“Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”
– Rick Ross of Def Jam Records, Universal Music Group
As the Steubenville case has recently reminded us, THIS is rape.
And it is in a rape culture where a top selling artist like Rick Ross, can glorify sexual violence and grace the covers of Rolling Stone Magazine at the same time.
Why do gatekeepers at UMG and Def Jam Records give these sexually violent messages a platform? Who else is responsible? When will this stop?
Universal Music Group was silent when we called out their CEO Lucien Grainge for promoting music that routinely degrades women of color.
Universal Music Group was silent when Lil Wayne’s sexually violent lyric about Emmett Till was released on the internet.
Will UMG stay silent now, as their artist Rick Ross promotes rape? Will Def Jam simply apologize and allow another artist to glorify rape three months from now? Will Rolling Stone Magazine continue to refer to Rick Ross as “hip hop’s most lovable don?”
Join us to demand that Def Jam and Universal Music Group publicly denounce sexual violence and make a commitment to ending the promotion of sexual violence in their music. Enough is enough. It is time to hold these labels, corporations and their artists — accountable.
Let hip hop activist Rosa Clemente’s response below inspire you as she calls on men to join us and speak out against rape culture.
We support the following petitions/efforts:
Rapper Lil Wayne’s music is in heavy rotation on most urban radio stations in the US. His misogynistic lyrics are generally (not always) tolerated and celebrated.
But when he released a track last week with the artist Future that trivialized the violent killing of civil rights icon Emmett Till, the misogyny and disrespect sparked public outrage. Although L.A. Reid, CEO of Epic Records (Future’s label, not Wayne’s) has apologized and promised to remove the offensive content from the track, Lil Wayne has been silent. The family of Emmett Till is demanding an apology from the artist.
We believe Emmett Till’s family and the black community deserve more than an apology — from Lil Wayne and the corporations that back him.
We want answers and real action from Epic Records, Cash Money Records, Sony Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Clear Channel, Radio One, and Viacom — media corporations that consistently provide a platform for misogynistic and hateful messages about black and brown communities.
We encourage others to join us and talk back to these corporations. How? Here are some ideas:
Share or create your own memes. Express yourself in an Open Letter and post it to your blog. Talk about this with your friends, film it and upload it to youtube. Make a PSA. Create a remix or mashup that gets people thinking. Use satire to critique what you see. Organize a petition. Organize direct action. Do something totally creative and unexpected to get people talking about this. Support the media that is reflective of who we are as a diverse people.
Together, let us TALK BACK – through our words and actions- and be heard.
Collectively, we are strong. The question is — are we willing to act?
“I now suspect that packaging me as an idolized star to the pop market in America cannot work; while one can dumb down his lyrics, what one cannot do without being found out is hide his historical baggage.” – K’NAAN
On December 8, 2012, Somali born Canadian hip hop artist K’naan wrote an Op Ed in the New York Times about how his record label (A&M/Octone Records) has pressured him to censor his message. In his powerful and honest essay, K’Naan questions the meaning of success. FAAN Mail responds to his words in this talk back.
Music credit: “People Like Me” by K’Naan. 2010 A&M/Octone.
Check out K’Naan here.