iTunes Canada pulls “murder music”

Most of you probably aren’t too familiar with murder music.  It’s a form of dancehall that’s been growing steadily more popular, but with some seriously violent and ridiculous undertones.

There appears to be a particular focus on gay-bashing )at least in the songs in question), even from quasi-established artists like Elephant Man.

So, EGALE, in conjunction with a group called Stop Murder Music Canada, petitioned iTunes Canada to stop the distribution of three songs they said advoccated violence against gays.  iTunes responded, removing the three songs and apparently even removing at least one of the albums that contained the songs.

It’s a pretty impressive move, though it has raised some controversy.  While no one seems to support the idea behind the songs, people are worried about censoring artists and the whole slippery slope this goes down.  Just because one group is offended by someone’s music, should iTunes pull it?

Frankly, the answer is probably not.  For the most part I think that retailers should stay out of it, but if someone is advocating actual physical violence, and it seems to materialize, then maybe it makes sense.  What do you all think?

[Source: Xtra]

One comment

  • August 6 - 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you on this one Angry. Although the line between hate crime and legitimate artistic expression is a narrow one, in this case I think iTunes should’ve erred on the side of free speech. As has been shown many times, violent video games, movies, and music are often not the sole, nor even the primary, cause of violence in real life. Moreover, I’ve never understood why society assumes that the ‘I’ in hip-hop, and hip-hop derivatives like dancehall, represents the personal views of the emcee. No other art form is taken so literally. We can watch a movie or read a book about a racist character, but we treat it as a vehicle for exploring issues around race. But when we listen to a homophobic hip-hop song, we automatically assume it’s an attempt to incite violence against gay people. I think Eminem’s duet with Elton John demonstrated how ridiculous that assumption is.

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