UK Hip-Hop Comes Under Fire from Conservative Leader

British conservative

leader David Cameron is speaking out about the damaging effects of Hip-Hop music

in the UK.

Cameron, who made

his views known Tuesday (June 6) at a British Society of Magazine Editors event,

accused BBC Radio 1 of encouraging knife and gun violence through its airing

of rap music. He singled out the station’s Saturday night schedules, which included

DJ Tim Westwood’s hip-hop show, which runs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

"I would say

to Radio 1, do you realize that some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights

encourages people to carry guns and knives?" said Cameron, who added that

his comments were an example of him having "the courage to speak up when

you see something that is wrong" despite the fact that "you will get

a lot of bricks thrown at you."

MediaGuardian

reported that the Tory leader’s remarks came in response to a question from

Good Housekeeping deputy editor June Walton, who asked how the Conservatives

would tackle the growing problem of knife crime.

A string of high-profile

stabbings have plagued the area in recent weeks, including the murders of Nisha

Patel-Nasri, a 29-year-old policewoman, and Kiyan Prince, a 15-year-old schoolboy.

BBC Radio 1 "strongly

refuted" Cameron’s accusation and defended its programming via a spokesman,

stating "Radio 1 strongly refutes any suggestion that the station condones

or encourages knife or gun culture. The station takes its responsibilities very

seriously and has strict producer guidelines that govern all of the output."

"Hip-Hop is

a huge international genre with a vibrant UK scene and that music reflects the

sometimes harsher realities of people’s lives and cultures," the spokesman

continued.

The station also

came to Westwood’s defense as it emphasized his standing as a respected DJ in

the UK and America who is active in various projects to help disadvantaged young

people, according to MediaGuardian.

In addition to

mentoring young offenders, Westwood serves as the patron of Feltham Radio, a

station founded by the inmates of the Feltham Young Offenders Institute, and

DJ’s at HMP Bronzefield, a women’s prison in Middlesex.

UK Hip-Hop came

under fire in 2003 when then home secretary David Blunkett labeled so-called

gangster rap lyrics "appalling" and vowed to speak to music producers

and community leaders in an effort to curb them.

Former culture

minister Kim Howells also expressed a negative opinion of the music by attacking

some rap artists for creating a culture "where killing is almost a fashion

accessory."

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