Yesterday, the Reverend Al Sharpton orchestrated several rallies urging rappers to stop using the "n-word" and sexist lyrics, and suggesting public divestment from the music industry until it complies.
Dubbed "Decency Initiative," Sharpton’s plan is to rid hip-hop of the words "nigga," "bitch," and "ho." Legislation proposed in New York state calls for $3 billion in pension fund investments to be redirected away from music companies that distribute rap music with the offending lyrics, he said.
"Every record company has what they call a lyrics committee, where they screen lyrics to make sure they’re not against police, or gays, or Jews. Well how come they’re clearing lyrics against blacks and women?" Sharpton asked.
Uh hello Rev, my brotha, rappers are still calling gay men faggots in their lyrics. I’m not sure where he’s getting his information from.
The remix of rapper Busta Rhymes’ hit single “Touch It” featuring Lloyd Banks, DMX, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, Papoose, and Rah Digga also featured a line from Busta saying “Fuck you faggot, I shot at you!” Not sure about that? Click here to listen.
Along with Busta’s many many issues with gays other rappers have used the f-word as well including rapper 50 Cents and his hit “Up in Da Club.” In an interview published in the April edition of Playboy the 50 says:
"I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I’m not prejudiced. I just don’t go with gay people and kick it. We don’t have that much in common. I’d rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that’s cool." Later in the interview, he changed his mind on the P-word: "It’s okay to write that I’m prejudiced. This is as honest as I could possibly be with you…We refer to gay people as faggots, as homos. It could be disrespectful, but that’s the facts."
And the list doesn’t stop there. Over the history of rap music there have been more than a few songs where gay men have been referred to as faggots.
And while I am loving the fact that we’re attempting to hold rappers and labels accountable, as they should be, but we can’t focus on the n-word and ignore the f-word. Hip-hop is just as much sexist as it is homophobic and we need to address all of these issues.
Just as much as I don’t like having Snoop Dogg refer to me as a ho, I don’t like Busta and rappers like him calling gay men faggots and it sends the wrong message when we address one side of the issue and ignore the other. Like blaming the rappers and labels but not the person buying it.