Feed on Posts or Comments 30 July 2021

Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2007

Miscellaneous Travis Hite on 25 Sep 2007

I got 99 problems, but elected officials presiding over the House Energy and Commerce Comittee ain’t one.


Chances are, the people in the above image are not exactly the target audience for the Hip-Hop video being shown. Members of Congress, music industry executives, and rappers gathered for a meeting, titled “From Imus to Industry: The business of stereotypes and degrading images”. The title is derived from the Don Imus scandal. After Imus was fired over his “nappy headed hos” comment, a question reverberated: if the members of the Hip-Hop community are allowed to use such slang and slander in their music, then why was his usage such a problem?

The meeting was a lot of what you might already expect. Prominent rappers, including Master P, were paraded on stage and spoke of being true to their culture. The important question in the debate seemed to be, is this creative expression, or is it corporate exploitation of black culture? It seems as if this debate will never come to a true closure. The corruption of youth culture has been on the tongues of parents since the days of Elvis. This comes down to the age old question of the chicken or the egg, does the culture generate the content, or does the content generate the culture? As quoted in the Yahoo News coverage:

“If by some stroke of the pen hip-hop was silenced, the issues would still be present in our communities,” rapper and record producer David Banner, whose real name is Levell Crump, said in prepared statements to a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. “Drugs, violence and the criminal element were around long before hip-hop existed.”

If nothing else, one agreement can be made by all in attendance. While there is a problem with the culture that throws around offensive words such as “bitches, hos, and nigger”, words that are demeaning and derogatory in nature, government censorship is not an option. If a change is to come, it is from the music producers, or from the culture itself. Of course, even if this culture leaves, another self-destructive culture is likely to take its place. Consider the following comparison made in the previously mentioned Yahoo! News article:

The hearing was reminiscent of, although tamer than, a similar event in 1985. At the earlier hearing, lawmakers where exposed to Van Halen‘s “Hot for Teacher” and Twisted Sister‘s “We’re Not Going to Take It,” and the late rocker Frank Zappa hurled insults at Tipper Gore, wife of then-Sen. Al Gore, and Susan Baker, wife of then Treasury Secretary James Baker, who were urging the recording industry to voluntarily police itself on song lyrics.

The cycle is likely endless, and the debate rages on.

[See the video webcast of the hearing here]

Miscellaneous Travis Hite on 06 Sep 2007

Long time, no write.

Welcome to No Soap Box.  This is kind of a Version 2, however the vast majority of the Internet might not know that.  To those who are new to No Soap Box, I welcome you.  In the months ahead I plan on covering points where medias such as music, movies, and games cross over with politics and how they may change your life.  It’s an exciting time to be writing about such things, as digital copyright is coming to a head with supporters of digital distribution and open source.  As well, a hot topic in the upcoming presidential campaign is the heated controversy between preserving the innocence of children versus first amendment rights.  I will be covering the stories as I see them.  Later on I will be taking on new writers, or perhaps some of the old writers; but I want to get this blog right this time.  There are half a million blogs out there, and this will not become another one of those discarded projects cast aside.  As well, I do not wish to waste anyone’s time until I have a steady foothold on this new blog, I will take on new writers as I work out the kinks.
To the fans of the original NSB, and especially to the earlier writers, an apology.  Your work, your effort, and your support, are all greatly appreciated.  However, as it stood, NSB was set to go nowhere.  I have saved all of the original posts as an SQL file to my computer, and at some point I plan on setting up an archive of the original posts.  In the meantime, to those writers, I hope your time here was not wasted.  I hope you all learned as much about putting your work out there as I have.  I also hope you had as much fun as I have.  For me, this has been a labor of love, and I hope I can bring you with me in this revamp.