Rap Music and Gun Crime Links Call

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker

Rap music which 'glamorises gun culture and misogyny' should be challenged in the fight against gun crime, a Minister said yesterday.

Culture Minister Kim Howells called for a national debate on links between rap lyrics and gun crime, warning the music would 'coarsen the sensibilities of our society'.

His comments followed the New Year shootings of teenagers Latisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis in Birmingham.

He condemned so-called gangsta rap for 'glorifying' violence soon after the shootings.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Howells called for a national debate about rap music and insisted the lyrics could affect people's behaviour.

He said: 'These kinds of lyrics, these kinds of images do not turn people into murderers but what they do is coarsen our sensibilities as a society and we should be very, very wary of that because it ends up in some very dangerous places.

'There are times when, if we do not say these things, there is an assumption that somehow they should be accepted, that they are a valid expression of a community or whatever. …