Holy Crap I'm tired of this...uh...crap!
So tired that I'm not even writing in complete sentences.
A recent AP story reports that Congress will soon hold a hearing on "stereotypes and degradation" of women in the media with a focus on rap music and videos.
The hearing is apparently entitled (they title these things?) "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation"
AARRGGH!! Why is Imus' name in the title when the "focus" is rap music and videos?
FOR THE LAST FRICKIN' TIME!!
DON IMUS' COMMENTS AND RAP MUSIC ARE NOT ANALOGOUS.
Can we please remove Imus and his insults from these "hip hop" discussions?
He is neither pertinent nor relevant to any discussion with a "focus" on rap music.
Don Imus (to the best of my knowledge) has never recorded or released a rap album.
Likewise there are (to the best of my knowledge) no rap songs about the relative attractiveness of the 2007 Scarlet Knights women's basketball team.
Anyway, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, had this to say.
"I want to look at not only the problem caused by misogynistic content in some Hip-Hop music but also some of the pain that emanates from this degradation," the politician said, adding that the inquiry is "not an anti-artist hearing, or anti-music or anti-youth hearing."
Well, at least he bothered to say "some hip hop music."
Further quoth the Rep.
"I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now," he said. "It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility."
Here's the thing.
Other than rapper/former mogul Master P who hasn't been musically relevant in a decade or so, no one who actually makes the music/videos or even listens to them appears to have been invited.
Instead Rush went after the folks with the real money, putting industry bigwigs
Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Doug Morris of Universal Music Group and Edgar Bronfman Jr. of Warner Music Group on the witness list presumably to grill them on why their companies are paying hefty sums of money to dudes who say mean and nasty things about women (but don't dare talk about their mama).
Rush added that the hearings weren't going to be only about hip hop but other forms of entertainment as well, though he apparently wasn't specific.
"I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce," said Rush, who added that it was "surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing."
Taking a Public position?
Are you kidding?
I'll bet Morris has little idea who Tony Yayo or Lloyd Banks are, much less that they work for him (thru G-Unit Records) or even how much revenue Morris/UMG gets from their hit-making misogyny.
Morris definitely knows Yayo and Banks' overseer 50 Cent
but he has been one of pop music's biggest cash cows for a few years.
Besides, what's he supposed to say?
"Well, gentlemen I wouldn't let one of these nouveau riche hoodlums anywhere near my daughters, my neighborhood or my country club and I have no idea what they are actually babbling about most of the time.
Nevertheless, The kids love it and somebody's gonna reap revenue off this stuff, it might as well be my global conglomerate!"
I'll give Rush some love for actually trying to back the suits into a corner and forcing them to explain themselves and their business practices.
But chances are, (assuming they show up) each of those execs will have a lovely stump speech prepared and will answer direct questions by verbally moving around piles of high-grade B.S.
Hey, I'm all for discussion of why hip hop's mean side is still the most popular selling and best promoted, but a gaggle of clueless congressfolk grilling slightly less-clueless businessfolk can't possibly help Rush achieve the honest and substantive "look" at the aforementioned misogyny problem and its subsequent pain emanations.
Because none of those folks know a damn thing about either subject.