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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Alright minstrel Rappers, looks like the church is coming for ya too!


A local church is behind up to 20 billboards around Chicago calling for an end to demeaning rap.

Church's Billboards Target 'Degrading' Rappers
Local Rapper Upholds Move

CHICAGO -- A South Side church is taking a stand against demeaning and violent music by putting up billboards around the city Monday.

Twenty billboards denouncing music artists that demean women and perpetuate violence are going up Monday, according to a release from St. Sabina Church.

The billboards read "Stop Listening To Trash," and they name 10 modern-day disrespectful rappers, the release said.

Pastor of St. Sabina Church, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, said in the release, "If we are going to end the violence and disrespect of women, we must fight every form of negativity, including the music industry."

"When you disrespect women and you continue to demean a community or race by names and by language, that's unacceptable," he told NBC5's Alex Perez. "We can kill with our words."

Mixed opinions were expected from the public as well as from the artists themselves, but Chicago rapper Shala Esquire -- of the popular group Qualo -- told NBC5 he thinks the billboards seem like a good idea.

"I think the billboards are a bold step in a world that has been pretty cowardly lately. Hopefully it brings balance back to hip-hop so folks can move on to b--chin' about something else," he said. "I'm not going to say that we don’t use certain words to depict the reality of life, but it's becoming kind of crazy and it's getting out of control. Don't fix the music, fix what causes the music."

Among the artists targeted by the billboards are Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, and Lil' Wayne.

Meanwhile, Chuck D., the founder of political rap group Public Enemy, is set to meet with Pfleiger and Sen. James Meeks on Tuesday about the billboards and about rap music in general.

Mr. Starks

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