Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CM King Brings The Fight To City Hall

On The Steps Of City Hall

District 12 Council Member Andy King is outraged by Hip Hop lyrics that are harmful to our youth, most recently lyrics by Rick Ross going so far as to teach date rape!  The Councilmember will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11 AM with fellow Council Members and Hip Hop artists to enlighten our community and call for action, “do not support these artists, their shows or their music.”

Bronx, NY,  April 8, 2013 –  Council Member Andy King is troubled that Hip Hop artist are spewing rap lyrics that are disrespectful, harmful,  misogynous and dangerous for the youth of our communities who listen to these lyrics and glorifying them.  CM King will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, April 10th at 11 AM with his fellow Council Members Letitia James, Julissa Ferraras, Diana Reyna and Rubin Wills along with Geoffrey Davis, President of James E. Davis Foundation; Hip Hop artist Kangol Kid from the historic rap group UTFO; legendary DJ Mr. Chuck Chillout (from former 98.7 FM) and spoke word artist Nene Ali.

Several Hip Hop artists have recently been under fire for their distasteful lyrics promoting socially unacceptable behavior.  Lil Wayne’s lyrics from “Karate Chop” remix, Tyga’s “Make it Nasty” and now Rick Ross’ lyrics from rapper Rocko’s single U.O.E.N.O. (You Ain’t Even Know It), “put molly in the champagne, you don’t even know it, I took her home and enjoying that, she ain’t even know it”.  “Molly” is slang for pure ecstasy, which puts a person defenseless and unaware of what is happening to them.

Councilmember King was outraged to learn of these lyrics selling “date rape”, sending a strong negative message over the air waves.”  The FCC is loosening their standards when we can hear vulgar language broadcast to millions.  “When did this happen?  How does a major brand like Reebok endorse a Rick Ross with such negative lyrics?”  

Rick Ross has provided a tepid apology for his lyrics “I don’t condone rape. Apologies for the lyric interpretation as rape….” sent over his Twitter account.  This is not an acceptable apology and falls short in comparison of the impact of his lyrics that are heard in heavy rotation daily on major radio stations.

“Today, we are taking a stand against violence against women and asking New Yorkers to boycott corporations that have demonstrated their complicit support for artists who condone rape,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Only by speaking with our wallets and refusing to put our money against our best interests can we pressure the music, film and television industries to reevaluate who they support and incite meaningful, powerful change.”

“Rape is a serious, violent crime. To condone, much less promote it in a song is outrageous. The Women’s Caucus joins Council Member Andy King in condemning Rick Ross for this act.”

"As the Chair of the Women's Issues Committee, I am deeply concerned about the rap lyrics used by Rick Ross," Council Member Julissa Ferreras said. "Mentioning date rape and other illegal activity not only encourages the youth who listen to his songs, but also shows a genuine disregard for those who have experienced this heinous violation first hand. I urge the public to stop supporting this artist until he educates himself on this issue and issues a proper apology for his offensive language."

“Mr. Ross’ disturbing and dangerous lyrics are made more troubling by his inability or unwillingness to admit he was, in fact, referring to rape in his song,” said Council Member Letitia James. “The reckless casualty with which women’s bodies are degraded in much of hip hop music unfortunately turns the genre into one of the main promoters of modern rape culture. We can do better.”

"As Chair of the Small Business Committee and more importantly as a woman, I cannot stand by silently as artists use their platforms to denigrate and promote violence against women,” said Council Member Diana Reyna.  “Any artist that promotes guns and violence against any group does not deserve air-time on radio or on television"

“It's appalling that these artists are not more cognizant of the influence that their words have on our youth. Songs like these do not add cultural value but highlights how insensitive our society has become towards women. It's unfortunate that these artists have put the bottom line above the morals and wellbeing of their fan base” said Council Member Ruben Wills.

“Freedom of speech is one of the civil rights of this country but it is a shame that disrespectful lyrics, especially promoting violence and rape, are being uttered by any human being.  It is time for artist to use their influence to promote positive images that reinforces our youth and enhances their future,” said Councilmember Robert Jackson, Chair of the Education Committee.  

Councilmember King says, “demand that artists, radio stations, labels and corporations show more social responsibility in their business decisions and don’t support music, artists or businesses that promote negative messages to our young people; messages that are detrimental to the positive changes in our communities.”