*As I was driving through the South Side of Chicago last week, I was simply amazed at the staggering number of Black gang
members I saw posted up on street corners, porches and in front of businesses. These young Black men and women are hardened “front line gang members” who would take your life in a nano-second if you looked at them wrong and would not think twice or have any remorse if you were on the receiving end of a bullet.
As I traveled from 79th Street to 35th Street, I noticed that all of these young people were listening to the radio station that plays Rap Music.
Being a fan of Rap Music myself and working with Rap artists for the last 15 years, obviously I have to be on top of my game as far as this genre of music goes. As I tuned into that station and listened for over one hour, I was totally blown away by the “LYRICS” I heard on each song that was played. Nothing but tall tales about drug dealing and gang banging and how each one of these artists was now crowned a “BOSS.”
The first song I heard was about “selling drugs over the iPhone and how the artist would “front” his purchaser some kilo’s of cocaine for doing a substantial amount of business with him. The second song I heard was called “White Bricks.” This song’s whole focus was about the price of the cocaine the artist was selling which was listed at 36K per kilo. The third song I heard was called “LET ME HIT IT FROM THE BACK CAUSE I LIKE IT LIKE THAT.” Obviously, I don’t need to inform you about the focus of THIS song ! Up after that was a song giving props to the various gangs in Chicago and the artist’s affiliation with a particular set he “puts min work for.” (For those of you reading this who don’t understand what “puttin’ in work” is… it means Robbing, Stealing, Fighting, Shooting etc.)
After a commercial break, we were blessed with another song that focused on “DRINKIN’ SYRUP.” In the song, we were told that this drink could be “Purple or Pink” depending upon what color your mixing ingredient is ! Again, for those of you who don’t know what “Drinkin Syrup” is, it means getting high on narcotic laced cough syrup. Also known as “LEAN”. ( They call it LEAN because the person gets so high that they LEAN to the side and pass out from it’s effects ) Now isn’t that just lovely !
Up next on our countdown to happiness was a song called “ Somebody Lied… I’m not a star… I got a Chopper in the car.” ( A Chopper is an Automatic Assault Rifle” ) What a great Holiday gift.
Finally, we got to the “LOVE SONG” of the hour which is called “ALL I WANT IS A QUICKIE”. The lyrics go… “ No love, no commitment, no hickies… I just want a QUICKIE !” Just the type of song most fathers and mothers want their daughter’s to know the words to!
To end the hour, we closed it out with a beautiful, thought provoking song entitled “TONY MONTANA.” The focus of this song is “DRUG DEALING” with International Crooks !
Now I am all for freedom of speech, but certain things such as “drug dealing” and “gang bangin” shouldn’t be promoted on “day time radio” to our young folks who are actively out there across the country killing each other on a daily basis. Most of these artist’s are “FAKES” who are recording these songs and they have NEVER seriously gang banged in their lives, much less sold drugs on an International level. Additionally, most of these “BUSTA’S couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag if they were trapped in one. It’s just absolutely sickening to hear these outright lies.
The thing that disgusts me so much is that I have personally lost over 40 friends in Chicago and Los Angeles throughout the years to gang and drug violence and I don’t take this lightly. Every “shot caller” I know in Los Angeles and Chicago does NOT want to war with other gang sets if possible.
They have been through REAL GANG WARS in the past and they know the negative results that come from this. It’s the “wanna-be’s” and “cowards” who need “back up” to protect themselves who start all this crap.That is precisely why I am so concerned about what is played on radio these days.
Program Directors and Music Directors have a wide variety of songs they can play for their young audiences and in my humble opinion, they should check themselves before they play the type of music that will encourage young folks to deal drugs and gang bang. Most if not all of these programmers are educated, well informed young people who earn a comfortable living doing what they do and they have to know this is WRONG. Additionally, the Record company executives who FINANCE & PROMOTE this BS should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. This is NOT a game anymore. Young folks are dying daily and I am witnessing it up close and it breaks my heart to see the dead bodies on the South Side and West Side streets of Chicago on a daily basis.
Once again, I want to make it clear to my readers that I am NOT a fan of artistic censorship in any way, shape, or form. If an artist wants to put out music that pushes negativity… then do it. We as consumers have the option of turning away from this crap or pulling out our money to purchase it if that is what we like. All I am saying is that I personally feel that this type of negative music should NOT be played during “school time hours” and that it should be kept “Underground” if possible.
These young teenagers who purchase this music should be informed that the vast majority of these Rap artists who call themselves “BOSSES” and claim to have street credibility are for the most part just “Entertainers playing a part” and they are lying about their actions on the streets. More importantly, they must understand that “ALL STREET HUSTLES COME TO AN END”. It’s just a matter of when and where. And for the Record company executives who sanction this BS you better hope that you and your loved ones never run into any of these young gang members late at night when they are out hunting for prey. You and your loved ones could be the main course on their dinner menu. As for the Radio executives, you have the ultimate power in this because if your stations wouldn’t play this garbage then the Major labels wouldn’t finance their recordings and promote it.
Stan Sheppard has managed and launched the careers of numerous Platinum selling artists such as “DJ BATTLECAT,” “KOKANE,” “DJ QUIK.” “SUGA FREE,” “MAUSBERG” and “KAM” selling over “24 Million Albums World-Wide.” Sheppard also served as Co-President of “Jackson Communications” which is the entertainment division of the world famous “JACKSON FAMILY” and held the position of A&R Director at Motown Records for five years.
Stan Sheppard can be reached at : [email protected]