Essay about Rap And Censorship

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The beginnings of rap are believed to based on African rhythms which were used as a form of communication by the native peoples. The lyrical component of rap music is thought to have been greatly influenced by Cab Calloway with his repetitive chants and scats, along with his call-and-response technique with the audience.

Rap evolved and gained in popularity in the 1960's when a few revolutionary "DJ's," including Kool DJ Herc, DJ Lovebug Starski, and DJ Hollywood, began to work block parties in the Bronx. They would bring in large speakers, hook them up to a turntable and play two of the same record at the same time, repeating the same section of the vinyl over and over by scratching it. Other performers would chant and yell
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Zappa's idea was dismissed, but the ideas of warning labels and ratings were reviewed, with the eventual recommendation that recording companies label their music based on content.

Who determined content, and how, became the issue as demonstrated by the treatment of the 1992 album "Death Certificate" by the "Gangsta" rapper, Ice Cube. This album was determined to be so profane that Billboard Magazine asked merchandisers to refuse to sell or advertise it. Ice Cube's British label, Island Records, then edited two of the album's tracks before selling it and without obtaining permission from Ice Cube to alter his recording. In one of these edited songs, "No Vaseline", Ice Cube raps about his former N.W.A. bandmates with lyrics such as " Yo Dre… you been a dick, Eazy-E saw your ass and went in it quick. "Tried to dis Ice Cube but it wasn't worth it, cause the broomstick fits your ass so perfect."

The language of these lyrics may be offensive to many, but if a buyer or a retailer is discouraged because of the warning label, listeners might also miss out on a song like "Alive on Arrival." In this song Ice Cube describes what it's like to seek treatment at South Central L.A.'s much under-funded Martin Luther King Hospital. "Look at the waiting room, it's filled to the brim like the County Jail day-room, nobody's getting help, since we're poor the hospital moves slow… then I begin

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