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"I want to look at not only the problem caused by misogynistic content in some hip-hop music but also some of the pain that emanates from this degradation."
—-Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush on hearings
CONGRESS EXAMINES LYRICS IN POST-IMUS ERA
Doug Morris, Edgar Bronfman, Master P Among Witnesses to Be Called
If it’s an election year, you can be sure the entertainment industry is in the politicians’ cross-hairs.

Remember the days of Tipper Gore and Frank Zappa testifying before Congress on rock lyrics?

More than 20 years later, we’re at it again.

Congress will holds hearings into media “stereotypes and degradation” of women, specifically African-American women, later this month, according to a report in today’s Daily Variety.

Titled "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation," and tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25, the hearing will focus primarily on hip-hop lyrics and videos that feature explicit misogyny aimed largely at black women.

Among those being called to testify are UMG’s Doug Morris, WMG’s Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Viacom’s Phillippe Dauman.

Illinois Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, which will hold the hearings, said:  "I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution."

Rush is targeting leaders of companies who put out rap music to examine commercial practices behind the music's most controversial content.

"I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce," Rush said. "But it's been surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing."

So far, the only one artist who has committed to appearing is Master P, a one-time gangsta rapper who is now committed to putting positive messages and images in his music.

"I want to look at not only the problem caused by misogynistic content in some hip-hop music but also some of the pain that emanates from this degradation," said Rush, who plans on having "representatives from African American women's groups" appear before the hearing.

Rush stressed that this is "not an anti-artist hearing, or antimusic or antiyouth hearing."

He said he's hoping for voluntary—not regulatory—solutions.

"I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now. It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility."

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