Al Sharpton To Wash Out The Mouths Of Hip-Hop

By Allen Starbury  |  06/04/2007

Al Sharpton and organizers campaigning to clean up the lyrics of hip-hop music are collecting thousands of bars of soap -- and like your mother used to do when you had a potty mouth, they plan to wash hip-hop of its sexist lyrics, one mouth at a time.

In an effort called SOAP (Stop Offensive and Abusive Lyrics in Hip-Hop through Personal Responsibility), Sharpton and the city of Detroit, which was the second stop in his national fight against offensive language in the genre, on Saturday (June 2), wants to wash the genre clean.

"We are going to wash hip-hop, one mouth at a time," Tara Young, a local Detroit organizer, told the Detroit News.

Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Horace L. Sheffield III, pastor of New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, talked about the effort Saturday outside the Motown Historical Museum.

The campaign began last month in New York City with Sharpton challenging the recording industry on its lyrics, and Detroit was the latest stop, but organizers revealed they plan to soon take their efforts to Los Angeles.

"The 1960s were the Motown sound and James Brown," Sharpton said as he stood in front of the museum. "But they did not call us the 'N' word and they did not degrade women."

Sharpton went on to say that it made sense to promote the hip-hop campaign in Detroit because national NAACP leaders plan to conduct a mock funeral for the "N" word during the group's convention in the city in July.

The bars of soap organizers collected will be later donated to shelters and halfway houses for women, organizers said.