As violence and gun control continue to drive national conversation, the hip hop community has been forced to look at their part. Lupe Fiasco went on a Twitter rant to vent his feelings about violence and hip hop, saying the two are obviously connected and any assertion otherwise is ignorant. The culture of one promotes the culture of the other.
The Beat in Michigan has decided to take matters into their own hands. Lyrics in Lil' Wayne's "Karate Chop" and Rick Ross' "You Don't Even Know It" disturbed the folks at 103.7 to the point of pulling both Weezy and Rozay's entire collection from their rotation.
Many would say both rappers have taken their lyrical content too far and offended too many. The family and estate of Emit Till have released a statement of disapproval over Lil Wayne’s disregard and disrespectful lyrics. Though his record label issued a statement of apology, the rapper has yet to do so. In the case of Rick Ross, a petition has been started over his blatant disregard for women and the issue of date rape. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that over 300,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted per year in the United States alone. That is a disturbing number and should not be taken lightly. His lyrics not only condone the behavior, but he boasts about it in the song. While some feel it’s only entertainment, many feel it sends and encourages the wrong message. Several individuals and organizations have taken a stand and so are we. Effective immediately Muskegon’s WUVSlp 103.7 the Beat has pulled ALL Lil Wayne and Rick Ross music from rotation. We pride ourselves on playing music that is non-degrading and non-violent. While we believe in freedom of speech, creative writing and individualism, we refuse to be part of the problem by spreading messages that could harm or end someone’s life.
Whether this becomes a national trend or not remains to be seen, but reduced radio play may translate into fewer sales -- at least, that's how it used to work -- and the best way to get these guys to change their tune is by effecting their bottom line.