Good vs. Evil: Rock and Hip Hop

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Good vs. Evil:
Rock and Hip Hop

Written by:
Chanel Auguste

In 1965, The Rolling Stones early hit, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction", is taken off of many radio station's play lists after they received complaints of the lyrics containing sexually suggestive lyrics. 1980, Pink Floyd's hit single "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), with its chorus of kids chanting "We Don't Need No Education", is banned by the South African government; Children upset about inferior education, adopt the song as their anthem. The government says the song is "prejudicial to the safety of the state". George Michael's single "I Want Your Sex" is removed from the play lists of radio stations in Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Denver, and New York, because of its explicit sexual content; the BBC also bans it in Britain. Later that year, heavy metal icon Ozzy Ozbourne is unsuccessfully sued by the parents of a 19-year-old boy who claimed their son committed suicide after listening to Ozbourne's song "Suicide Solution". In one of the most famous cases of music censorship, police in Dade County, Florida set up a sting to arrest three retailers selling copies of a record by 2 Live Crew to children under the age of 18, in 1990. Objections to 2 Live Crew started with the break-thru of their hit "Me So Horny". Similar prosecutions regarding 2 Live Crew record sales happen in Alabama and Tennessee. No prosecutions result in standing convictions. Members of 2 Live Crew were also prosecuted for performing the material live in concert. Soon after, the members of NWA received letter from the F.B.I stating that the agency did not approve of the lyrics to their song "Fuck the Police". ( However we as viewers of the media must keep in mind that there are always two sides to a story.

On speaking of mobilizing the Hip Hop Generation, writer Jesse Alejandro Cottrell of wiretap states: To anyone who watches MTV all day -- where P. Diddy, Ja Rule and Nelly dominate the screen flashing fancy cars, gold chains and an entourage of scantily clad women -- political empowerment and hip-hop may seem like conflicting terms. But hip-hop has been political in nature since its birth in the youth subculture of the Bronx during the late 1970s. Unfortunately what started out as a gritty portrayal of what was really happening on the streets has been perverted in less than two decades into a seemingly endless supply of high-paid corporate clowns rapping about little more than the fact that they're rich. Today, mainstream hip-hop is worse than apolitical -- it has become a tool to oppress and distract an entire generation of youth, especially youth of color. ("Mobilizing the Hip Hop Generation", by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Wiretap)

However, how can we as viewers speak of the affects a culture has on our society and children, when we look to media practitioners to provide us with what is going on in our generation, whether it being the Hip Hop or Rock culture, the media has always taken these two cultures and portrayed them in the light that best suits our society. It either being negative or positive. In the book Popular Music and Society author Brian Longhurst discusses the media coverage surrounding the suicide of Kurt Cobain incorporated themes of authenticity and mass culture. Explaining the rapid sale of Cobain's group Nirvana's music and other related goods. As a result then turning him into an icon, when he clearly was a victim of drugs and alcohol with lyrics that were often viewed as having a negative approach on his young audience (Longhurst 110). As a result of the information that that was provided earlier in the essay as to negative lyrics and such things within both the Hip Hop and Rock music culture, and its strong effects on society. This paper intends to display the bias opinion of media, through recordings and television, when it comes to music of Hip Hop and Rock. Within it we will work to look at the negativity...
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