2007_05_ARTS_SHARPTONMARCH.pngThe firing of Don Imus has caused many to take a look at language in not only media, but music. As previously mentioned, Al Sharpton is one looking to clean up what we hear, and yesterday he led a march against racist and sexist lyrics, targeting the major labels. Around 400 others joined him in a march around midtown, outside companies like Universal Music Group. The topic reportedly carried over to a private gathering at the Apollo later on, for what would have been James Brown's 74th birthday.

The march, a group which included several of James Brown's children, shouted things like "Decency Now" and "Enough is Enough." Sharpton said, "We're saying there must be one standard. You can't have different standards for different people. Once we finish with the record companies, we must deal with the HBOs and others." He went on to say, “Just like you can’t make records against gays, you can’t make records against Italians or Jews, why do we allow those records?” TMZ (who have video of the march) points out that "the soapboxer has a history of firing off blatantly offensive slurs himself -- for which he's reportedly never apologized."

"The Ceo of Hip Hop" Russell Simmons (and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network) have been speaking out about making a change as well, and specifically removing these three words from the recording industry - which has gotten responses from just about everyone. But how are the major labels responding? Warner Music Group made the following statement: "We take issues regarding the role of women and minorities in society very seriously. ... We edit explicit lyrics, including those that are the focus of the current public debate, from content."