Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-02-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Views: Hip-Hop Silent on Safe Sex
2008-03-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


by Johnathon Briggs

I was on a nostalgic stroll down Hip-Hop Memory Lane, when a question popped into my head: When is the last time a song about safe sex topped the Billboard charts?

The journey was triggered by 'Ruzzian Roulette,' a music-fueled docudrama about the perils of unprotected sex featuring St. Louis-based hip-hop crew, the Apostlez. The film was screened recently by the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP in commemoration of National Black HIV/AIDS Day, observed Feb. 7.

The in-your-face film is meant as a wake-up call to the hip-hop generation about HIV/AIDS. Its message is direct: engaging in risky sexual behavior is akin to playing Russian roulette with your life. It only takes one bullet.

As I left the Gene Siskel Film Center, I recalled the days when the desire to spread messages about responsible sexual behavior did not rest solely in the hands of independent filmmakers or starving artists.

When I was a teenager, a myriad of MTV rappers bragged about their sexual exploits and capped it off with a bit of safe sex advice.

MCs rhymed about 'jimmy hats,' or condoms. Rap trio TLC donned condoms on their overalls and even their eyeglasses.

And who could forget Salt-N-Pepa's 1991 hit Let's Talk About Sex?

Though controversial at the time, the song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and encouraged America to 'talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.' An alternative version entitled Let's Talk About AIDS, was included as a B-side on singles for the song.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, as fear of HIV/AIDS gripped the nation, there were so many rap hits with safe sex lyrics that a Berkeley, Calif. radio station launched a Condom Countdown featuring such songs as Go See the Doctor by Kool Moe Dee, Condom Sense by Magnetic Force, Double Bag It by Papa Lindley.

The AIDS crisis is not over. According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, African Americans represent nearly half of all new HIV cases in the United States. It is estimated that nearly half of all Black men who have sex with men are already infected with HIV. For black women ages 25 to 34, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death.

Here in Illinois, new HIV/AIDS cases among youth ages 20 to 24—a key hip-hop demographic —were up 76 percent between 2000 and 2005, state health officials report.

Who raps to them about wrapping it up?

Artists such as Common and Ludacris promote HIV/AIDS prevention through their non-profit foundations. But judging from the plethora of booty-shaking music videos in heavy rotation today, it seems far easier for most rap artists to promote sex than sexual responsibility.

True, the hip-hop of my youth has long been usurped by rabid commercialism and radio-friendly anthems that celebrate mayhem, misogyny and materialism.

However, I urge hip-hop culture to bring sexy back—safe sexy.

Johnathon E. Briggs is communications director at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWS In 2020, being queer could be key to a courageous career 2020-02-08 - Remember, in The Wizard of Oz, how the Cowardly Lion—when he got to see the wizard—was like, "What? I already had courage? WTH?" ...


Gay News

OPINION 'Trans-formal' education 2020-02-05 - "The year started well, but substitute teachers were not told about Dave's name," my friend Pat told me. "My son was called a ...


Gay News

VIEWS Warren's America would center our voices 2020-01-28 - Days before I marched in my first Pride Parade in 2015, I waited anxiously for the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that ...


Gay News

VIEWS College for LGBTQ students 2020-01-22 - Finding yourself and becoming comfortable with your identity is something that people within the LGBTQ community struggle with every day. There is ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL The tabloid edition 2020-01-22 - Bath Door Balks at Booting Hostage Hostage Trapped for NINETY-MINUTES Suspect Subdued with Electrical Weapon A woman in a remote town in ...


Gay News

LETTER Impeachment 2020-01-22 - Dear Editor: President Donald J. Trump has been impeached. These words, for me, mean an intentional check on Trump's efforts to ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN LGBTQ parenting: The year in review 2020-01-08 - This past year saw many challenges to LGBTQ equality—but there was still some progress. Let's review the parenting-specific news of the year. ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL All I want for the holidays is a left earbud 2019-12-24 - Not really. My greatest wishes would be for world peace, a year of pain-free good health for all my family, friends, and neighbors, ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Childhood stories of LGBTQ, other social justice activists 2019-11-26 - Every social justice hero was once a child. Some became activists as children; others did so as adults because of things they experienced ...


Gay News

LETTER GroceryLand anniversary 2019-11-26 - Dear Editor: Twenty-five years ago, our beloved GroceryLand opened its doors and served its first participants! On Christmas Eve in ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.