ingredient) flooded the music industry and made its way into countless rap lyrics. Last month, February 2013, Lil’ Wayne sparked national outrage when he disrespected the memory of slain civil rights martyr Emmitt Till in his lyrics by comparing his brutal beating to a sex act. This month, rapper Rick Ross stirred nationwide controversy as a result of lyrics that encourage drugging a woman to force her into sex. Mainstream rap has been suffering from repulsive content for a long time but this latest wave of filth is our breaking point. WE HAVE HIT ROCK BOTTOM!
While Lil Wayne and Rick Ross as well as 2 Chainz, Trinidad James, Chief Keef and many others should be held accountable for the content of their music, the companies which promote them are just as much to blame. Year after year, the mainstream music industry aggressively markets rappers who celebrate irresponsible and criminal behavior while ignoring the countless conscientious rap artists who deserve the same amount of publicity. Record companies, TV networks and radio stations make millions from this type of music which we all know has a huge influence on young people. While it is far from being the only contributing factor to the various ills plaguing our youth, mainstream rap music undoubtedly plays a significant part. At a time when urban communities are suffering due to high unemployment rates, limited access to quality health care, gun violence, failing schools and institutionalized discrimination, the last thing we need is a "musical soundtrack" to accompany these conditions. The music industry has a huge influence on young listeners and profits from their blind support with no concern of the social impact.
Now, we demand change.
We are asking for:
1) A system of safe guards that protects your consumers and more importantly the general public from illegal references promoting rape, drug use, violence and misogyny.
2) A concerted effort to test, market and promote more positive and conscientious rap artists. Grammy Award winner, Lecrae is a prime example of a hip hop artist who is highly profitable and more importantly positive.
3) To remember your consumers, partners and share holders that have the same values that you share with your family, children and relatives. The images you share with your children are universally appropriate for all communities.
4) Finally, we request a literacy outreach program that is promoted and endorsed by your company and artists. This long cycle of degrading images has caused many youth to be guided in the wrong direction by the artists that you aggressively promote. We do not expect you to be parents - only responsible members of the communities you profit from.