Hip-Hop Set To Get Rapped At New House Hearing
September 5, 2007 at 1:13 PM (PT)
It looks like CONGRESS is going to take some potshots at the hip-hop community for its controversial lyrics. VARIETY reports that House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Chairman BOBBY RUSH (D-IL) will convene a a special session tentatively titled "From IMUS to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation" for SEPT. 25th.
While the session purports to look into media "stereotypes and degradation" of women -- particularly African-American women -- in hip-hop lyrics and videos, which critics have frequently derided for explicit misogyny aimed largely at black women, RUSH has received commitments from UMG's DOUG MORRIS, WMG's EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. and VIACOM's PHILIPPE DAUMAN to appear before the panel.
"I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution," RUSH said "I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce."
RUSH also noted that the music chiefs would be coming "reluctantly, if I might add." Judging by the other witness being sought, including controversial rapper-turned-positive message artist MASTER P and "representatives from African-American women's groups," some would say that any label head would be quiet hesitant about appearing for what looks like a Congressional dressing-down.
Nevertheless, RUSH insisted that the session will "not an anti-artist hearing, or anti-music or anti-youth hearing ... I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now. It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility."
Notably exempt from that are those consumers responsible for actually buying the music.