Russell Simmons, the founder of legendary hip-hop label Def Jam, has called for the words "nigger", "ho"and "bitch" to be banned from songs.
Here are a selection of your comments:
As much as I hate to hear those words used, I hate to start censorship. If consumers did not buy the product, the lyrics would change. We should try to influence the people purchasing this music that that sort of language is taboo.
Christine Fowler, Los Angeles, Ca, USA
I totally agree that we should ban the use of those words. It is violently offensive to the African American community as well as women and people of color world wide. I believe that people respect people that respect themselves. Using these terms and/or allowing these terms to be used shows a great lack of respect for ourselves and those around us.
Stephanie Crandall, Utah, USA
I believe people should be able to express themselves however they see fit through the arts, just because a large group of people dislike "curse words" doesn't give them the right to censor something they can easily avoid in their day-to-day lives.
Lee Lucas, Yate, UK
I think they shouldn't be banned, those words are commonly used in our language and they reflect what's going on in our society... needless to say that "artists" will come up with alternatives.
Dave, Antwerp, Belgium
I wonder does Mr. Simmons think that homophobic lyrics are ok in rap music as he makes no mention of this being offensive or is it OK to be selective in which minority you offend!!??
Graeme Marshall, Newcastle
About time too! There has been so much degradation of females mainly directed to the black woman. For years this has gone on and has only become more and more acceptable in society today. I say the record companies have made enough money from such degrading branding of women and its about time this is stopped! It took a foul mouthed fool for this to come about...what a shame
Russell Simmons has not struck me as someone who has, in the past, at least, been a bastion of morality or clean speech. I applaud his show of concern, but I believe it will take more than an exercise of control over others to achieve the ends he says he wants. He will first have to show more self control.
Patrick J. Casey, Arlington, USA
I think artists in the Hip Hop world need to take a clue from those who came before them. People who lived under oppression and were able to express themselves, and discuss the world about them in a way that didn't reek of ignorance.
Jennifer Walford, Yonkers, NY
Racist and sexist insults have have a historical place in music, theatre and comedy for hundreds of years. Personally I find racism abhorrent yet comments that would be categorised as racist in today's society have for years been accepted in poems, plays and songs e.g. Shakespeare's Othello. Additionally labels to warn of the use of racists lyrics could be used and, potentially, a donation paid as part of the sales of such records to anti-racism/sexism charities. If the only way they such artists think they can make money is to use racist and sexist terms then they're obviously not intelligent enough to notice a few extra pennies being weened off for charity.
Charlotte, Devon, UK
Please Mr. Simmons stand against these words. You have power and influence and I have little. I spent years at Texas Woman's University as an Assistant Professor trying to uplift, empower and inspire young people to contribute and to make the most of their talents. The legacy of those three words diminishes all who use them and all who are subjected to hear them. Please continue until it goes away. Thank you for trying.
Sharon Warwick, Denton, TX, USA
It isn't the specific words they use that frustrates me, its the overall general theme of the lyrics. It has definitely glorified gang culture, and we can directly see the effect it has had on our youngsters in council estates. The truly annoying thing is that there is so much hip hop out there that doesn't promote gang lifestyles, just take a look at some of the underground UK hip hop and much of it has an anti-violence message, why doesn't this get promoted?
Duncan Stott, Oxford, UK
Yes I think words such as these especially the N word should be banned. As a black women to hear other black people say the N word is absolutely ridiculous. I don't see why we would use a term used by racist people. But I don't know how after such a long time they will implement this.
Many of us in the black community have been asking for this stuff to have ended a long time ago. Not only does it put back progress within the community but shows that those outside of the community will use the terms because they think it is cool to do so, ala Don Imus. I hope he spends as much effort investing in music which can not only entertain but respect members of the community, as a whole.
David McQueen, Watford, Herts