Congress To Hold Hearings On Hip-Hop Lyrics

Misogyny in Hip-Hop music will be one of many topics explored as Congress prepares to hold its first hearing on media "stereotypes and degradation" of women.

According to Variety, the hearing, titled "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation," will focus primarily on Hip-Hop lyrics and videos.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, has a deeper objective in mind.

"I want to look at not only the problem caused by misogynistic content in some Hip-Hop music but also some of the pain that emanates from this degradation," the politician said, adding that the inquiry is "not an anti-artist hearing, or anti-music or anti-youth hearing."

In fact, Rush would prefer to have voluntary solutions for the issue rather than regulatory solutions.

"I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now," he said. "It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility."

Despite its focus on Hip-Hop, other media will be face scrutiny at the hearing, which is being held by the subcommittee.

"I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution," said Rush.

Witnesses for the hearing include Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Doug Morris of Universal Music Group and Edgar Bronfman Jr. of Warner Music Group.

"I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce," said Rush, who added that it was "surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing."

Despite the struggle to get leaders and artists to commit to the hearing, Rush has received confirmation from one artist, Percy "Master P" Miller.

The rap mogul, who started out as a gangsta rapper, has recently made news for his new focus on creating positive images and message in his music.

Although witnesses have been named, a final list is still being developed, according to Rush's spokesman.