Let me tell you, it’s so good to know I’m not alone in my hatred for what Black radio is serving our kids (and us grown folk!): A new group out of Chicago is going after radio stations and their advertisers for filling the airwaves with misogynistic, violent, sexually-explicit music. The Clear the Airwaves Project, led by founder Kwabena Rasuli, says the music being played on radio should be for adults only, and inaccessible on free, public radio that our kids can access at any time. But instead of protesting outside Chicago’s Hip Hop stations, Rasuli’s group is getting gully: they’re protesting the advertisers who hawk their products between songs whose lyrical content make hardened criminals and porn stars blush. For the past two months, The Clear the Airwaves Project has been standing outside black-owned McDonald’s restaurants on Chicago’s South Side, holding placards with warnings about the music being played on the station and its easy access for kids. Their thinking: if radio stations refuse to stop playing music that consistently disrespects Black women, celebrates illicit drug use and refers to its audience as nothing more than a bunch of broke niggers who can’t keep up with their rampant excess, perhaps taking away their money source will make the radio station’s listen. “We feel that the music being played on the radio is influencing our children and is detrimental and should be for adults only,” Rasuli told the Chicago Sun Times, noting that in about 90 percent of the songs, artists are dropping the “N bomb” and in about 80 percent, “they are calling our sisters the B-word.” “This is music that encourages girls to be strippers and young men to kill each other, to pop mollies or Ecstasy pills, and to be unrealistically materialistic.” Say that. I’ve made no bones about how disgusted I am with Black radio and its blatant disregard for us, the listeners. For years, stretching back to MyBrownBaby’s founding in 2008, I’ve asked time and again why popular urban hip hop and R&B stations continue to disrespect us by playing songs that wax ad nauseam about phat asses, red bones, illicit drugs, alcohol abuse, cunnilingus, a variety of sexual positions and strip club antics. And I’ve used this space to shout from the innanet rooftops, “No! More!” While there are plenty who are completely desensitized to the foolishness, I would venture to say that plenty more of us know better than to let our kids rock out to this madness. Seriously, have you any idea what they’re saying in the song, “Tap Out,” and does anyone in their right mind think it should be playing 8 in the morning during elementary school drop off? Of course, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association has nothing to say about the campaign; they chose to decline comment when the Sun Times reached out to them. Why be a part of the solution when you can continue to hawk fat-laden hamburgers and salty fries to Black folk in between songs telling us women that we “bitches” ain’t sh*t but hoes and tricks to be used at a man’s discretion, whenever the mood strikes him? Clear Channel Communications—as the nation’s largest radio media conglomerate, it owns a web of urban hip hop stations across the America’s radio dial—said it’s “always open to having dialogue with members of the community and listening to their concerns.” Right. This is the same company that makes comfortable seats at the mic for conservative media darlings Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, the crown jewels in Clear Channel’s programming. Meanwhile, Clear Channel pumps sexually-explicit, degrading Lil’ Wayne, Nikki Minaj and Rick Ross songs into as many car radios as they can in our communities. Think about that. Then extend a round of applause and a helping hand to Rasuli’s The Clear the Airwaves Project in Chicago, the only somebodies who seem to give a damn.
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.