Guardian: Promoting jail and gangsta rap as a positive caree

By Chris Campion | Sun 4 September 2005

Why the Guardian believes promoting gangsta rap and a career in jail is compelling journalism

The Guardian/Observer newspapers continues to promote the racist misogynist Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and his abhorrent gangsta rap ideology whilst simultaneously reporting on jail as a positive career move for hip hop artists.

Observer Music Monthly: Promoting Racism and Misogyny

Despite the obvious derogatory impact on the disaffected impressionable African youth, the Guardian newspaper continues to promote the abhorrent misogynistic, racist and anti-social ideology of American artist Curtis Jackson (50 Cent). The newspaper which gave him the front page cover of the Observer Music Monthly (OMM) magazine attempted to justify its front cover, nine page coverage with an editorial by OMM’s editor Caspar Llewellyn Smith.

Llewellyn ludicrously extols the need for exploring Jackson’s ‘fascinating account’ of how he assumed the ‘persona of a slain fellow gangsta’ because it makes for ‘compelling journalism’. But if this were true journalism then why didn’t the interviewer Chris Campion question Jackson about the immense influence his odious 'guns are cool' vitriol has on young socio-economically disadvantaged African people and its contribution to the increase of gun crime culture amongst African Britons? Why was the issue of Jackson abhorrent misogyny against African women not raised? Why did Campion not question Jackson on his perpetuation of the racist n word in his material?

Compelling journalism does not mean journalism without moral integrity. It does not mean absolving racists who advocate shooting African people because for a UK exclusive on a repugnant and exaggerated autobiography. It does not mean commercially exploiting detestable images and tales of African murder for financial gain.

As if that was not bad enough on the 2 September 2005 the Guardian reported on the phenomena of African American hip hop artists who have been to jail. Author of the article Dorian Lynskey wrote about looking ‘at what is becoming a rather good career move for stars of hip-hop’. In his investigation of the issue Lynskey admitted that Jackson ‘has finessed his own chequered history with the law into a major selling point: authenticity. Growing up amid poverty and crime can explain why violence plagues rappers, but exploiting it to shift units stinks of cynicism.’

Despite this he failed to address the fact that it is a majority European community who demand that record labels and artists produce these morally cancerous products. In Britain’s capitalist society the exploitation of a minority community is portrayed as acceptable if it serves the needs of the many whilst there is profit to be made. Nonetheless if an African British hip hop artist was to release material speaking about bombing Europeans for historic social injustices against African people then that artist would undoubtedly be vilified with calls for their banning.

The Guardians publication of the article ‘From Cradle… To Grave (Nearly)’ included images portraying African people murdering African people, African men using guns to threaten African people, African men murdering African women and terminology describing African people using the racially offensive n word.

Sadly the fact that Guardian chose to publish all of the above, proves there is a price at which some are prepared to compromise their moral integrity for blood stained advertising revenue.


Glamourising thug life: Compelling Journalism?

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Guardian: Im going to jail? Thats great!

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