"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Thursday, April 28, 2005
An Official REACHip-Hop Press Release
Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hopwww.HipHopLivesHere.comemail: hiphopliveshere@yahoo.com

April 27, 2005: Join R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop at 11 am to confront urban broadcasters and advertisers at The 7th Annual Power of Urban Radio Symposium being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Park Avenue at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, NY 10017.

The Power of Urban Radio Symposium, co-hosted by Barry Mayo, General Manager of Hot 97, will bring together over 300 of the country’s leading national marketers, their advertising agency partners and senior executives from leading broadcast corporations to discuss and learn how to effectively target urban consumers.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition will gather at 11 am to advise broadcasters that the best way to connect to the urban audience and utilize public airwaves is to first serve the community interest by immediately ceasing the promotion of racist and misogynistic content.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop wants to make it clear to symposium attendees that marketing to urban consumers should not mean their degradation through constant airing of the “N” word and other racial slurs as well as misogynistic content. Likewise it should also not include violent promotions like “Smack Fest” and shock jock stunts like airing “The Tsunami Song” which had nothing to do with Hip Hop. Should successful marketing to the multi-cultural Hip Hop community depend on airing songs that glamorize criminal behavior and glorify substance abuse and other social ills? Does targeting this demographic necessitate playing lyrical content which calls women “b*tches” and “ho’s”?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that it is illegal to broadcast sexually explicit content from 6 am to 10 pm, but songs with adult-themes are plaguing the airwaves and targeting children. It is illegal to play obscene content at any time, yet words like “b*tch” , “ho” and the N word are used daily on urban radio. Why do advertisers support this behavior and why do broadcasters think this is acceptable?

Hot 97 (NYC) and Power 106 (LA), both owned by Emmis Communications, are the #1 urban
Hip Hop radio stations in the United States. Emmis sets the pace for what the other radio stations will do to market more effectively across the country. Executives at Emmis surprisingly admit they do not understand Hip Hop, yet continue to promote racist and obscene lyrical content.

“The younger end of the audience is very much interested in these street records. If Hot 97 doesn’t play them, we run the potential at some point of being viewed by the audience as a sellout……I mean, there are a lot of things about the hip-hop culture that I cringe about. And look, I’m a 50-year-old white guy. I don’t understand it…I mean, do you understand everything you promote or that you are about? I don’t think so.”Rick Cummings, Vice President, Emmis Communications Hannity & Colmes Show (FOX News) 3/8/05

“That’s the hip-hop culture,” Smulyan said. “Do I condone some of the lyrics in hip-hop music? No. No more than I do Rush Limbaugh’s show…..We reflect contemporary culture.”Jeff Smulyan, Chairman/CEO, Emmis Communications The Indianapolis Star 3/27/05

“I find it interesting that Rick Cummings admits that he does not understand Hip Hop culture. I can only assume that this is his excuse to continue to promote negative stereotypes and sexually explicit content,” says Lisa Fager R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop advisory board member and Industry Ears, President. “On the other hand Jeff Smulyan thinks misogyny and racism ARE Hip Hop culture.”

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop founder, Candice Custodio aka DJ Kuttin Kandi explains, “Unlike Rush Limbaugh’s audience, the Hot 97 audience is not made up of adult males, instead it caters to the youngest demographic - those not mature enough to always understand the indecent and obscene content.”

1. R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop is joining The Council Against Hate Media (CAHM) in asking New York City to divest their stock in Emmis Communications. Stock in a company whose radio station broadcasts racial stereotypes and misogynistic lyrics is not socially responsible. Help us continue to make investors and advertisers aware of the community’s growing disgust with Hot 97’s antics. As a result of Hot 97’s poor decision to air “The Tsunami Song”, Sri Lankans are asking President Bill Clinton to speak out against Hot 97. British Parliament has denounced Hot 97. Al Sharpton, Essence magazine, Zulu Nation, New York City Councilmembers, KRS One and foreign dignitaries are all speaking out against Hot 97. EVERYONE CAN’T BE WRONG!

2. ARBITRON: If you receive an Arbitron diary, DO NOT LIST Hot 97 or any other urban station promoting racist or misogynistic content anywhere in the diary. If just a mere 3% do not list radio stations which play offensive lyrics, radio broadcaster’s bottom line will be drastically effected. Stations need to know what you listen to so they can better meet your needs. They respond to your input by improving their programming. In the New York area Arbitron sends out over 10,000 diaries for each quarterly survey. Each diary represents hundreds of households. Arbitron tries to reach numerous zip codes and all ethnic groups.

3. FCC: File an FCC complaint form at www.IndustryEars.com. FCC complaints must be placed in a broadcasters public file and will be reviewed when the broadcaster’s license is up for renewal. Filing a complaint is more legally binding than sending an email or a letter to the radio station because the FCC is able to track the complaint and hold the broadcaster accountable.

BACKGROUND Since January 2005, the coalition has been centrally involved in the growing protest movement against Hot 97. With a long history of radio programming that is racist, sexist, and obscene, Hot 97 produced and broadcast an offensive parody of the We Are The World song which became known as The Tsunami Song. The parody included bold racial slurs and unapologetically mocked the deaths of Asians and Africans. In the aftermath of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters, Hot 97’s racist Tsunami Song parody was broadcast continuously for 4 days in late January 2005. Though it was played exclusively on Hot 97 airwaves, it was disseminated internationally via that station’s website. The song not only offended people across the world, but especially the 5 million people abroad and in the United States. People around the world called for immediate action against the radio station. In New York, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop has been at the forefront of that movement.

On March 4, the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition held a protest at Union Square in New York City. The protest generated a great deal of coverage in local and national media, but most importantly it led to increased support from youth, artists, politicians, educators, and grassroots organizations. Additionally, the coalition was instrumental in raising awareness about Hot 97’s Smackfest, aviolent and degrading competition in which women take turns smacking each other across the face for a cash prize. As a result of the coalition’s sustained pressure on the radio station, the office of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer is currently conducting an investigation into the Smackfest.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop MISSION STATEMENT:The Hip Hop Coalition is dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal representation of the diversity of Hip Hop Culture, including, but not limited to; race/ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. We are a pro-active body made up of activists, artists, teachers, performers, organizers, and individuals all dedicated to positive changewithin our communities. We believe Hip Hop’s true legacy belongs to the people, and we strive to utilize Hip Hop as a vehicle of social and political justice to promote education, information, and empowerment for the masses, while preventing the dissemination of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and violence.

For more information about R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop please visit www.HipHopLivesHere.com or email hiphopliveshere@yahoo.com.

first off let me say that my post yesterday is the harsh truth of internet journalism. Until i finally take myself into the field and earn the right to be a jounalist i will have to maintain my perch as nothing more than an uninformed observer. So with that said lets get back into the fray (hell if the republicans can say their opinions as facts so can I.)

So any how the above report reminds me of a similiar situation that happened oh 15 years or so ago when C Dolores Tucker and Reverend Calvin Butts went out of their way to isolate the younger generations by devaluing their attempts to express themselves. and while i do agree the Powers That Be in Hip-Hop hold the actual cultural aspects of the lowest regard. I know that unless you get the highschool kids and the college kids behind this, this thing is gonna crash and burn. Have we not learned that the best intentions do not automatically mean the best results. Instead of just picketing lets go the extra yard and convince the kids this is the right thing to do. As much as we all would like to deny it, these kids opinions matter just as much as ours. They are after all the future. so hopefully they get these kids/teenagers/young adults involved.

On a side note i am excited by the prospect of this thing (even though it just feeds into the endless cycle in the black community of "Self Expression V. Best Impression) I mean I really am hopeful about this(though why we need to get people like Bill "Gentrification" Clinton involved is beyond my comprehension). But really no all the negatices aside, this could lead to organized demonstatrations on other issues that effect inner city colored peoples communities. Just possibly it has the potential to get at SNCC level or Good lord day iI say it Black Panther power (of course minus the white "devils" slogan to back it)
posted by R J Noriega at 2:00 PM | Permalink |


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