Banning Bad Words From Rap: Hip-Hocrisy?

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Three commonly used racial and sexist words may soon be on the hip-hop chopping block.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton, say such demeaning language could be part of the reason Don Imus thought it was okay to put down the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team.

"I'm glad to see people have put so much heat on the situation," Sharpton says. "Even people not in the industry are begging for change."

Reverend Sharpton was in Lansing Tuesday. He says the n-word and two other words used to demean women need to be eliminated from hip-hop.

"If the record companies feel the pressure, the artists have to do what the companies mandate as standards."

The Lansing School Board says the call for action is long overdue, and that students would benefit from such a ban.

"Anyone using any of those demeaning words, including the n-word, should be met with a swift [disciplinary] response," says school board vice president Hugh Clarke.

But not everyone in the area agrees that changing the language in hip-hop music or blaming the hip-hop industry is necessary in this particular situation.

"To think the whole hip-hop community has to change because of this idiot Don Imus is idiotic," says Power 96.5 disc jockey Brant Johnson.

Johnson works for Lansing's primary hip-hop station. He says such words are simply cultural-- and adds that no one is forcing anyone to listen to or purchase such music.

"Don Imus' problem-- to me-- is not a societal problem," he says. "People shoot off at the mouth all the time. Period."

But whether or not they'll have that option anymore-- well, that song hasn't been played yet. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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