The founder of legendary hip-hop label Def Jam has called for three sexist and racist words to be banned from songs.
Russell Simmons said there was “growing public outrage” about the use of the terms, which he said should be viewed as the same as “extreme curse words”.
He asked broadcasters and record companies to voluntarily remove, bleep or delete the words from music.
And he suggested setting up an industry watchdog to recommend guidelines for lyrical and visual standards.
Simmons objects to the use of “nigger”, “ho” and “bitch”.
He said: “The words ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ are utterly derogatory and disrespectful of the painful, hurtful, misogyny that, in particular, African-American women have experienced in the United States as part of the history of oppression, inequality, and suffering of women. The word ‘nigger’ is a racially derogatory term that disrespects the pain, suffering, history of racial oppression, and multiple forms of racism against African-Americans and other people of colour.”
This doesn’t go far enough for me. There’s plenty of hip-hop and rap artists who use homophobic language and threaten the LGBT community. A New York concert featuring Jamaican reggae stars Beenie Man and TOK was cancelled after protests over their homophobic lyrics. Rap star Kanye West has called for an end to homophobia in the hip-hop community.
Who knew I’d end up calling for a wider ban on words…