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February 19, 2006

Hip Hop Violence

I want to back track for this blog and address the discussion of violence in our community of hip hop. I see alot of people saying "hey Lighty aren't you helping sell the same violence inducing music etc...". I want to make it crystal clear that I personally and my company doesn't condone these acts of violence and think that our community as a whole has to be responsible for its actions and not blame hip hop regardless of the idiots that might run amok in it.

Hip Hop doesn't make anyone pick up a gun, knife, fist and go out and do acts of violence or stupidity. Stupid and callous people do these things. There are just as many acts of violence by individuals that don't listen to hip hop and aren't part of the minority of this nation. Look at the idiot that murdered his family (wife and child) and then ran to England. Did he listen to hip hop? Unlikely but he is just as much as a degenerate as the individuals that do acts of violence around hip hop.

The difference is hip hop is giving an opportunity for our community to rise above it and if we don't act like we are in a special situation when we get the opportunity to be in this brand of entertainment than the system will figure out a way to take it away from us. If your in this business and your friends come around make sure you tell them " hey this is my life don't fuck it up for me because if you do who is going to help you?

Maybe the greed will overcome the stupidity! We have to rise above the bullshit! When the rock stars go back to their old neighborhoods they arent considered the next "vic" because they are doing well! That is unfortunately what most rappers ,actors,ball players face in their own community. How many sports players, rappers, etc have been robbed going back into their community just because they made it and than the haters come out?

Our community has to be better than the others just to be recognized in society so we have to break this vicious chain of violence. I will never be a believer of the music made me do it? Every week a violent movie comes out, a comic book with violence comes out ,the damn newspaper puts an actual record of violence in our face daily. Noone said "The new york times article made me go crazy and kill that person." Hip Hop has to take the next step and protect our culture or we will go away like the dinasours except it will be the government that wipes us out.

I love gangster movies as much as I love gangster records..but as I was channel surfing last night I realized I also love a good story as I watched the last hour or so of "The Titanic". Our music has many forms and I love hearing 50 tell tales of crime as much as I like "21 questions" but neither made me go crazy to do acts of violence why would it do it to you? My favorite album is "Criminal Minded" by BDP I listen to it 20 years later but it doesn't make me do a drive by. To top it all off I love to hear the Ceo and President of Def Jam rhyme about how he is/was the best hustler but it doesn't inspire anything more than the thought to work harder.

This is entertainment just like hollywood and if you can't decipher that than please turn off your radio! KRS said it best "rap is like a sport, alot of games, alot of suckers with colorful names,I am so and so I am this and that but there all just wick wick wack." Its like a sport,a game not an order of violence,not reality its a fantasy. So please "Stop the violence."

Posted by chrislighty at February 19, 2006 11:38 AM


"Stop the Violence" That sure sounds like a Great idea.......... but first we have to address a few things. 1. Stop rewarding the wicked for thier evil ways. If a man, whether it be Jay Z or 50 Cent has sold drugs or was part of an Evil Empire..... and that man decides to quit his evil ways and get into the music business But hasn't paid his Dept to Society or GOD...... Then you can expect that man and everything he's involved in to eventually crumble. Because the Bible says "No Sin goes unpunished" So instead, we sign these ex-dealers, ex-murderers and ex- hustlers to multi-million dollar deals with no chastisement or punishment for what they did in thier foormer lives. Not only do we sign but we congratulate and promote what they've done. Then when there's a backlash of violence in the Game... we wanna cry "Stop the Violence". Well I'm here to tell you... The violence won't cease til the House is cleaned of the wicked and put back in order. When Moses went up to the mountain to talk with God after the Exodus out of Egypt... The Faithless Israelites built a Golden Calf to Worship cause they didn't believe there was a God... Then Moses came back down and God destroyed the Israelites that was partakers in that Wickedness and had to wait 40 years until all that played a role in that wickedness died off. I'm starting to think we have the same problem brewing here. What we started was with Great intentions but because of the lack of Wise and Righteous artist like "KRSone and Public Enemy" and "Maccabees" the people no longer believe and we are just willing to Idolize the 1st person that sells alot of records.... No matter what he's rapping about. We put them on a Pedistle and Worship them. And chances are, in the world we live in today.... he's rapping about some sort of madness. It has become an Idol Worshipping Money making Machine Society. And God is Angry. There is no more Shame and Honor in the music business. When a man BOASTS about his wrongdoings with no Shame... or our beautiful sisters Strip naked in front of Grandmothers and Children with no Shame.... How can we call this a Righteous empire. We can't. It has to change. Get cleaned up. And it starts with New York artist first. I think we should come clean and admit our faults and REPENT if we're forgiven by Christ, then we should start signing some righteous talented acts. Sort of Balance out the Music. That's just a thought. Because until that happens..the violence is guarenteed to go on until the wicked pay for thier sins. Coming into the music business does not give you a pass from your evil past. It's just messing up our music business now. Clean House Chris, word. Get your artist and your team in Order. Forget the $$$ money and the Fame for a while. Peace

Posted by: Sair at February 20, 2006 09:47 AM

I understand what you're saying but to the young our community is Hip Hop. our freinds, the way we talk, walk, our mannerisms, our style, the way we customize our houses and cars, so its hard to seperate community and hip hop.hip hop/ hip hop artist is our community biggest voice, it represents us to the masses, it suppose to set standards for our kids (supposedly)

so when our voices (hip hop artist) are being to reckless its up to us to check them, they have to be a balance. if you are going to talk gun talk, tell the kids why you feel like that, thats the difference between the krs's back then and the juelz santanas of now. its more of a braggig status now on how hard you can be or how much coke you can sell.

As far as comparing "our" music to the movies and comic book goes, thats been a cop out for our artist to use and i'm not going to try to help them justify it, yes its all under the umbrella of entertainment but we stay in character 24/7 until something bad happen. most rappers idolize pacino as scarface but the difference is when the movie is over hes not scarface he's just alpacino a actor, he's not in interviews and magazines with his cuban cigars talking about how real he is, hes not talking about how he'll murder dinero, same thing with arnold when the terminator movie is done hes on to his next role hes back to arnold, we know these are characters. Hip hop on the other hand, in order to be successful now you have to prove you are real. for instance when 50 was doing wangsta, many men, high all the time, everyone was loving him but as soon as he start doing 21 question, candy shop, or any other soft song he gets crucified by the streets and other artist, what happened to its just entertainment? i'm still entertained! i have no problem with it b/c I know but these other artist flip and start screaming hes not real. no body walks around screw face all day with murder on they mind 24/7 (hope not anyway). well let me close out with this if its just entertainment, why dont we just call it that? why cant artist try other things and be successful without being called weak, why arent there any balance in the music anymore, why if i choose to listenn to laffy taffy, i dont know real hip hop, but if i listen to Dblock all day im on it. dont get me wrong i listen to it all but if i choose something thats not considered "street" its wack.

Posted by: tha watcher at February 20, 2006 01:19 PM

Hi Chris,

I hate to do this to a person of your status in the game but K.R.S said "Rap is like a set-up" instead of "Rap is like a sport. But anyway, the main problem that goes on when it comes to violence in the rap music business is the knuckle head outsiders that these artist still want around them. In the case of the Busta Rhymes incident it was an outsider from Yayo's camp that caused the problem. If you look at the seriously succesful rap artists, you don't see the idiots that can cause them problems around. You don't see them because they leave them where they need to stay; and that's in the hood waisting away their lives. The bottom line is that artists do need to take some responsibility in the area's that they can control and that's the people that these artist chose to have around them. If you elimantate the idoits from the game you will see less violence.

Posted by: N-G at February 20, 2006 04:48 PM

Hi Chris I can respect your opinion but I disagree. The violence that has run rampant in the black communities has a lot to do with Hip Hop. Hip Hop is setting a trend in our communities.Jayz is a glorified dope dealer who makes no apologies and continues to glorify his former life style what does that say to these young guy's out in the streets. It says keep hustling your dope killing your own people and one day you will run a major record company. What all you industry insiders don't realize that even with all the money you make that can place you in suburbia that kid who listened to that 50 cent record can still catch a train to where you live. Just ask biggie and Tupac where glorifying violence got them better yet ask biggie's children would they have preferred a 2 hit records or their father. Go ahead and continue to sell your lyrical crack and remember we all reap what we sow.

Posted by: Tia at February 20, 2006 06:46 PM

Two words: Will Smith.

He's been criticized for being POP since day 1, but who is laughing all the way to the bank? He's one of the most respected actors in Hollywood and he IS Black and he is undeniably HIP HOP. So let's not make blanket statements and say that one has to be hard to make it in the game...but sex and violence (and drugs) DO SELL. Who buys this stuff?

HMMMM...do we need a Rosa Parks of HIP HOP where we boycott the negativity? Problem is...we'd need to mobilize not only the hood, but the suburbs cuz WE ain't the only ones buyin the goods.

Furthermore, let's not forget where we are...I love the freedom that we have in AmeriKKKa and while I don't suggest moving to another country, we need to accept that we are living under a CAPITALIST SYSTEM and we are the biggest CONSUMERS in the world! Our motto: The bottom line is the dollar $ign. So unless we're going to change the game we can't complain. Hip Hop is not the first and won't be the last to glamorize CAPITALISM. BLING BLING is nothing new, we just make it look cooler than any previous generation cuz we know how to ROCK IT! We can make anything look cool cuz we are POWERFUL.

If I recall, there was at least one industry in recent history that perpetuated violence...have we forgotten the slave trade? How is it that the responsibility to "Stop the Violence" been placed solely on our shoulders? Is HIP HOP another PECULIAR INSTITUTION with a soundtrack?

If only educated adults who had perspective on the music as purely business were listening and being affected by the culture then we'd be fine...the problem is, everyone does not have that luxury. Some listeners and fans are RELATING to the music because that is their experience and it is not DISCONNECTED from their reality. Others decide that they want it to be their reality and start emulating their IDOLS.

If the artist's persona and image is one in the same, that does send people the message that the longer your police record, the more records you will sell and visa versa. So that's what there is to aspire to.

We have to think of HIP HOP in the context of capitalism and how AMERIKKKA'S culture has shaped our subculture.

Thugs aren't the only ones whose records sell...the pimp/player image is another one which needs to be addressed. There are people who listen to rap and claim it makes them go pick up a gun and shoot somebody, then there are those who pick up a blunt because they think that's cool...and there are others who start smackin their woman/women around or shakin their ass because they think that is a cool lifestyle...and there are others still who pick up a mic and all of this becomes their recitation. We have to be careful what we put the "COOL" stamp on.

In the meantime, we need to get our foundation back in order and get our families/communities together.

My suggestion (one of them): The HIP HOP industry (those with power) need to GET WITH grassroot activists who are experts on many of the issues that need to be addressed instead of acting like elitists - aka some people seem to want to rap about the street and exploit those tales, but forget where they came from when it comes to reaching back. In other words, more of us need to adopt the "EACH ONE TEACH ONE" philosophy.

We can't just have rallies with cute slogans every 4 years during election time and then drop the ball. Voting alone is not going to do the trick.

Just as we come in all shades of brown, among us there has always been a variety of classes ranging from "GHETTO" to bourgeois. Black people are not monolithic & we need to get it together. We also have a rich history of resistance, why not make THAT "the new cool"?

Posted by: Jacqueline at February 21, 2006 09:40 AM

oops...I need to make a correction: Just seeing if you are paying attention.

If the artist's persona and image is one in the same, that does send people the message that the longer your police record, the more records you will sell and visa versa. So that's what there is to aspire to.

What I meant to say was: If the artist's REAL LIFE and their persona is one in the same...blah, blah, blah, ETC, ETC, ETC.

Posted by: Jacqueline at February 21, 2006 09:51 AM

its a shame when a powerful man stands to the way-side when an innocent man gets murdered by the culture he helped create and maintain. your company, your artists, your advertising, YOU market/endorse/glorify violence, ignorance, moral degradation, drug use to our/YOUR culture...your pockets have gotten FAT off it, just as you have. if you really wanted to make a difference, and help put a stop to the decline of the urban black youth you could. however you choose to seperate yourself from the ignorance, hate, and mindlessness you not only helped to create, but continue to propogate. you endorse bang bang, hit em up, murda, war fare, killa, crack, hoe, sex u raw, poppin' E, holla back with a fitted cap and throw back rap.. and profit off it, its a shame you refuse to attempt to steer the culture in a new direction. after all if people like you won't/can't...who will?

enjoy st. tropez while Israel Ramirez's family mourn his loss to senlesness you maintain, propogate and endorse

Posted by: SANGANO at February 21, 2006 12:43 PM

I finally see our community screaming out about the actions and attitudes being glamorized in rap music. For the longest I thought I was the only one. The problem is we are not buying the music. I hate to put us on blast, but EVERYONE I know has some form of bootleg as their primary music source. I am from the hood so I see their bootlegs, but I am no longer in the hood so I see my working class friends with bootlegs too. I sound like a preacher when I say no thanks to their offer to burn their already burned CD of an artist WHOLE CD for me stating I want to make sure the artist gets the sale so they will be allowed to put out another CD. I was recently offered bootleg Mary and Jaime CDs by my accountant friend. The teenaged white folks are the ones thinking this one subject rap crap is cute because they are not living it. Their the ones buying the millions of CDs. As long as they buy it the devil music execs will keep demanding artists put that mess out. In the mean time the booming bootleg industry has led to the almost total extinction of the R&B music genre because young white folks ain't buying no more than the few hip hop based R&B acts that we can all name on one hand. We are taking ourselves down right now, the black fans for not supporting the positive artists with the dollars and the black execs who have made it who do actually encourage the mess for the sake of a dollar.

Posted by: Bird at February 21, 2006 09:04 PM

"Others decide that they want it to be their reality and start emulating their IDOLS." - Jacqueline

Thats where the problem is. our younger generation is taking what these artist say literally, and applying it to everyday life. athe new artist is using more of their imagination than whats really around them, believe me I know i'm a product of a ghetto enviroment, these rappers are not telling america that for everyone 1 drug dealer with the benz's and bout theres like 20-100 crack feinds that are mothers and fathers who has kids thats not being feed or cared for properly. there not telling you that for every black male getting killed in the hood someone is losing thier son, brother, or father, to sensless violence.

were being exploited! even these rappers who made it out the hood still glamourize stupidity. Master P is a brilliant business man no question but his last video is talking about being the "cookie man" delivering coke! why notuse that same energy to tell the youth how to be successful like himself the right way.

p.s Im really starting to feel like Chris is not reading these blogs, theres no interaction, no responses to these good post and I feel its a shame b/c these are people who really care about our community and culture and just about the bottom line dollar.

Posted by: Tha Watcher at February 22, 2006 08:49 AM

Tha Watcher,
I just wanted to tell you that CL does read the comments. We talk the posts that people leave in response to his entries and believe me when I tell you that he is paying attention.


Posted by: D-Nice at February 22, 2006 10:27 AM


just like in his marketing plans i'm sure he puts a great deal of time and thought into his progressive, idealistic, and holier than thou posts on a culture which he helped DEFINE and continues to help MOLD. But just like the culture i'm sure once the message HE wants put out is out there, he really doesn't care about the backlash and responsibility.

however he wants to make it "crystal clear that he personally and his company don't condone these acts of violence and think that our community as a whole has to be responsible for its actions and not blame hip hop regardless of the idiots that might RUN amok in it."..(WHAT ABOUT WHAT THE IDIOTS WHO RUN THE INDUSTRY DO??? or are there none of those??...does the feeble mindednees suddenly stop once you have millions of dollars and control the scences?...do you suddenly loose any and all responsibility/conciousness once you have a gold plated mont blanc in your fist?)

"Hip Hop doesn't make anyone pick up a gun, knife, fist and go out and do acts of violence or stupidity."...nahhhhh its just that the videos, lyrics, cd covers, films, books, fashion shows, behind the scene documentaries and catchy hooks ie. "SOMEONE"S GOTTA DIE TONITE" make it seem REALLLLY COOOL!!!! it just insinuates that if niggas wanna be cool and rich just become the shwarzengger + alpo of the hood sling some crack..start a label and then claim u have nothing to do with whats goin on! win/win proposition rite?...wrong! NIGGA UR TOSSING A GUN INTO THE STREET AND CLAIMIN NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CHILD THAT GETS SHOT!!! MORE SO YOUR PROBABLY ROCKIN A "STOP SNITCHING" TSHIRT WITH AN ICE GRILL ON YOUR FACE!

just like his lack of interest in the outcomes and reprocussions of the industry which he helps mold..i'm sure he doesn't cares about whats said on a message board about a topic which hes has absolutley no responsibility for!??...why would he?!!! lol

bottom line time to realize that like it or not the people who sign off and back these images and sounds of violence and degradation in our culture do have responsibilities other than cashin in their big fat checks...the buck doesnt stop at the bank


Posted by: SANGANO at February 22, 2006 12:07 PM

We cannot compare movies to the violence within the culture of Hip-Hop because movies are marketed as fantasy, escapism and make believe. These so-called rappers come into the business with a violent back story and try to live up to it. Their back stories are presented as truths which supposedly makes them "real". Mr. Lighty MUST hold himself accountable because he is helping to portray these gangsta hyper-violent entertainers by working with them. Does he expect us to believe that he ever went to 50 and said, " 50, why don't you cut back on the gunshot stories and focus on the love you have for your son." or"Hey, Yayo, no one really wants to here about your jail bid or how many felonies you have. Why don't you rap about the black struggle." I doubt if went to Mobb Deep when they were represented by his company and told them that they needed to be more consciuos with there image. Hell to the no. He is partially responsible and he should own up to it.

Posted by: G at February 22, 2006 02:32 PM

"Hip Hop doesn't make anyone pick up a gun, knife, fist and go out and do acts of violence or stupidity. "

Sure it does. A great song that glorifies acts of violence and stupidity is like a commercial for that lifestyle. And what do commercials do? They SELL you on something. So every time that type of song or video is played, it's selling. And if you put enough money behind it, if you promote it right, you can make people buy into it what the song is selling. Nike put millions of dollars into showing you a swoosh and saying "just do it". Now when you see a swoosh, they don't even have to say just do it, you fill in the blank. Well, the same can be said for many of the songs in hip hop. If 50 says "i want to be a P.I.M.P.", and he's smiling, with jewels on in a video when he says it, that some broke kid isn't gonna say, "me too". A lot of kids are saying ME TOO about all the gun talk, and all the bitch talk, So yeah, hip hop does affect people's behavior, so do movies, so does our environment, so do our lives. But to dismiss hip hop of any responsibilty ...come on son..that's just wrong.

Posted by: hardCore at February 22, 2006 03:11 PM

Well, I am coming to you from the south as a 25 yr old white guy who used to idolize Pac. My favorite musicians before him were metallica and corrosion of conformity. I heard Pac and I heard a message from the heart of a man whose heart was close to God.

This may make no sense, but let me just say that that message is gone and it has to do with all of this. Think about Me Against The World. A very positive message ran througout. "Lord help us, we want better for your work". In the end it turned to bomb, shoot, die die die. Which is all too often what I hear when I flip to 66RAW. Which I like. But theres a line. Its like comparing Metallica and some freako GWAR like death metal anarchy crap. If young Black men dont stop all the gun brandishing in music today, and abuse of women, etc, it could accelerate to where they are the next target of anti-terrorist forces. It certainly seems like there is a growing problem.

Posted by: heavenhelpus at February 23, 2006 12:10 AM

To piggy back on what hardCore said, I had this 12 yr. old kid tell me "I want a pink pimp suit" no lie! I was like man thats tv, nobody wearing those out in the real world (hope not), but he had listened to snoop, 50, nelly, etc. so much I couldnt tell him nothing, he just looked at me like I was old school, and i'm 28!

Also G stated "We cannot compare movies to the violence within the culture of Hip-Hop because movies are marketed as fantasy, escapism and make believe" which is so true, i was trying to say this in another post but this is better said. In our community we have this thing called "street cred" which is the dumbest term next to "stop snitching" its like if you dont live up to these stupid expectations you're a sellout or dont understand the struggle.

Today, point blank our music is like a soundtrack to GENOCIDE. we're killing each other over nothing!

good points heavenhelpus.

Posted by: Thaa Watcher at February 23, 2006 08:11 AM

Remember when that guy shot a state trooper and blamed PAC for that? Crazy. So when are we going to see HIP HOP on trial on an episode of Law and Order?

Well, we've been knowin we were headed for self destruction, but we just kept it movin in the same direction. There have been empires built on the destruction of us as well as our ancestors so we are just carrying on tradition, right?

All sarcasm aside, what's so different about us shooting each other versus us being hanged by a lynch mob? Same results. Except when it was THEM doing it to us, we could get mad and direct our anger and bitterness in the right direction. Well, people, I am here to tell ya, we are still STRANGE FRUIT.

This whole discussion reminds me of pit bull fights. The whole mentality behind pushing ignorance into society is like feeding pit bull puppies gun powder. Contrary to popular belief, pit bulls are not born evil...that's folks who think it's cute to cut their ears, feed 'em gun powder and make 'em fight each other for our entertainment.

But is it fair to ask ALL artists to be positive role models and put away the gun powder? I think not. Didn't Charles Barkley say he wasn't no f*in' role model? Just cuz someone is in the limelight, does that make them obligated to lead us to the promised land? What if they genuinely don't share our values? Are there VALUE police? What about people who want to hear straight gangsta music? Shouldn't we have that right to have that if we are a mature audience?

It ain't the entertainment industry's job to babysit us. Those of us who are capable of providing the younger generation with education and perspective, ARE WE doing that or are we just sitting around bitchin and bumpin our gums about how things are going, then jumpin in our cars, DRIVING AWAY bumpin the "garbage"?

See, I will be honest, I may not agree with the values that are put forth in some of the music these days...example: I didn't like "Just a lil bit" when I first heard it, but then when I listened to it in the CONTEXT of "HMMM what if I wanted to seduce my husband to keep that spark in our marriage? I can play that song & give him a lapdance"! That's a sexy, seductive ass song, and I'm SURE people are stripping to it in the seediest juke joints and being pimped for their strippin dollars...whose fault is that? So as someone who is somewhat conscious, this puts me in a dilemma. What am I to do-TURN IT OFF? I'M APPALLED!!

That's like going on a diet because you are trying to improve your health instead of doing it for your appearance. You may not mind being THICK IN THE THIGHS, and you may want to keep eating your chips and dips, but your cholesterol is steadily going up. We have to go a little deeper and it is not going to be easy, music can be just as addictive as food or any other drug. We have a choice about how healthy we want to be, it just takes some discipline. And just as with food, it's easier to go to the corner store and buy a corndog and some jojos than it is to find a health food store and learn recipes for tofu and hummus.

I grew up on Too Short and NWA, but we also had De La Soul and BDP. These younguns have options, too. Should I be the one to sacrifice listening to music that I like? Can we get a mixtape with the beats from our favorite hip hop music with Christian lyrics over it or possibly a FRENCH/NIGERIAN rapper so I don't know what the heck he is saying?!!! I'm sure I am not the only one who has mixed feelings about this.

The good thing about HIP HOP is that all of the good things that has made it a force to be reckoned with still exist...all of the elements; the dj's, mc's, grafitti artists, break dancers...so it ain't over. It just needs some good organization which is not necessarily synonomous with "good for business".

Someone is going to have to take one for the team and sacrifice record sales for the greater good.

Who will be that innovative one?

Posted by: Jacqueline at February 23, 2006 09:20 AM

Jacq, I grew up on the same thing too short, nwa, krs-1, de la, rakim, and today i listen to 50 , jay, mixtapes, etc.. but the difference between then and now is there was balance, they all were promoted on the same level. i'm not against a variety of hip hop, just dont want the gangsta image constantly pushed down the throat of our youth.

Posted by: Tha watcher at February 23, 2006 11:21 AM

Now we need to ask ourselves why it is so. Who and what determines what we see out in the world? What are the politics behind all of this?

I have been curious for years about how PAYOLA works because I am sure that is at the bottom of why we hear some things more than others.

I am in total agreement on the balance tip...I am a Libra so I am always down with using the scales. I think that a good counterbalance to the media that is out there bombarding young people everyday is MEDIA LITERACY. This is something that I STRONGLY believe will make such a huge difference and cover a lot of fronts. The basic message that it conveys is that ALL media needs to be seen as CONSTRUCTIONS. This includes internet pop-ups, vending machines, billboards, TV, films, newspapers, radio, ALL MEDIA. This will make it so that we don't have to try to censor people, we will just give people the tools they need to decipher and get past the B.S. and open the dialogue that needs to take place.

Perhaps we should start demanding that they teach media literacy in school beginning in Kindergarten and continue it all the way through 12th grade. Curriculum has already been created now it just needs to be implemented into the public school systems.

Posted by: Jacqueline at February 23, 2006 01:27 PM

"Stop the Violence" Okay.... Let's Just everybody check out the Balance of GANGBANG DESTROY THE COMMUNITY RAPPERS getting signed, versus the BLACK SPIRITUAL UPLIFTMENT HELP THE CULTURE ARTIST GETTING SIGNED........ I'll sound off with the latest signee to Def Jam I know about__ RICK ROSS: Rapper. Genre: Huslter. Lead off Single: I Be Hustling. Description of 1st single: He sold Lots and lots of Drugs with Noreaga and Pablo Escobar and his Children. Wow, what a great way to "Stop the Viloence" Next Artist: SAM SCARFO. Label: Def Jam.
Genre: Gang Bang Rap. Claim of Fame: Did a ten year Bid in Jail and Won the Infamous FIGHT CLUB Battles 4 or 5 times in a row. Just Great! We sure need more of this. Sound off yall....

Posted by: SAIR at February 23, 2006 06:56 PM

I'm late on this, but it's still news. Anyone have any follow up info? Please share.

Universal Zulu Nation Calls Emergency Meeting to Recapture Hip-Hop
By Chris Richburg
Date: 2/17/2006 3:40 pm

The Supreme World Council of the Universal Zulu Nation will hold an emergency meeting Feb. 22 to address what the group feels is an imbalance of Hip-Hop played on radio and TV stations.

Expected to appear at the meeting to support the Universal Zulu Nation and founder Afrika Bambataa include Hip-Hop activists Kevin Powell, Davey D, Rosa Clemente and April Silver; rapper KRS-One; the Temple of Hip-Hop, educator and filmmaker Martha Diaz; Public Enemy frontman Chuck D; photographer Ernie Paniccioli; Rock Steady Crew member Crazy Legs.

According to representatives for the Universal Zulu Nation, Bambaataa hopes steps will be taken to bring consciousness back to Hip-Hop.

"We are not saying to stop playing what you are playing on the air or showing on the TV, but to have balance and play it all, old-school to new-school to be true school," representatives for Bambaataa said in a statement.

The group hopes a plan of action will be devised to curtail "death and destruction playing on radio and TV music video shows."

The coalition of artists and activists hope to stop being scared to expose "record labels, radio stations, TV Hip-Hop shows or whatever shows that show us in a BS vision of just being pimps, playas, gangsters and hoes, straight up niggers, wiggers or any other derogatory words that they use and we use to call ourselves."

The emergency meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the National Black Theater, 125th Street and Fifth Ave. in New York City.

The Universal Zulu Nation was formed in the 1970's by Africa Bambaataa.

Posted by: Jacqueline at February 24, 2006 11:21 AM

Wow. It is good to know the others here feel the same way. We all know there are various subliminal messages put in music to influence subconscious as well as conscious thought. Music is a very powerful instrument in that it can influence brain waves and instigate certain brain activity i.e violence or peace. (Studies done in the 80's on music being played backward and such) This is a proven fact. Why do you think they have taken the important jazz by artists like Barry Harris, Randy Weston, Duke, Monk and many, many others and sort of hidden them under a rock so to speak. Because that music lead the freedom train and uplifted Black Thought. This sort of music has it's own language - a literacy if you will that must be perserved. (Sidebar: Africans use to use the drum beat during slavery and before to communicate and send messages to one another without the white man knowing - now the same instruments we use to communicate with each other are being used against us and as a means to influence genocide).

Sair touched on something very interesting with his assessment of comparing us to the Children of Israel when they were in the Wilderness. There is a book written by a woman named Joyce Andrew called "The Bible Legacy of the Black Race" she purports a very powerful theory about why we as Africans are in the state that we are in. This is just a theory, however, a very powerful one that all conscious brothers and sisters should take the time to read/ruminate on. Hip-hop must change it's ways if we are ever to uplift one another again. No matter what man says, the laws of the spirit govern the flesh. We must find a way to strike a balance. This type of music has the ability to influence us to either love ourselves and each other or hate. The music you align yourself with is creating hate and destruction hands down. Please give us something better, it is obvious that you care or else you would not have taken the time to blog about it.

Posted by: Dreaddy Mercury at February 24, 2006 09:09 PM

Chris, you can't be serious. The very nature of humanity is imitation. It's why commercials and films and all forms of media are filled with disclaimers telling the audience NOT to imitate the actions witnessed. Hip Hop doesn't even do that - because the artists perpetuate some semblance of their very lyrics in the world.

You seek to absolve yourself of responsibility. I na world when a disproportionate number of African-American children are fatherless - male role models are what they are. So your assertion is baseless and ignorant of basic facts of human nature.

The music not only champions violence - but promotes it as an end to a means - a successful one at that. Since most basic human interactions are reward based, the music works on the very same pathways.

The fact that much less violence occurs than otherwise should is a testament to how many good children and young people are out there, as opposed to those you call stupid.

And your argument about hip hop giving the community an opportunity to rise above it is similarly baseless. Hip Hop has given you the opportunity to rise above it. You! Not the community as there is little trickle down - and the fundamental concepts of the hip hop economy on a whole are not conducive to community building.

So your assessments on a whole are shoddy, as is the stance hip hop takes in general on the state of violence in black communities.

Black people have perpetuated our own stereotypes so long we've become them. Your inability to discern the truth from your own propaganda attests to this.

Posted by: styx at February 27, 2006 09:17 AM


Posted by: 张庆智海 at February 28, 2006 12:55 AM

Dear Chris,

I sent you a very important fax a couple of months ago. It was concerning a vision(s) that I recieved about 50cent and Eminem. It also expressed concerns about black power movers in hip-hop. Within the last several months with Suge Knight being shot, Jimmy Henchman getting convicted in an assault case and now the shooting on Bustas video set. I believe that the target might be you as well as other black power movers in hip-hop and now music producers also. Be more watchful than ever because the incident with Busta might be a ploy. Expose the devils and shine light on them so that they can run. This will foil there evil plans for now. If you read the fax I sent to you, understanding of the whole matter should be clear. There is a constant need to have some sort of situation in the medias eye with 50cent or his (G-units) associates. They are creating an atmosphere to distract the masses. The real conspirators are hidden. Be watchful my brother

Posted by: Dwayne at February 28, 2006 03:01 PM


Posted by: Dirty JAX at March 1, 2006 11:52 PM

After going back and sifting through much of this unreadable garbage, Jaqueline seemed to be one of the only if not THE only well informed and sane voice in this discussion. I'm 28 and I FUCKING LOVE GANGSTER ASS THUGGED OUT rap music. I also like dancehall. I like some rock and some techno. I also download some porn occasionaly. I'm an adult. I can listen to and watch whatever the fuck I want. That is the privilege of adulthood. You know what kids have to deal with? Their fucking PARENTS. Shit, if my parents heard cursewords coming out of my stereo, I would have to restrain them from smashing up my boombox. NWA and 2 LIVE gots NO BURN in my crib. EVER! Furthermore, my peeps ALWAYS kept me in check when I tried to do dumb shit as a kid. And believe me, I grew up in the Bronx SURROUNDED by dumb shit. People, if you want to make a contribution to your community, stop wasting your time trying censor rap and start by RAISING YOUR KIDS CORRECTLY. Then when you figure out how to do that, and you still have the energy left for an important cause, get involved in government because the damage this president (whose only ambition is to get him and his boys paid) is doing to our country and our economy will effect everyone on this board so much more profoundly than any wannabe gangster rappers.

Posted by: DIrty JAX at March 2, 2006 12:33 AM


i've heard this argument a million times, and it's kinda bullshit. it's one thing when artists rhyme about the sadness of living in a world filled with drugs, violence, and poverty, it's another when they -- and this is much, much more common -- glorify that violence and drug-dealing, directly pointing to it as the way they got out of poverty. I'm all for freedom of speech and very much against censorship. But don't kid yourself into thinking that some kids who listen to a lot of hip-hop won't see violence and drug-dealing as a way out of the hood, and as a tough and honorable way to boot. I know I did growing up.

Posted by: velvet at March 2, 2006 02:02 PM

Hip Hop is not "perpetuating" the violence in the hood..."POVERTY" is! Instead of blaming those (rappers and/or comedians -ie. chappelle) who beat incredible odds & made it out of that situation and are just telling their stories/life as they know it(it is what it is)...we (All people, ESPECIALLY the everyday people, not just the oprah's, 50's or chris lighty's etc..)need to look @ and hold accountable this screwed up government which has so many people resorting to violence just to survive in their communities (katrina epitomized how bad it really is in many communities across the U.S.)

Posted by: lysa at March 3, 2006 04:17 PM

yall niggaz is going down!!!

Posted by: your father at March 4, 2006 09:48 AM

Lysa, I agreed with your post totally...I just have to say that regarding Dave Chappelle (whose work I absolutely LOVE), he may have been in DC and seen much of the effects of poverty, but suprisingly (to me at least cuz i didn't know)both of his parents are VERY highly educated an in fact I think he said his mom has several degrees including a PHD. I'm not sure about the families economic status, but I don't think their life was too dreary. If you missed his interview on Inside the Actor's Studio, you can download and watch it from www.3030media.net. The one with Oprah is on there, too. They are GREAT interviews.

Posted by: Jacqueline at March 6, 2006 03:22 PM

Thanks Jacqueline and i'll definitely check out those interviews. Also, thanks for bringin' me up to speed re: chappelle and i have to agree he's one of the best in the game.

Posted by: lysa at March 8, 2006 12:25 AM

Awwww...can't stop thinking about the good ol' dayz when it was only about peace and love...peace to herc, bamb, flowerz, pete, flash, biz, etc...

Posted by: PJ at March 8, 2006 07:22 AM

When 50 Cent had his house party on MTV, he was filmed speaking about his album cover, " Make the letters bigger so it translates to the kids," people just raise your kids right and hopefully they won't fall into the traps of these capitalist in MAINSTREAM hiphop!

Posted by: donking at March 10, 2006 09:33 PM


Posted by: luisrey at March 13, 2006 05:21 PM

Cassidy "Crack"

CRACK!! For the money you know how we play... we flip that C-R-A-C-K
CRACK!! For the money you know how we play... we move that C-R-A-C-K
CRACK!! For the money you know how we play... we sell that C-R-A-C-K

Crack!! It got my niggaz addicted
Crack!! But got my niggaz convicted
Crack!! Why niggaz stand on the block
Its called Crack!! It got my man and 'em shot
I said Crack!! what niggaz sell for the cash
Crack!! Got the women selling they ass
Crack!! What the feins use to get high
And the hustlers move to get by that's why the song called CRACK!!

I got the cops drawn... I put the block on
Over rare bout to stock viles of the popcorn
Feins got the block warm getting they cop on
My young'ns run the block till ev'ry one of the rocks gone
And I got another block I'm puttin the pot on
Strong enough to smell through the jar wit the top on
Cop and be gone... If you come to the block drawn
I'll hit you with the glock till ev'ry one of the shots gone
He thought he was a thug he was all on his pop join'
Till he got popped now he all on his rock join'
I left him all on the block wit his top gone
Law called his mom and pop they all on they shock join'
I was just tryna make some bread for my family
And ev'rybody got somebody dead in they family
and ev'rybody got some crackheads in they family
So it's no room to hate cause i kno you relate... My shit


I'ma blow like propaine cause the flow flames
It'll have you look like the cooked version of cocaine
I spit crack homie... neva been wak homie
I'm back homie... And I hold weight like I'm fat Tony
Like a Soprano I stay with the ammo
Push keys and make music but dont play the piano
You could get blam! yo... I'm nice wit my hands doe
You'll be looking like Rocky if you play like you Rambo
I'm looking type Rocky when I hop out the Land Vo
Bezel on the band whoa... rock on the hand glow
It's all for the fans doe
Thanks for the sup-port
my 16s like the nicotine in a newport
I'm like Too $hort... Pimpin these hoes
I'm the best at inventin the flow since Hove
What these other niggaz spittin is trash
But it's like hittin a glass when you listen to Cass... My shit


I still be fucking it all up
Gettin it, mixin it cuttin, it all up
I make hella cake and I'm addin it all up
And I ain't sellin weight, man I'm baggin it all up
My youngn's on the block they be knockin it all off
Who you think the feins be coppin it all off
My block got hard but we coppin it all soft
If its snakes in the grass we choppin it all off
If you play wit my cash I'm poppin at all ya
Wit my face in a mask I'm choppin at all ya
But due to the fact I be rappin and all that
I be actin and all that I ain't clappin at y'all cats
But before I did music and movies and all that
I was moving in all black wit the toolies and all that
But now I dont got time cause I'm eatin and all that
I'm too decent for all that to be beefin wit y'all cats... You on


CRACK!!!!, CRACK!!!!, CRACK!!!!
CRACK!!!!, CRACK!!!!, CRACK!!!!, CRACK!!!!!!

***This song is off of Cassidy's most recent album and i think he should be thrown back in prison for penning this nonsense. FUCK YOU CASSIDY!

Posted by: stilldiggin at March 14, 2006 11:27 PM





Posted by: THA MEKANIX at March 27, 2006 11:03 PM

Chris Lighty, BUS-A-BUS, Gives you a SHOUTOUT on that new song bout' "NEW YORK"...Was up brother Re: PRoof's FUNERAL,,, END OF STORY$$$

Posted by: Mr. Chris Patterson at April 20, 2006 02:02 PM


Posted by: KarlikSuka1 at May 23, 2006 10:48 AM


Posted by: KarlikSuka1 at May 24, 2006 02:30 AM

I am sorry... Excuse.

Posted by: futu at June 27, 2006 06:36 AM

Is Hip Hop losing its history?

Hip Hop wasn't always about swiping credit cards down the backsides of women on BET Uncut. The issues in hip hop today have some wondering, Has hip hop lost its soul?

State of Emergency: Hip Hop Anti-Violence Town Hall Meeting will address the role of media professionals in the shootings of Obie Trice, Busta Rhymes bodyguard and Suge Knight and the repeated violence at urban radio station HOT97 in New York. See http://www.hiphopviolence.com.

In addition, well discuss the industry news like the possible death of Death Row Records and what will happen to Tupacs legacy. Well revisit the murders of Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Jam Master Jay and critique Hip Hop magazine covers for traces of media bias.

A special segment called, Girl Power: Empowering Women through Hip Hop, will address issues facing Black women in the hip hop industry. Confirmed panelists are:

* HBO "The Wire" actor Melvin Jackson, Jr. aka Bernard
* Urban radio host, Olivia Fox
* Andrew Ryan, Hip Hop Journal publisher
* Eric Dolce, author Jesus and Jigga
* Columnists from Chronic, Vibe.com and XXL magazines
* Rapper/actress/author MC Lyte (donated autographed books)
* Rapper Bossman (Virgin Records)
* Carl Fennell, CEO, Versatile Records

From video game sex to controversial images of women in music videos and magazines, Hip Hop media violence is off the chain. But is it fair to blame Hip Hop media or should the blame be shifted elsewhere? Hopefully, well find the answers to these issues during our town hall meeting.

Workshops include:

* Hip Hop Journalism Summit
* Hip Hop Ethics Debate: The media's role in Hip Hop Violence
* Hip Hop Anti-Violence Townhall Meeting
* HBO's "The Wire" Tour: Meet the actor(s) and rappers
* Entertainment Industry 101: Learn how to break into the business

Check out the nominees

* Wendy Williams Show
* Steve Harvey Show
* Big Phat Morning Show
* Russ Parr Morning Show
* Olivia Fox Show
* Relentless Aaron, street fiction
* Zane, Black erotica

Posted by: HipHopViolence.com at August 23, 2006 01:07 AM

We live in a Violent World PERIOD.
Hip Hop is the mirror that reflects the sad reality PERIOD.
Visionaries transform their experience into art.
The real question is?
When is a popular EMCEE going to take the lead and not cater to the commercial demand and make the real HIPHOP with messages and inspire the kids to be themselves and not part of the party? Of Course thats risky but if you really talented u should be able to do it with no problem.


Posted by: Joseph Sanchez at October 4, 2006 09:35 PM