WWPR Addresses Hip-Hop Lyrics On Air
April 17, 2007 at 5:45 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Urban WWPR (POWER 105.1)/NEW YORK told THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' DAVID HINKLEY that it's going to stop playing songs with degrading images.
"The station won't sound that different, because we weren't playing a lot of that anyway," said PD HELEN LITTLE. "What we're doing is holding labels and artists accountable for what they say and how they say it. We want our listeners to know that whatever they hear here, we thought about it."
LITTLE went on the air yesterday morning with ED LOVER, EGYPT and DONNELL RAWLINS; MD NADINE SANTOS; and guests who included activists KEVIN POWELL and the Rev. AL SHARPTON. This "town meeting" was designed to involve listeners in a discussion of content issues surrounding hip-hop and radio. The discussion came as some critics, including SHARPTON, who pushed for last week's firing of DON IMUS, vowed to turn their attention to negative images and lyrics in hip-hop music.
What we're doing is holding labels and artists accountable for what they say and how they say it.
LOVER and LITTLE said, however, that POWER had been having this discussion for some time, and SANTOS, among others, cautioned against linking IMUS' comment about the RUTGERS women's basketball team with hip-hop.
"Let's not get it twisted," she said. "This isn't what hip-hop is about. What IMUS said has nothing to do with hip-hop." There was also discussion over whether some listeners want more graphic lyrics. LITTLE said they may, and that's fine. "We're not saying you can't make this music," she said. "Just we won't play it. Our intention is to encourage people not to talk this way anymore."