Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Simmons Cops Out

Not that we should be surprised, but Russell Simmons seems to have come up with a means of "solving" the language problem in rap & hip-hop without having to do any of the hard work himself. Thanks to Jessica, my attention was brought to an article running on MSNBC today, outlining Simmons' proposal that the words "bitch", "ho" and "nigger" be cleansed from versions of songs that are played over the airwaves. This doesn't mean, of course, that the words will be removed from the songs entirely (which might force Simmons to do something real about the epidemic of misogyny and homophobia in the content he produces); they will just be wiped out, by someone other than Simmons and his cronies, from any song that plays on the radio, et al.

As the brilliant Joan Morgan rightly points out, this is a crap move by Simmons, and may actually do more harm than good by giving the hip-hop community the idea that they've "cured" an ill simply by covering it up (and yet still producing, and making oodles of money off of the content, in the meanwhile). Makes my stomach turn for realz, y'all.

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