Gun Crime: Don't Let Music Take the Rap
IT'S right to search for the causes of the horrific shooting of two teenage girls in Birmingham, but why blame it on a one-sided view of the lyrics in black music?
There are violent rhymes in rap music - as there are in other musical styles - and most would agree that where art glorifies violence and celebrates misogyny it should be condemned.
How about this: 'I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man You'd better run for your life if you can, little girl Catch you with another man, that's the end.' Eminem? So Solid Crew?
No, Lennon and McCartney.
And there are plenty of other examples of hateful, boasting and macho lyrics in British rock and pop.
Many contemporary rap and garage acts have strong anti-violence messages.
For each violent lyric there are some powerful alternatives.
'Every day I wake I feel like crying.
Every second I feel like praying.
Everywhere I turn my people dying, Gun in his pocket and crack in his possession.
Damn hypocrite, don't be disillusioned.
Yeah, life is tough but that's no solution.
You g'wan like yer brave, that's an illusion.' That's from Watch Over Them by Ms Dynamite.
It does more to help our communities' struggle to end violence to highlight the messages of peace by today's young musicians.
Dr BEN BOWLING, King's College, London WC2.
IT'S right to criticise black rap music for promoting gun culture - particularly because it also incites explicit acts of violence against white people.
If white bands released songs asking for blacks to be shot, the liberals in the BBC would be outraged.
But in today's politically correct world, it's apparently OK for blacks to spout this hatred against white people, because black people are victims so cannot be classed as 'evil' or 'racist'.
None of these artists has been taken to court under David Blunkett's new law against 'inciting racial hatred'. The BBC actually promotes such racism on its digital black radio station 1XTRA, paid for by TV licence payers.
Note these examples: 'I kill a devil right now, I say kill whitey all nightey long.
I stabbed a ****ing Jew with a steeple, I would kill a cracker for nothing, just for the **** of it.
Menace Clan kill a cracker; jack 'em even quicker, Catch that devil slipping; blow his ****ing brains out.' **** A Record Deal; Menace Clan, Da Hood, 1995, Rap-A-Lot Records, Noo Trybe Records, subsidiaries of EMI.
'Kill the white people; we gonna make them hurt; Kill the white people; but buy my record first; ha, ha ha.' Kill d'White People; Apache, Apache Ain't S***, 1993, Tommy Boy Music, Time Warner.
Excuse the foul language: I'm only quoting the lyrics.
MARK LOND, London E12.
Reap what you rap
LYRICS do influence. As a probation officer in the 1960s, I attended a conference on drug abuse at which a psychiatrist asked: 'Have your parents listened to your teenagers' records?' He saw that words influence people, which is why we have advertising. Yet for more than three decades this idea has been scoffed at - to our detriment.
Now we no longer influence our youngsters with good values such as the Ten Commandments. Instead, we subject them to a constant diet of messages advocating sex, drugs and violence, through TV, films, videos and the music industry, including rap.
We are reaping what we've sown in horrendous social problems and gun crimes.
Are our legislators really so na've that they cannot see cause and effect, or are they part of the problem?
TERENCE SCARBOROUGH, Tavistock, Devon.
IT IS entirely predictable, and wrong, that the Government and other political figures should blame garage and rap music for the rise in gun and drug-related crime. …