Round of applause for Michigan radio station 103.7 The Beat, which took a bold stand against irresponsible, misogynistic, foul, rape culture rap lyrics by banning two of Hip Hop’s biggest offenders from its airwaves: Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross.
Citing Lil’ Wayne’s lyrics in the remix of Future’s “Karate Chop,” in which the rapper equates violent sex with the brutal beating of Emmett Till, and Ross’s ode to rape in rapper Rocko’s “You Don’t Even Know It,” the station said playing their music only makes them “part of the problem.” So they’re taking the two out of rotation. In a press release, the station writes:
The questions have been asked, Is Hip Hop Music Destroying America, Is Hip Hop A Threat To Our Children or Should Rappers Be Accountable For Their Lyrics? You be the judge. Earlier this year the song “Karate Chop” leaked online featuring rapper Lil’ Wayne. He raps, “’Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels/Beat that (expletive/woman genital) up like Emmett Till.” A few weeks later a song by rapper Rocko featuring Rick Ross was release called “You Don’t Even Know It.” Rick Ross raps, “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.” Yes, we have our freedom of speech right, but when is freedom of speech taken too far?
Many would say both rappers have taken their lyrical content too far and offended too many. The family and estate of Emmett Till have released a statement of disapproval over Lil Wayne’s disregard and disrespectful lyrics. Though his record label issued a statement of apology, the rapper has yet to do so. In the case of Rick Ross, a petition has been started over his blatant disregard for women and the issue of date rape. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that over 300,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted per year in the United States alone. That is a disturbing number and should not be taken lightly. His lyrics not only condone the behavior, but he boasts about it in the song.
While some feel it’s only entertainment, many feel it sends and encourages the wrong message. Several individuals and organizations have taken a stand and so are we. Effective immediately Muskegon’s WUVSlp 103.7 the Beat has pulled ALL Lil Wayne and Rick Ross music from rotation. We pride ourselves on playing music that is non-degrading and non-violent. While we believe in freedom of speech, creative writing and individualism, we refuse to be part of the problem by spreading messages that could harm or end someone’s life.
All I have to say is ‘nuff respect to 103.7 The Beat. The station has done what I’ve been arguing for years for black radio to do for its listeners: show us a little respect. There’s absolutely nothing cute, funny or entertaining about getting into the car in the morning, turning on the radio and being called a bitch every which way to Sunday by rappers who can’t seem to find anything else to talk about except strippers, drugs, alcohol, sexual positions and rape. It’s disrespectful to my children, it’s disrespectful to me and it’s disrespectful to an audience of people who deserve better than that.
Over the past few months, I’ve been literally begging one of my favorite deejays, Atlanta V103’s Ryan Cameron, to stop playing Future’s “Good Kush & Alcohol,” Lil’ Wayne’s “No Worries,” A$AP Rocky’s “F*cking Problems,” and Rihanna’s “Ball Out” during morning drop off. I mean, we all know the kids are in the car on their way to school between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., but for some doggone reason, V103 insists on playing those specific songs practically every morning while I’m in the car with the girlpies. I listen to Ryan Cameron in the morning because he’s a great morning show host—sensible, funny, intelligent and a parent who actually seems to care about kids. Still, there’s a huge disconnect between what he says on the mic and what gets played when he’s not talking—something I pointed out to him on Twitter and Facebook repeatedly, to no avail.
I’ve since stopped listening to his show while the kids are in the car. Which basically means I don’t listen to his show anymore because the only time I’m in the car when he’s on is when my babies are with me. I don’t like them being called bitches and hearing tall tales about strippers, sex and rape first thing in the morning, either. With all the songs there are to choose from, I can’t for the life of me understand why those songs and others like it need to be played at 7 a.m. This is why we stay losing. Too bad I can’t stream 103.7 The Beat into the car; what a lovely morning it would be to listen to black radio without Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross popping all that yang through my speakers.
1. Lil Wayne’s ‘No Worries’ Made Me Question Myself as a Dad To Black Daughters
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.