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Bitchin' About Billboards Again

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 20, 2007 5:33PM

Just when we thought it was safe to look up when walking downtown or driving our cars, the billboards have begun attacking again. This time they aren’t happy with reminding us about our big nose, fat thighs, and horrible mates – this time they’ve attacked what our ears are getting out of those earbuds. St. Sabina Church is erecting billboards that decry disrespectful rappers.

2007_06_trashbillboard.jpgThere are seven artists, per a call to St. Sabina, who have been singled out on the billboards with the slogan of “Stop Listening To Trash!” The seven artists are Nelly, Twista, Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, and 50 Cent & G-Unit. St. Sabina is no stranger to the effects of billboard advertising, as their pastor, Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, worked tirelessly for 14 years to get liquor and cigarette billboard advertising banned in most of the city.

No one disagrees that lyrics can pack a punch and be demeaning, but our favorite quote is this one from Shala Esquire from Qualo who supports the billboards, “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 bitchin’ about something else.” That’s right. Bitchin’. Hmm, isn’t using words such as “bitch” what is being spoken out about?

Let’s hear from Rev. Michael Pfleger, “When you disrespect women and you continue to demean a community or race by names and by language, that’s unacceptable. We can kill with our words.” Perhaps the Reverend should have invited Shala to join discussions with him, Senator James Meeks and Chuck D on Tuesday.