John Pasmore's Occassional Blog

Simmons to Save Hip Hop? by John

Russell Simmons

You couldn’t miss the story at Yahoo — Russell Simmons now advocates leaving some words out of the Hip Hop vernacular. So I guess we should thank Imus for all this.

Hip Hop has been billed as street poetry or the authentic voice from the ‘hood. But moguls like Jay Z, Sean Combs, and Dr. Dre live pretty far from the ‘hood, but still mine the same territory as guys hawking mix-tapes — they use the same language to maintain credibility with the core audience. Or so the story goes.

So Simmons public break with that is positive but…I mean it’s positive to perhaps let kids know that there is some credible adult in the Hip Hop world that thinks…err…says it’s not the right way to speak. As with everything associated with the whole Imus affair, the idea of policing thought and then speech is ultimately a no-win — does the market decide by not tuning in or do we legislate speech? It looks slippery at best, with a lot of people jockeying to be seen as showing up on the right side of the fence.

2 Responses to “Simmons to Save Hip Hop?”

  1. reyna elena says:

    It’s good that we are now going to bleep those words, but then again, are we turning into a bleep country? Or we American have now gone to the dogs by being way tooooo sensi?!

  2. PurpleZoe says:

    Paul Mooney has taken a stance not to use the word any longer.
    I agree with censorship to a point. Someone of a more visible hip-hop stature like Russell has the ability to remind the youth of the power of words.
    I’m all for it.
    It’s a dirty word…a left-over shackle still getting much use in locking up the minds of people of color. Term of endearment? Not really.

    Just today I heard a rapper using the ‘n’ word on the track of an independent artist who happens to be a soul-singing white girl (she’s not out yet but I can’t believe the lack of consideration to say the least).
    I consider that a huge problem. The lines are blurred enough already.
    The black community hasn’t even received an apology from the white community, though Japan received one…
    Once true accountability is taken we can all move forward as one race. Until that time alot of slimy politics are still in play.
    Things have gotten out of hand with the ‘openness’ of today’s media. There are children to think about. Designate channels for adult content and keep the mainstream kid-friendly… It’s just plain healthier for the children… and they are the future…pardon the cliche’.

    (Nice blog by the way…)


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