Petition Claims Hip Hop Is Being Used To Degrade African Americans

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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger

A new MoveOn.org boycott targets Universal Music group for using hip hop to disrespect blacks.

The petition’s author, Erica Chiswell, posted the petition in response to an album cover depicting Malcolm X, in a way Chiswell says desecrates the memory of the slain civil rights leader.

“We are petitioning Universal, Def Jam, Cash Money, Young Money, Geffen, Interscope and all other subsidiaries of Universal as we are sick and tired of Hip Hop being used to promote the degradation of Black People, the high incarceration of black people and the corruption of black youth,” Chiswell wrote.

With a goal of 750 signatures, the petition currently is just eight shy.

Public petitions are not new to Chiswell, a former music artist who performed under the name Eryka Kane in the 1990s. After performing with Twista on a platinum record “Get it wet”, Chiswell went on to record four albums of her own. She is the subject of a couple of lawsuits, including one against her old the record label Big Score Entertainment which was using her stage name, though spelled Arika Kane.

In addition, Chiswell, who is in graduate school and works as a caregiver, has sued the city of Oak Lawn and its police force for $1.5 million for harassment and intimidation by a police officer. Chiswell launched a petition in support of her case on the website, signon.org.

The petition against the music industry says an apology to the African American community is overdue.

In addition to an apology, the petition states, “We Call on Lucian Grainge to stop promoting Hip Hop Artists who are being used as puppets to destroy what we created. We object to the use of our creative works being manipulated to promote Anti-African American Pride, Violence, Rape, and/or the degradation of African American Men or Women.”

Source:  petitions.moveon.org

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com


  1. Kelli Smyth

    February 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

    It’s gone to far, for to long. Can’t even listen to radio with your children in ear range. Sex, drugs and alcohol. Must videos today are like soft porn.They are trying to destroy our future. “Our Children”. Introduced my Man Cubs to gospel rap 116 Clique, Andy Mineo and Jazz just recently. Prayerfully they’ll totally turn away from hip, hop.

  2. Bentley

    February 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Yes, stop using hip hop to degrade African Americans, but the industry wouldn’t be so powerful if Black people didn’t BUY it! If those who buy it had self respect, this wouldn’t be an issue. We need to learn the truth about our history and teach our children. If more of us knew our truth, we wouldn’t buy this garbage. Why allow the children to listen to it? Set a better example and a higher standard. Stop allowing yourselves to be defined by a racist society. If we all knew our truth, this wouldn’t be an issue because no one would buy this filth. Instead of buying hip hop CD’s buy Black History CD’s. Learn from our scholar warriors who are out there educating our people on our history that white people don’t want us to know. Start with Hidden Colors and Hidden Colors 2. Better yet, if you like hip hop, buy ‘conscious’ hip hop instead. It’s out there.

    • queta

      February 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      kudos… hidden colors 1& 2 opened my eyes a lot. I can say it was a positive impact on how i want my black people to stand out. We are kings and queens not hoes and drug users. I mean some of us are on the negative end but that does not and should not define my black people.

  3. Ann G.

    February 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    My children did not listen to it and nor do my grandchildren! Believe it or not my family prefers jazz, and the blues. I would not waste a dollar on that trash called “hip hop.” I agree if Black people did not purchase this trash, there would not be a problem. Black people have drank the Kool-Aid and now they are paying for it every day!

  4. Redbone

    February 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Well I’ll Be!!!!

    Its about time!!! Shut all that BS down real quick and in a hurry!!
    we are tired of dying out here.

    Wake-up all you rapper-hip-hop junky crack-heads and take a hike!!

    Oldschool R&B, Jazz and Blues is coming back home to roost for good so see yaaaaaaaa!!!!

  5. Ashley

    February 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Lets all do our part to spread the word and get these signatures

  6. Hiroader2

    February 24, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Where I’m confused why AA’s line up around the blocks to (put their business in front of cameras) on shows like Maury, joe Brown, Basketball Wives, the reality show list goes on….

    BLACK entertainment doesn’t stop there., The music industry has an Willy Lynch agenda where the performances of their AA artist goes beyond the stages, It goes back into their cultures… So who ever *controlling radio & television has the ability to process trends in cultures, deviate heritage & history, distort social temperament…

    It’s progress the Obama administration is restoring voting provisions to non violent ex-offenders.,, Though ALSO petitions like this needs to cut out the * whole cancer from the FCC on down to the record labels… Behind the scenes names should be dropped & Some hands need to be smacked…

  7. ImABlackPoem

    February 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    This is not OK. It’s not OK to launch a full-fledged war against Hip-Hop music. Hip-Hop music is only part of the problem! What about Real Housewives of Atlanta? Love & Hip-Hop? Scandal? The Chinese who own beauty supply stores and have taken over the African-American hair industry? Black problems won’t be solved by “abolishing” Hip-Hop. We’ve come too far in support of Hip-Hop music – as a revolutionary tool used to exposed the atrocities affecting Blacks in America – to allow the bad behavior of a few to result in having us attack our own art form.

    Let’s sign the petition that directly confronts the problems that stem from white-washing Hip-Hop music.

    • Bentley

      February 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I was born in the ’60’s so I guess I have a different mentality. If Black people don’t like Chinese people selling Black hair care products, don’t buy from them. If you feel that strongly about it, open a Black hair care store yourself! I’m sure you would be a great business owner! Stop watching smut on tv and tell the networks to stop promoting this. I don’t watch any of that. Back in the day, we had a saying ‘where you put your money is where you put your power.’ I did mention conscious hip hop in my post that I actually like. Some of it is not vulgar and teaches Black history and is very uplifting.

      • Bentley

        February 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        I used the word s m u t.

  8. queque

    February 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Statics show that we are not the majority purchasing hip hop. It’s possible that due to the majority of our young people being in proverty they can not afford it.Therefore, the botlegging which is still a form of promotoing. We need to make sure that first our women, black and every other race realize how badly we are depicted in these songs.Our men need to be educated that by promoting this music your killing our future. Hopefully positive hip hop artist such as lupe fiasco, common, nas,tupac (most of his music),etc is not left unnoticed and the people who are against the current hip hop can help and be the ones calling in to request the positive rappers and whatever else we need to do to get them on the charts. Lil Wayne has a college degree, I wonder how come he doesnt make a song about how you can go to college and be a success as a black man!!!

  9. Wil May

    February 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Rap is full of crap, couple with Hip Hop full of Rabbit S___t. Half of the artists aren’t making any money and many never achieve their dream. Moreover, drugs, alcohol, jail, and relationship impact the majority of Rap/Hip Hop artists sooner or later. In addition, they bring down the black race as well as making disparagingly remarks toward women. Some approaching their 40s-50s and still haven’t grown up. Wake up fools. R&B is such a relief couple with other types music.

  10. DRH2T

    March 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    WOW!! This is all very interesting to me. As a scholar who has written more than 20 scientific articles and book chapters on hip hop culture I find it very depressing that many of you who have commented have little or no understanding of whats really going on. There is a significant amount of research (much of which I have created)that suggest many youth do in fact understand that some of the music is violent and sexist. You do not have to protect them from music as this petition is attemtping to do. Guess what folks, most youth do not blindly and uncritically listen to music and internalize everything they hear. This happens to only a select group of youth who “already” have mental and behavioral health problems and their problems did not start with hip hop. Thier problems started at home and in their communities. Music is art and as such it is protected speech. Are you folks out of your minds. Freedom of speech is the most cherished of all our rights. Parents should listen to thier childrens music and have conversations with about what is and is not appropriate. Trust me, if you think because you do not let your child listen to certain types of music, they are not being exposed to it then you are incredibly mistaken. Good luck with that.

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