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Musical Censorship

             People love to argue about the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. However every now and then consequential actions towards hip-hop artists remind music artists in general that those rights are not always protected. Society and government are not the only ones that try to censor hip-hop artists but so do label executives and distributors. On the other hand, society does not understand that most music artists feed from the anger that these issues create. Some artists use these comments and persecutions to add to their array of talented lyrical abilities. They practically spit back in the face of society, showing no fear and remorse towards what they have said in their songs. They look at life as a “struggle” as one group Dead Prez claims, putting on paper what they believe in to make a better life for themselves and their people. This article is on an interview with rap group Dead Prez taken out of a “Music Matters” page in the December 2000 edition of The Source magazine. Dead Prez’s lyrics are an example of society’s views on music. Consisting of two rappers that strongly disagree with the United States government and who are supporters of many political prisoners, here and all around the world, Dead Prez is always being criticized by police and political organizations for the lyrical content in all of their songs and their black supremacist views towards society. Dead Prez has vowed to continue their “struggle” as they call it and continue putting down lyrics and ideas that they believe in and support on paper.
             An annual concert called Black August taking place in Irving Plaza owned by SFX Entertainment recently demanded that Dead Prez be removed from the show. Black August is a fund-raiser for political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sundiata Acoli as well as for music equipment for hip-hop artists in Cuba. But Dead Prez member stic.