Record Labels Accused Of Banning Rappers From Gun Ads

Police officers in the United Kingdom have accused

record companies of signing rap artists to contracts that ban them from appearing

in antigun campaigns, resulting in a rise of gun culture in the U.K. The officers

also accused films and video games for the rise in crime.

"There is obviously commercial reluctance

on behalf of some people," Commander Alan Brown told the U.K.'s Independent

newspaper. Brown is the leader of Operation Trident, which targets black-on-black


"I suspect they are tightly controlled by

record companies who have them under contract."

Brown also took issue with such popular rap

acts in the UK as So Solid Crew, which has a history of violence at their shows.

Last year one of the group's front men, Asher D. was locked away for 18 months

for carrying a loaded gun. Two other members of the crew were arrested after

three separate incidences.

Most recently, Shane "Kaish" Neil,

23, was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of illegal

drugs with intent to supply and supplying illegal drugs. When Neil appeared

in court, he broke down, wept several times and bowed his head during an hour-long


He was arrested Nov. 14 near London's Leicester

Square and has been in custody ever since; a judge denied him bail.

"There is a backdrop of music, literature

and behavior which reinforces the idea that possessing a firearm is OK, that

it will give you power or respect," said Commander Brown. "People

in the public eye have got to realize that if they are seen behaving in that

way it's going to have an impact."