Special Assignment: Bad Rap

By: Jonathan Martin Email
By: Jonathan Martin Email

May 21, 2007, News 12 at 6 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA---"Pimpzilla" is arguably one of the biggest names on the regional rap scene. He has created a sound he calls "kush," short for krunk underground street hits.

His lyrics, like those of many hip hop artists, are laced with profanity, and in the songs, women are referred to as anything but.

"I use the word nigga, i use the word bi***, i use ho in lyrics," he said. "It's my right to do it. It's my First Amendment right, and I'm definitely going to exercise that."

Recent comments made by radio host Don Imus have prompted a national conversation about rap's lyrical content and whether rap is ultimately to blame for how women are viewed.

Brendolyn Jenkins is president of the Aiken NAACP. She says the music is "very degrading, very misogynistic, very troubling. The language in and of itself is abusive. "

Jenkins has recently spoken out against rap's lyrical content as a part of a national Clean Up the Music campaign, led by Rev. Al Sharpton. After speaking in local schools about hip hop, Jenkins says she's finding most young girls don't know the meaning of many rap lyrics.

"They didn't know what fettuccine alfredo meant. They didn't know what carrots mean. They thought they were talking about their mother's vegetable," Jenkins told us.

She says the images in the videos and the words coming from the rapper's mouths don't just affect how women are viewed by others, but how they view themselves.

"When the DJ calls all my hoes to the stage, the young girls go, unless you realize 'wait a minute, that's not me', " Jenkins says.

Kamille Bostick is teen reporter for Augusta Chronicle and mentors young girls in the Augusta area. She agrees with Jenkins and adds that the acceptance of abusive language is a sign of the times.

She says, "You can't walk up to an 80-year-old woman and call her a ho and she's going to be okay with it, but if you walk up to a 16-year-old girl, there's a good chance she will not slap you, because she's been conditioned to think it's okay."

But Pimpzilla says the words these woman call explicit, he considers endearing.

"I could be talking to my mother and use the word bi***," he said. "It is what it is. My mom understands. We come from that particular background."

But who's responsibility is it to turn rap around? Mona Gordon is the manager of Pyramid Music in Augusta. She says she even plays a part.

"I'm getting to the point where I don't even want to sell a lot of this stuff, because it bothers me, and I feel like I'm contributing to the problem," Gordon said.

The conversation will continue as long as rappers make music that millions want to listen to, and as long as there are people who speak out against it.


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  • by brent Location: suny canton on Oct 21, 2008 at 05:43 PM
    i think this is ridiculous. Noone listens to a song and thinks hey that sounded sweet im going to go have sex now. you are all idiots. people act on how they are brought up.
  • by REALRAP Location: ATLANTA on Jul 5, 2007 at 12:45 PM
    THAT MAY HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE MOST IGNORANT COMMENTS MADE BY A PERSON, I'VE EVER READ. SORRY EVERYBODY, BUT I HAVE TO CALL HIM WHAT HE HIS... A ******, AND A STUPID ONE AT THAT. ITS NOT EVEN ABOUT RAP AT THIS POINT, THAT'S JUST IGNORANT. WOW ~signed, a black man shaking his head in disgust.
  • by ya Location: augusta on Jun 18, 2007 at 03:20 PM
    This "rapper" (note the term is not used correctly as he is not talking about anything) sounds so idiotic. I grew up during the orginal rap explosion and at no time did the Sugar Hill gang or some of the other old school artists like Run DMC and Kool Moe D mention any explicit lyrical material. I am so disgusted that some of my black brothers and sisters call their material "art". I kept my old rap records so my sons could see what rap is supposed to sound like. The N word and B word is being used as some kind of rite of passage for fake bravado. Wake up future rap artists. It takes more talent to euphemise than just pick a dirty word out of the gutter. Curses on the radio stations that play his music. I see why some of the other countries think our culture has gone to the dark ages.
  • by Terrry Location: homemaker on May 23, 2007 at 01:39 PM
    If you want to listen to that in your home, fine. But if my children and I hear your vulgar lyrics reaching outside of your car or property when I'm in my car or inside my house, you have just infringed on my rights. Minor children must not be exposed to vulgar lyrics or obscene rantings. Our homes should be a sanctuary from filth not a target for it. You don't have a right to curse in public either, expecially with women and children present. I have a right and a responsibility to protect my family from evils such as this.
  • by THELMA Location: BURKE COUNTY on May 23, 2007 at 12:39 PM
    I FELT JONATHAN DID A GOOD JOB. I FOUND THE REPORT TO BE ENTERTAINING AND ENSIGHTFULL. PIMPZILLA ON THE OTHER HAND NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND GET OFF THE SLAVE SHIP. HE SET THE ENTIRE BLACK RACE BACK 50 YEARS IN 5 MINUTES. I'M A 65 YEAR OLD BLACK WOMAN AND IN ALL MY YEARS I HAVE NEVER HEARD THE WORD "NIGGER" ON THE NEWS. AL SHARPTON SAYS HE'S KIN TO STROM THURMOND, I THINK THIS PIMPZILLA MUST BE HIS DISTANT RELATIVE ALSO. THANKS PIMPZILLA! "YOU STUPID NIGGA"
  • by TONY Location: WRENS on May 23, 2007 at 12:24 PM
    I CANT BELIEVE NEWS 12 LET PIMPZILLA SAY THE N WORD ON TV, BUT YOU BEEPED OUT THE OTHERS. THE N WORD IS WAY MORE OFFENSIVE THAN ANY OF THE OTHER LANGUAGE HE USED. NEWS 12 SHOULD APOLOGIZE ON AIR FOR ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN. MY WIFE AND CHILDREN WERE WATCHING. IT ONLY GOES TO SHOW THAT AUGUSTA HAS A REAL RACIAL ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
  • by mona's friend Location: AUGUSTA, GA on May 23, 2007 at 12:15 PM
    I THINK PIMPZILLA SHOULD BE BANNED AND SHAME ON NEWS 12 FOR AIRING HIS "THUG" MUSIC. CONSIDERING THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLES' REPORT ON GANGS IN THE C.S.R.A. - ALL THESE HOODLUMS WILL NOW WANT TO BE LIKE PIMPZILLA. CONGRATULATIONS NEWS 12...YOU GAVE THESE SIMPLE "IGNORANT" PEOPLE A LEADER. I WILL SAY THIS...PIMPZILLA WAS HONEST ABOUT HIS VIEW...MAYBE MARION WILLIAMS, CALVIN HOLLAND, AND THE REST OF THE CLOWNS DOWNTOWN SHOULD TAKE NOTE.
  • by Tish Yeldell Location: Hephzibah on May 23, 2007 at 12:12 PM
    Rap is often critized for being derogatory, but it doesn't define anyone. It's just a form of entertainment. I love rap music and I don't think that I am any of those terms that are used to describe women. Those words do not define me. i know that I am a smart and intelligent person. In addition, I often buy the clean version of the album, which is sold at Walmart (a family store). I understand that everyone has different opinions on the issue, but it is just an opinion. If a person is allowed to give and opinion on an issue (freedom of speech), the next person is allowed to either agree or disagree with that person (freedom of speech). I don't think society is ever going to come to terms with rap music, the key is to compromise. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you like it in general, but not some of the terms buy the clean version...
  • by Charles Wright Location: Evans on May 22, 2007 at 05:24 PM
    I am sorry to see that WRDW would have the N word put into writing. Even though they blocked out the B word but left the N word in a slang state. You are only promoting what is wrong.
  • by JohnInFlorida Location: Sebring, Fl on May 22, 2007 at 10:15 AM
    Right on, Mr. Pimpzilla. You feel free to use your slurs. The same slurs that good folks everywhere have lived most of thier lives trying to eradicate from the English language for the good of ALL mankind. Go ahead and mainstream this same language to our kids, who pick it up and run with it because it's cool, in spite of everything we have taught them from birth. The only thing is, when my son or one of his friends calls you a 'nigger' to your face, you have no choice but to understand that it is you who have successfully mainstreamed this word back into the society you have fought so bravely to become a viable part of. Remember, it's now a 'term of endearment'. Hell, I guess it's better to make the use of these words so common that they no longer offend. Feel me, my nigga?
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