Saturday, December 17, 2005


Stop That Noise: Hate and Violence in Hip Hop

AS A FOLLOW UP TO MY 50 CENT OF FINLAND POST, here's a link to an article by Keith Boykin on the use of anti-gay lyrics in Hip Hop and an article about non-violence as a new force in Hip Hop. Violence and hatred are extremely destructive forces and so it's heartening to see that a change may be in the works in Hip Hop and that fans are tuning in.

Hate speech is a particularly destructive force. Hate speech disfigures and contorts the speaker and cowers, dehumanizes, and degrades the victim. Hate speech is a form of violence that can wound a person psychologically, permanently weaken their self esteem and darken their outlook on life. If we could see its energetically it would probably resemble a serrated knife.

When our cultural and creative output contains hate speech we risk defiling the very soul of the world. With each utterance, our hatred, like a dark cloud electric with storm, lifts off the earth and is transmitted omnidirectionally, announcing to the universe our degradation and attracting violence, destruction, and dark energy in return. Hate speech in music and media can also be the harbingers of genocide and war as was the case in Rwanda. So I urgently call on all Hip Hop artists to decry hate and speak out against those who peddle hatred, and discrimination through their music.

from Homos, Hot Beats & Hip Hop
Author and activist, Keith Boykin describing a panel he served on...
"...Hip hop artists who have recorded homophobic music. I mentioned Brand Nubian, Canibus, Common, Cypress Hill, DMX, Eazy E, Eminem, Goodie Mob, Allen Iverson, Ice Cube, Ja Rule, Jay Z, Mase, Mobb Deep, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, T.O.K. and 50 Cent in my list.

Next, I moved to hip hop artists who have challenged homophobia, and here the list was much shorter. I cited Queen Pen, Queen Latifah, Common (who apparently reformed after dating Erykah Badu), Meshell Ndegeocello (who actually transcends hip hop), and Will Smith (who played a gay man in the film Six Degrees of Separation). Moderator James Peterson also reminded me of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, who recorded a popular underground CD back in 1992 but haven't surfaced much since.

I was also intrigued by P. Diddy and LL Cool J, both of whom are popular hip hop artists who have rarely, if ever, used anti-gay lyrics in their music. And I mentioned LGBT hip hop artists including Caushun, Deep Dickollective, Dutchboy, Tori Fixx and Rainbow Flava."

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