Ban bad words from rap

Russell Simmons - Co-Founder of   Def Jam record company

I have joined with the highly respected Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Executive Director Benjamin Chavis to propose a ban on three offensive words from all rap songs.

We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words 'bitch' and 'ho' and the racially offensive word 'nigger".

The proposed ban is not intended to censor the work of rap artists. It is intended to encourage  "corporate social responsibility of the industry to voluntarily show respect to African-Americans, other people of colour and women.

We have found that reactions to the proposal have varied throughout the community.

For example, Christopher Suer, a 22-year-old aspiring rapper from Brooklyn, New York,said:  "As a rapper, I don't really think the ban really affects our artistic expression. If a rapper really has something to say he should be able to say it without cursing."

Shelly Burnett, a divorced mother of two from Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, said she was  "relieved that someone is finally trying to clean those vulgar lyrics up".

A month ago radio personality Don Imus' faced public scorn and was subsequently fired from his mass audience radio programme with CBS for referring to women Rutgers university basketball players as "nappy-headed hos".

The controversy surrounding Don Imus' statements drew public attention to the use of certain offensive language in broadcasting.

Benjamin Chavis and me have recommended that forums be organised to help discuss and promote a "better understanding and positive change in rap music lyrics.

* See also, 'An insult too far', The-Latest   Columnists