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Mrs. Collins. Ms. Barrow, we reset the clock to 5 minutes after
we had them turn off the television, so your time has expired.
Ms. Glickson, you referred to the tremendous impact that hip
hop music has on young people. Could you elaborate on that for
Ms. Glickson. On the impact specifically?
Mrs. Collins. Yes.
Ms. Glickson. Yes. I think that the impact that hip hop music
has is â€” one part of the impact that the media entertainment has,
and I think that is important to keep in mind, but basically when
you see people your own age thinking about women in a particular
point of view and when you turn on the television and you see
women dressed very scantily and shaking it, and you see that this
is seen as an ideal, that plants like the idea in a young person's
head that this is something to aspire to. And, yes, when you turn
on the radio and you hear it, and you turn on the TV and you hear
it, and, you know, you read a newspaper and you see it, and you
watch a movie and you see it, that will all come together and defi-
nitely have some sort of effect.
Mrs. Collins. Now you say that the denigration of females is one
aspect of hip hop that deserves considerable attention. Now would
you tell us why you feel that way?
Ms. Glickson. Because of everything I have said about women
being portrayed in a derogatory manner and how detrimental this
can be. I think that it is one of the most important problems. I
think that the violence issue â€” the violence issue is definitely impor-
tant as well, but I can definitely see where that comes from on the
streets more than I can see where the misogyny comes from, be-
cause women are starting to be able to vocalize their dissatisfaction
more, and they are rising to power in the work place and things
like that, whereas the streets are getting worse.
So I can understand the outlet of violence in music, because it
is a reflection.
Mrs. Collins. Let many ask any of you â€” either of you can an-
swer the question here, and the question that I am going to ask
is, do you think that the record industry has a responsibility to the
consumer, to those who buy their music, their records â€” either of
Mr. Coleman, Ms. Barrow.
Mr. Coleman. Well, as a form of what we like to say
"edutainment" â€” educational and entertainment mixed together â€”
we feel like we have a responsibility, and I would assume that
since the record industry is also considered entertainment, sure,
everyone should be responsible.
Mrs. Collins. What do you think their responsibility is?
Mr. Coleman. Well, I can't speak for the record industry, but I
can speak for In the Mix, and our responsibility is to offer choices,
to offer diverse â€” diversity in information, and to be responsible in
what we put out there.
Mrs. Collins. Well, Ms. Barrow, do you think the record indus-
try could help resolve the concerns that youth have about the deni-
gration of women?
Ms. Barrow. I would have to say that I think that we are in
charge as listeners. We are in charge of what is going on. Basically,
I feel that the reason why the records are selling with the misogy-
nist language is because we are accepting it. I think that the record
industries are doing their job. It is supply and demand. Once we
turn that around and make something else more positive, supply
and demand, that the record labels â€” it is a business for them, and
they are putting out what people are buying, and I think it is our
responsibility as the listeners, not so much as the heads of the
Mrs. Collins. Well, Ms. Glickson said that now women are ex-
pressing their dissatisfaction with lyrics like that, that are
misogynistic particularly, and if women continue to do so, do you
think that their lyrics will change, either of you?
Ms. Glickson. Definitely, but it needs to happen on a greater
Ms. Barrow. Definitely on a greater level because, I mean obvi-
ously it is not enough, because there is still supply and demand.
There are not as many female artists out there, it is mostly the
male artists out there.
Ms. Glickson. Awareness needs to be increased, I think, and I
think that is what this forum is doing as well as what In the Mix
does, which is basically expose the issues and lay them out on the
table, and then once people see that, once young girls see that, they
can begin to take action.
Mrs. Collins. Thank you. My time has expired.
Mr. Stearns. Thank you. Madam Chairwoman, and again I want
to compliment our witnesses today. I think their testimony is elo-
quent and impressive, and I appreciate their coming.
I want to go to the first question, to Ms. Glickson and ask you,
you eloquently stated that the portrayal of women in much of rap
is, quote, more dangerous than people realize, using your words,
and obviously I agree. I guess this goes a little bit to what the
chairwoman has said too. What should be done â€” and then I would
like to Mr. Coleman and Ms. Barrow to comment â€” what do you
think â€” besides publicizing, what should be done?
Ms. Glickson. Aside from publicizing it, action needs to be taken
in terms of decreasing the demand that young people have for this
type of music, and that is not to say that I advocate censorship of
any kind because I think that the result of that would be an in-
creased demand, it would go underground, et cetera, et cetera, but
the action that needs to be taken has to do with education, with
teen empowerment, with making us feel that we have a choice in
the things that we feel, and I think that once we decrease that
need, whatever is going on in society to make misogjniy, to make
violence such an issue, whatever is going on there, it needs to be
I don't have an answer, specifically as to, you know, this needs
to be taken, A, B, C, and D, and then we will have a great society.
I mean I am not in a position to say that.
Mr. Stearns. Mr. Coleman?
Mr. Coleman. And then that makes me think that getting infor-
mation out is a very important aspect to this, because if young
women know that they have the choice not to buy a record or they
don't have to buy something or if they know about an artist whom
they may never have heard of before because they are not pro-
moted as heavily by record companies, or something Uke that, then
they will know that they have choices not to buy just one style of
music, they know that there's other types of music. I mean with
every negative there is a positive.
I mean every record label has probably a hard core artist and
also a very positive artist. What we like to do is offer those choices
where you can choose the positive or the negative and ultimately
you will have the power as a consumer to affect the record compa-
nies, because if you are buying the positive over the negative, then
the record companies will promote the positive over the negative.
Mr. Steaens. Ms. Barrow?
Ms. Barrow, I do think it is a social responsibility.
In the tape that was played here today, some teens came up with
solutions as to not buying some of these albums. Like I said before,
supply and demand. It is our own power. I think like Melanie said,
I think we need to recognize this as an epidemic so it can't just be
us over here saying, "Well, look there is a problem", we all need
to realize this problem and take care of it because it really starts
with the listeners. If you are going to accept it, if you are going to
accept these derogatory l3n-ics, then it is just going to keep on esca-
Censorship, I don't think is something â€” is a solution. I think it
is the Grovemment's responsibility to deal with some of the prob-
lems in the communities, then maybe the rappers and the artists
won't have to speak on such horrible conditions that they are in.
Mr. Stearns. Let me quote from Don Cornelius who is a host of
the TV show "Soul Train." He had suggested in our last hearing
and sort of advocated a more stringent system of record labeling
than the current parental advisory. Let me go to the heart of ques-
tion here. Using his language and what he has advocated, a more
stringent language put on the recording material, how do each of
you feel, just real briefly, if you could go, and do you think that,
as he suggested, that a workable rating system would be des-
ignated? And let me start with Mr. Coleman.
Mr. Coleman. I think that could be effective, but it is almost like
the movies where you have rated R movies and PG movies. If the
person that is taking the ticket money at the box office isn't screen-
ing a 14-year-old from getting into an R-rated movie, then it may
not be effective.
Mr. Stearns. Do you think, Mr. Coleman, it could be effective
like it is in the respect that in movies we have it?
Mr. Coleman. It may do more harm than good. It may promote
even more a record, a violent record.
Ms. Glickson. Definitely.
Mr. Coleman. I mean it has been proven that when you promote
a television show that says, "Graphic scenes included", more people
Mr. Stearns. But sometimes a movie that is X rated or R rated
sometimes, with some individuals, they say, "I'm not going to go
watch that", because they know about it.
Madam Chairwoman, I would like to just have the other two wit-
Mrs. Collins. Sure.
Mr. Steakns. Ms. Glickson.
Ms. Glickson. First, I am curious as to who will be the people
who rate the records. I mean adults? White males? That is defi-
nitely a consideration.
Also, I don't know if you remember the whole big controversial
scandal about a year or two ago with Ice Ts Cop Killer, that the
record sales completely increased once it was prohibited, and I
think that is exactly what would happen. That is what has hap-
pened throughout history; once something has been forbidden,
there is a black market and it goes underground, and it is made
even more desirable, and it would make a kid even cooler to own
that, you know, if adults were saying, "No, you can't." That is what
I feel the effects would be.
Ms. Barrow. I agree with both of them. I think like a label â€” like
an R-rated label attracts people because it is seen as, "No, we can't
do this, we can't do this", well, a kid feels he has power if he is
doing something that he is not supposed to listen to, and I don't
think it would be effective â€” personally, I don't think it would be ef-
fective at all, I think it would have the reverse effect and sell
many, many records because it is kind of like, "We don't want you
to hear this." Well, all these kids are curious: What am I not sup-
posed to be hearing?
Mr. Stearns. Yes. I believe my time has ended, Madam Chair-
Mrs. Collins. Let me just ask a couple of real fast questions,
Ms. Glickson, someone in the back handed you a note. Can you
tell us what that was â€” someone sitting behind you.
Ms. Glickson. This is Vivien Stem. She is our outreach director
of In the Mix.
Mrs. Collins. With In the Mix?
Ms. Glickson. Yes.
Mrs. Collins. OK. Thank you.
I just had a couple of quick questions â€” very, very quick. I believe
that Ms. Barrow said the Government should deal with the prob-
lems in the community and then the record industry would be
You know, we have heard that before Ms. Barrow, but let me say
this to you, that there have always been problems in the commu-
nity. You know, we have been studying sociology forever, socio-
economic conditions forever, and the music that we have now may
be a reflection of what we have, some of the things that are going
on in the community which are not good, but prior to this time the
music was not nearly so harsh, you know. There were musicians
who spoke about the conditions in communities, what is going on,
you know, and others, other music that talked about that.
Years ago, Billie Holiday sang about strange fruit and other
things that were happening in a society that was very, very dif-
ficult in which to live, but the music itself did not use the harsh
words that you describe in your testimony. You know, the state-
ments were not derogatory, they were not sexually explicit, and it
is my belief that these are the kinds of lyrics that just should not
Now the Grovemment is not here to censure, we cannot censure,
we don't want to censure in this subcommittee. What we want to
do is to make sure that this kind of music is not on the scene at
all, that kind which is derogatory to women and exploits violence.
The question is, I think it was in your testimony, Ms. Glickson,
you mentioned about the beat. It is a great beat. I happen to like
the beat of rap, myself. I wish I could do some of the dances that
you do, but I can't. But the thing is, if it is the beat and if it is
the music, if the Ijn-ics were cleared up, it would be perfectly so-
cially acceptable and just as enjoyable, and I hope that you would
think about that, and all young people would think about that inas-
much as you say, Ms. Barrow, that it is, in fact, the consumer who
has the responsibility in your eyesight, so when you go to buy your
rap music or your hip hop, that you would keep those things in
Thank you very much for appearing before us. You have been
good witnesses. Thank you very much.
Mrs. Collins. Our next panel will consist of Mr. Paris Eley, who
is the executive vice president of Motown Records, and Ms. Hilary
Rosen, who is the president of the Recording Industry Association
of America, RIAA.
Would you come forward, please.
Mr. Eley, why don't we begin with you.
STATEMENTS OF PARIS ELEY, SEMOR VICE PRESIDENT,
MOTOWN RECORDS; AND HILARY ROSEN, PRESIDENT, RE-
CORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Mr. Eley. Grood morning. Madam Chairwoman and esteemed
Representative. First of all, thank you for the promotion. I am the
senior vice president of marketing.
Mrs. Collins. Oh, sorry.
Mr. Eley. That is OK. It is good to be here with good news. You
had good news waiting for me.
I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the very volatile yet im-
portant topic. Given the passions surrounding the debate, I suspect
my testimony here today will do little to satisfy the extreme fac-
tions on either side. That is to say, like yourselves, I hold no favor
of any proposal that encroaches upon the First Amendment. His-
tory instructs me that repressive measures are most often invoked
against an unpopular people, and in a society as diverse as ours
popularity is a shifting sentiment. So for the good of us all, we
should not assault that slippery slope.
Now having said that, I must now say, in the strongest terms,
misogynv has no more right to hide behind artistry than does big-
otry. Indeed, it is bigotry. We must exercise greater vigilance as a
society to avoid aiding and abetting the spread of either.
As heirs to the cultural icon known as Motown, we record rap
music. We have always reflected black America's culture even as
we shaped it. We have recorded the great music of Diana Ross,
Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. But we also captured the humor
of Richard Pryor and the monumental speeches of Dr. Martin Lu-
ther King, Jr. Then, as now, we are our culture, and rap is an inte-
gral part of that culture.
One of our more celebrated rap songs is entitled U.N.I.T.Y. by
Queen Latifah, a premier rapper, performer, and television person-
ality. Queen Latifah is one example of the other voices coming to
be heard in rap music. She speaks on demeaning male behavior to-
wards women and offers an affirmation of sisterhood and self-
worth. She denies the power of the sexual epithet to define her as
a person and condemns degrading male behavior without self-right-
eous posturing. Queen Latifah poses for the listeners' consideration
the premise that abuse is not love and the precursor for physical
abuse may very well be depersonalization. Though her own mes-
sage has a street-wise edge to it, she delivers food for positive
We think that is how the contest will be played out. This matter
of entertainment versus ideology will be decided in today's market-
place to a great extent by young consumers whose personalities
will be shaped by their homes, church, neighbors, ana their views
of our societal institutions. All have an impact to a greater or less-
er degree on the moral choices our young people make. So in a real
sense their choices will say a lot about us as well.
At Motown, as in other companies, our employees are parents,
uncles, and decent people, many who live in the communities most
affected by our social ills. They too, want an environment of civility
and respect. That is why, as a record company, we feel it necessary
to discuss both moral and commercial implications of artistic indul-
Finally, I say that we can ill afford to socialize our males with
a mind set that violence perpetrated upon the female is acceptable.
To do so is to accept an ever growing number of broken homes and
troubled children, yet morality for our children is an enterprise
that must be shared, it is not one in which the record company will
be the primary source.
I thank you for having me.
Mrs. Collins. Thank you.
STATEME^^^ of HILARY ROSEN
Ms. Rosen. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman. Good morning.
My name is Hilary Rosen. I am president of the Recording Indus-
try Association of America. Our member companies distribute
about 90 percent of all music sold in the United States. I am here
to present an overview of the positive and important steps the re-
cording industry has taken since this committee held its first hear-
ing on the explicit content of sound recordings commonly referred
to as gangsta rap. I also want to show you another side of the
young people who are creating this music.
First let me begin by reviewing the RIAA's voluntary parental
advisory program. In 1985 the RIAA reached an agreement with
the National PTA and the Parents Music Resource Center. The
agreement specified that music releases containing explicit lyrics,
explicit depictions of violence, and sexually explicit material be
identified so that parents can make intelligent listening choices
with their children.
In 1990 we revised the parental advisory logo to make it more
uniform. The black and white logo shown over here [indicated ex-
hibit] is standard in size, color, and placement. It is affixed to the
bottom right comer of an album, cassette, or CD's permanent pack-
aging underneath the cellophane shrink wrap. The label measures
1 by Vi inch on cassettes and CD jewel boxes and IV2 inches by
1 inch on albums.
The label was standardized to increase overall consumer aware-
ness of the advisory sticker and provide parents with an easily
identifiable means of singling out explicit recordings. Each com-
pany, in consultation with the artist, determines which of their re-
cordings will display the logo.
With that in mind, four things have happened since your last
hearing. First regarding the purchasing issue, we have reminded
the music community, both our member companies and independ-
ent labels, that it is imperative that companies adhere to the pa-
rental advisory program. Compliance is the most effective way to
exercise artistic rights while also exercising social responsibility.
The RIAA intends to be proactive in monitoring company compli-
At the last hearing, Mrs. Collins, you held up examples of some
explicit recordings that had deviated from the standardized use of
the logo. In one instance the warning sticker was smaller than it
should have been, and in another the sticker was missing alto-
In response, the RIAA sent a memo to the heads of more than
250 member labels reminding them of the proper use and place-
ment of the logo. Enclosed with the memo was a fact sheet describ-
ing what was the proper usage, and the memo was also sent to the
National Association of Independent Record Distributors with ma-
terials to send to their member companies, who tend to be smaller
Second, RIAA has recently changed our policy regarding the pro-
gram and its use by retailers. Since 1985 we have generally op-
posed the use of the sticker by record retailers as a basis for insti-
tuting restrictive sales policies such as 18-year-old purchase re-
quirements. At the time, we felt the sticker was designed to give
parents information as to the music and the recording and wasn't
intended to direct sales policies. We now understand the dilemma
that local retailers face if they want to make informed decisions
concerning how certain types of recordings should be made avail-
able in their community.
Third, we are beginning a campaign to educate parents about the
logo. Labeling of any kind is only as effective as people choose to
make it. Given that fact, we are embarking on a comprehensive
consumer awareness program to enlighten parents about the pro-
gram through a variety of media outlets. We ^^'ill encourage par-
ents to use lyrics as a jumping-off point for dialogue with their
kids, for only through this open discussion of difficult issues and
topics do we clarify values.
Finally and most importantly, I would like to discuss the internal
dialogue that is occurring within the music community. The Doug
E. Fresh interview that you showed earlier, I think, speaks prob-
ably better and more eloquently than I can about what is occur-
ring. No doubt there was much concern and awareness expressed
about the purpose of these series of congressional hearings.
However, since the last hearing RIAA has initiated a dialogue
with our companies and artists to advise them or the concerns ex-
pressed by legislators and political leaders about this issue. In fact.
at the direction of the RIAA board of directors we have formed an
ad hoc task force to discuss this issue and chart a course for the
Artists don't underestimate the significance and importance of
their roles in society and the social responsibility that this implies.
They are doing wonderful things to address root causes of issues
in their own communities. I have a list of things that artists are
doing in my written statement. Just a couple of things: KRS 1,
Chuck D, Ice Cube, they go to community centers, they go to cor-
rectional institutions, they are preaching safe sex, they are preach-
ing against violence, they are preaching against drugs, they are
giving back to their community. Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, Self
Destruction, are rap artists who are raising hundreds of thousands
of dollars for "stop violence" movements. A number of artists have
participated with the NAACP and Rock the Vote to encourage kids
to participate in the political system.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Rosen follows:]
Statement of Hilary Rosen, President, The Recording Industry Association
My nfime is Hilary Rosen and I am the president and chief operating officer of
the Recording Industry Association of America.
I am here to present an overview of the positive and important steps the record-
ing industry has taken in its responsibiUty for the exphcit content of sound record-
ings. I also want to show you another side of the young people who are creating
However, let me begin by summarizing the RIAA's Voluntary Parental Advisory
Program. In 1985, the Recording Industry Association of America reached an agree-
ment with the National Parent Teacher Association and the Parents Music Resource