Black women’s groups urged a national crusade Friday to persuade the music industry to clean up violent gangsta rap lyrics that they said demean and threaten women.
In nearly two hours of speeches, they called for picket lines around stores selling violent rap but stopped short of asking for a formal boycott of “filthy” rap records and the radio and television stations that air them.
DeLores Tucker, head of the National Political Congress of Black Women, said the groups will put pressure on producers and distribs of rap music to “stop the wholesale marketing of this kind of music across America.”
“We don’t want to use the word boycott, but we want to bring to the community what this rap is all about,” she said.
“We’re asking people to put picket lines around these stores to stop this,” she said, adding that she was also upset by the allegedly “pornographic” illustrations she said accompany many rap records.
“We’re going to mount a major crusade and, believe me, women know how to stop what they don’t like,” Tucker said.
“What you’re doing is going to work,” said comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. “But you have to interfere with the commerce of America.”
Defenders of gangsta rap have said its lyrics are protected by the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech.
Tucker said her org has asked constitutional experts to research the issue in light of the violent nature of some of the lyrics.
“Does the First Amendment give the right to incite a riot, to incite killing and murder and raping?” she asked. “That’s what we’re fighting.”
Tamara Wilds, 19, said she “suffers directly from the brutal and violent language in rap music today.”
Wilds, a sophomore at Occidental College in L.A., said the repeated use of words denigrating women in some rap lyrics encourage rape and even murder.