Iran on Thursday said that it planned to launch a crackdown on rap music, complaining that the words used by rap artists were "obscene", the state IRNA news agency reported.

"There is nothing wrong with this type of music in itself," the official for evaluation of music at the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Mohammad Dashtgoli, was quoted as saying.

"But due to the use of obscene words by its singers this music has been categorized as illegal," he said.

The Islamic republic’s hard-line officials have repeatedly complained
about a "cultural invasion" by "decadent" western music which they
believe diminishes Islamic values.- AFP

And in South Africa...

Rap music, riddled with derogatory words for women, is contributing to the denigration of women.

This is the view of Mmatshilo Motsei, the founder of the Asigang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training Programme in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, and the author of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court: Reflections on the Rape Trial of Jacob Zuma.

During the trial, women supporters of Zuma paraded outside the court room with placards reading: "Burn The Bitch".

The author said the word "bitch" was associated with weakness and a willingness to be dominated by a male dog.

"Nowhere is the notion of bitch used more abundantly than in hip-hop and rap music," she said.

Motsei said that rap music in South Africa had originated as a way of challenging the status quo during the apartheid era.

This would explain why predominant themes included racist police brutality, economic hardship, drugs, alcohol and violence, she said.

"However, since black women were affected by the same conditions that the black male rappers rhyme about, why do they attack women?" she asked.

The author said male rappers were increasingly using violent and misogynist lyrics that depicted women as "bitches" who are expected to submit to being "dogged" by men.

She said the pheno-menon was not a new one.

"From the rule of King Solomon to that of King Mswati; from the sounds of rock, reggae and folk songs deep in the African valleys; from Fela Kuti to Arthur Mafokate’s dancers, who gyrate while displaying their breasts and buttocks to a sexually addicted society, there is one phenomenon that has remained constant in a male-dominated culture – an absolute disrespect for women."

Motsei said it was clear that by employing shocking and graphic lyrics, young male rappers were following in the footsteps of those who had come before them.

She said a research study on the portrayal of violence against women in rap music, conducted by Edward Armstrong in the United States between 1987 and 1993, showed that assaulting women was mentioned in 50% of the violent songs. Although this study, Motsei said, concerned itself with rap artists in the United States, many young people all over the world listened to American rap music, or were exposed to it.

Accompanying the lyrics in music videos was the depiction of women as sex symbols, smiling seductively into the camera, wearing provocative clothing and dancing – usually surrounded by a fully-clothed man.

The author said that, starting at a very young age, girls consumed the lyrics and images in these music videos.

At preschool age, little girls had already mastered the art of moving their pelvises, just as they had seen on television.

"As is the case with pornography and tabloid newspapers, the portrayal of women in music videos is based on the premise that sex sells," said Motsei. – Mercury Reporter

But back here at home…

Rapper Nas’ new album "Nigger" will now drop in February…Black History Month!  And Soulja Boy’s "Crank That" continues to move up the Billboard Charts…

Soulja Boy Off In This Hoe
Watch Me Crank It
Watch Me Roll
Watch Me Crank Dat Soulja Boy
Then Super Man Dat Hoe
Now Watch Me Do
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now Watch Me yua!
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now Watch Me yua!
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now Watch Me yua!
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)