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May 11,2007
Maybe it's time to flush the potty mouths
by Sandi Dolbee

My friends say I'm going to get hurt one of these days. There was, for instance, the time I was at a gas station when a young man pulled up, leaving his rap music booming with all the subtlety of a jet plane taking off.

I couldn't help but hear the words.

"Excuse me," I said to him. "Would you like to see your sister raped?"

His face scrunched up like an album left too long in the sun. I tried to explain. "That's what your song is saying - it's talking about raping your sister. Have you ever really listened to it?"

He shrugged and turned his back. So much for my superhero powers of persuasion.

I got to thinking about that incident after radio host Don Imus was fired for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Imus argued unsuccessfully that rappers use a lot worse language and they get glorified.

Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are among those who have gotten buddy-buddy with famous potty mouths.

Obama invited Ludacris to his office to discuss the rapper's AIDS campaign. This is a man who raps about killing people and flicking pennies from an overpass at rush hour. And those are his good points.

Clinton's rendezvous was with Timbaland, who threw a fundraiser for her at his Miami home. Timbaland's lyrics are salted with a derogatory description of women (rhymes with "witch"), the n-word and the before-mentioned "ho." And these guys are considered mainstream artists.

Recently, two Southern California organizations that represent mobile DJs - like those who go to weddings and corporate parties - announced they will stop playing music with violent or hateful lyrics.

"If we don't make a stand against it, the envelope is just going to be pushed further and further," says Ron Jones, president of the San Diego Disc Jockey Association. His group is joined in the campaign by the San Diego chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association.

The biggest culprit is rap music, says Jones. "This is not some parent sitting around in 1957 saying Elvis is horrible. This stuff is vile."

Jones believes the ethical responsibility lies with companies that put out this music. But in the world of everyday ethics, it's more basic. It's about making the decision to turn this stuff off, one button at a time.

Newsboys, a faith-based rock group, has a rap song out that includes these lines: "See I agree we oughtta boycott hell, but we oughtta boycott dumb lyrics as well."

I think what I hear them saying is that smut is smut - no matter how good the beat.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, The Associated Press reports that police union leaders want a city firefighter fired over anti-police rap lyrics he wrote about turning "pigs into bacon bits."

And the hits keep coming.

1498 times read

Related news
Free speech, double standard for Imus by Cal_Thomas posted on Apr 13,2007

Obama says fire Imus by UPI posted on Apr 11,2007

Talk show host Imus calls Rutgers women 'nappy-headed hos' by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Apr 06,2007

Pop Talk: Jerry Lee Lewis' swagger untamed 5 decades later by George Varga posted on Jan 12,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 24 votes)

  • I am DJ and I'm in the service business. Your musical chef. You want an Oldies Omelet? Smooth Jazz Souffle? Some salsa with your Salsa? Place your order and it will be delivered through my woofers and tweeters. I like hip hop in small doses, but some crowds really get into it. My DJ company subscribes to a service that provides me with clean radio edits of pop songs. If it's OK with the FCC, it's OK with me. I agree it's a duty and responsibility of adults to do our best to shield our kids from mature subjects and material. But once someone is of legal age and old enough to "process" that information? I don't want to be anyone's moral arbiter. Count me in the camp that believes we've gone overboard with political correctness. That anyone who calls a group of African-American athletes "nappy-headed ho's" must be racist way deep down. Couldn't have been a morning shock jock doing what he was hired to do. That if a DJ pushes "play" on a song some might say is "violent or hateful", he is either an instrument of the devil or somehow agrees with the rapper's sentiments. Some DJ group doesn't want to play gangsta rap? Just don't take those gigs. But for them to tacitly represent that DJ's who continue to do so are damaging the moral fabric of our society is ridiculous. We're just here to rock the party!
  • (Posted on May 13, 2007, 8:02 am Dan McKay)

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