Could rap lyrics shift after Wayne, Ross mishaps?
NEW YORK (AP) - Since it began, rap has found ways to offend. Whether for political content, sexual imagery, misogyny, violence or coarse humour, rappers have found themselves having to defend their words on a regular basis, no matter how innocuous - or extreme.
Those defences have typically been defiant. So it was a bit startling when both Lil Wayne and Rick Ross - under intense fire over rhymes deemed offensive - gave mea culpas for their words amid threats of boycotts and a loss of major endorsements.
Their contrition, and the success of their detractors in getting them dropped by major corporations, raises the question: Could the close attention paid to lyrics today - mainly because of the digital age and social media - find some rappers toning down their words, or compromising artistry, to satisfy others? Ebro Darden, the programme director of New York's Hot 97 radio station, thinks rappers may become more mindful, but isn't convinced this is a tipping point in the genre.
"I think they'll be more cautious about the disrespect they show toward a specific situation," he said. "I think hip-hop is a culture of people speaking what they feel and see... I think it does get out of balance sometimes and I think that's the main issue people have with hip-hop."