Ja Rule

In 1999, African American rapper Ja Rule and his band (the Murderers) were ordered by their record label to remove lyrics about violence against police officers and gays from their new album. Ja Rule in turn accused the label of discrimination. How so? It had raised no objection to the band's equally derogatory lyrics concerning... African Americans!

[The word "rap" first appeared in print in 1923; it meant "to criticize." In the early 1960s, civil rights activists rediscovered the word and used it to denote sessions in which internal differences within the movement were aired and resolved. It then evolved into hippy and, later still, hip music slang...]

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