One of the reasons debates about the harmful effects of music are as rewarding and productive as yelling at your fellow motorists on the freeway is because, well, musicians are stupid. Even the good ones, or maybe especially the good ones. And so, because they are stupid, they have a hard time making cogent counter-arguments to the people who want music to be less violent or offensive or pseudo-Satanic. All musicians can do in response is throw out vague notions about the First Amendment or go with the old “you don’t have to listen to it.”
Take, for example, 50 Cent. Challenging him to defend the violence in his music is a little like challenging a construction worker to defend knocking down a building: it’s not really his job, you know? Of course, get him to defend swearing in his music, and you get a hilarious rant about pornography, white men, and “a male organ”:
I can write around the curses if I want to, but you can’t tell me to write around the curses. First of all, there’s a clean version of the record available, anyway, if people don’t want to hear that content. This is adult entertainment. Why is pornography legal? Wouldn’t you say that the women who do pornography are hos? They get paid $1,000 to fuck on tape. You understand? And we can’t say ‘ho’? And who’s the leading consumer for pussy on a tape? Middle-aged white men.
These white men are buying the pussy from the hos because they aren’t being sexually fulfilled by the women they have in their traditional lifestyle at home. And they go outside for the thrills without any attachment, so when they go home, there’s no phone number or nobody calling who can ruin their fuckin’ lives. So it’s understandable why pornography is the way it is. But after all that, why is somebody worried about me saying ‘ho’? I make up different terminology all the time. I made an effort to make a reference to a male organ without being disrespectful in a woman’s presence on “Candy Shop.” If you say “penis, cock, dick,” whatever way you want to say it, that’s going to be disrespectful in the presence of some women, so I said, “the magic stick” and “the candy shop” is the bedroom and the “amusement park” is the bedroom, trying to come up with a way to do it where you’re not being disrespectful. But those efforts apparently don’t mean very much.
No, Curtis, sadly, they do not.
Oh, also, Tony Yayo says Ghostface didn’t write Supreme Clientele. Good times!