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."
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."
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
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.
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