Radio personality, Don Imus, must have had his mind switched on and off when on his morning show, “Imus in the Morning,” which aired on MSNBC, he lashed out about the Rutgers women’s basketball team being “nappy headed h--s.”
According to reports, Dr. Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at USC, stated, “Ultimately the fact, that rappers are now being held accountable for something Imus said, shows the bias many people have against hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is often the scapegoat of everything gone wrong in America, but hip-hop didn’t slander the Rutgers women’s basketball team, Don Imus did, so let’s stay on point here. The point is, hip-hop didn’t invent cursing, slurs, bad language, sexism or misogyny, though hip-hop like so many other fictional forms of the culture uses this type of language as a form of expression, however problematic it might be. This expression represents the way people in the streets talk. It might not be pretty or politically correct, but it is a unique form of fictional expression that emerges from the minds and mouths of young black men.”
On Wednesday, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network called a high-powered group of music-industry executives to meet and discuss rap lyrics and the First Amendment. The meeting lasted a few hours which is stated to have been held at the home of Lyor Cohen, chairman and chief executive of U.S. music at Warner Music Group in New York. Some of the excutives who attended included T.I., Kevin Liles, L.A. Reid, Damon Dash, Sylvia Rhone (president of Motown Records) and others.
A statement released by Russell Simmons’ publicist stated, “Everyone assembled today takes this issue very seriously.” Simmons agrees that there is a problem in hip-hop, but he’s cautious against trying to limit rappers’ freedom of speech.
While everyone is rallying, apologizing and meeting together discussing Imus and hip-hop, MSNBC has other things to worry about and that is who will replace Imus’ 3 hour gap. Since they haven’t found a show to replace “Imus in the Morning” the network has been filling in their 6 to 9 a.m. slot with news coverage and features.