Friday, June 03, 2005
MTV and BET to Air Special 'Hip-Hop Is Dead' Week
(June 3, New York City) Viacom's main music channels-MTV Networks and BET-will coordinate an unprecedented multi-channel promotion for an upcoming "Hip-Hop Is Dead" Week. "It's finally dead," said Viacom executive Tom Freston, "and for this we are grateful." He added, "An event of this magnitude demands that we leverage Viacom's assets into a spectacular funeral for a culture we've all tolerated for far too long."
The week will begin with a gala three-hour presentation entitled "Audi 5000: So Long to Hip-Hop", hosted by Flava Flav and C. Delores Tucker, featuring performances by Jack White, Nellie McKay, James Mtume, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and an hour-long speech delivered in grammatically proper English by noted anti-Ebonicist John McWhorter. "I will argue that 'Yo! MTV Raps!' caused test scores among rich white schoolchildren to decline," McWhorter told Playahata.com. "It is an American tragedy."
MTV Networks-including MTV2, MTVu, and VH1-will also air a half-hour documentary called "This Is How We Roll", a documentary about the Reverend Calvin Butts' attempts to stamp out hip-hop in Harlem during the early 90s, and a 4-part series, "And It Did Stop", tracing the rise of hip-hop culture from the streets of the Bronx to its demise in the ivory towers of the Ivy League, the planned communities of Outer Exurbia, the set of "Strange Love", and the offices of Bad Boy Records.
Programmers expect the death of hip-hop will allow MTV to return to its early 80s roots-before the channel played Michael Jackson or any black artists. "White rock is so back," said MTV program director Perry Noxus.
Sources say MTV2 and MTVu expect to increase their rotation of Italian techno bands and anything by They Might Be Giants. BET is replacing its "Rap City" and "106th and Park" shows with reruns of "The Old Negro Spiritual Hour" and infomercials. BET vice president Harrington Rentfield said, "It fits with our programming policy of never doing original shows where a cheap or paid syndicated program will do."
Civil rights leaders applauded Viacom's decision. "I'm glad my daughter doesn't have to watch or listen to this crap anymore," said Franklin Mooch, president of the Denver chapter of the I Marched With Dr. King Club, which claims a national membership of over 875,000. "Now my son can go back to listening to wholesome family artists like R. Kelly."
High-placed Viacom executives said the idea for "Hip-Hop Is Dead" Week began with a January 2005 cover story article in the Village Voice. "They started writing about it in the 80s so they should know", said Viacom head of urban marketing Prescott Vanderbilt. "We checked with our street teams in Idaho, and they confirmed it: hip-hop is dead." The article was written by Greg Tate, who told Playahata.com, "That's not what I said!"
In related news, rumors are flying that BET will be shut down shortly after "Hip-Hop Is Dead" week. "I mean all they play is hip-hop videos and movies with dead hip-hop guys in them," says an unnamed Viacom executive. "Who's gonna watch that now?" Regarding the rumors, BET founder and president Robert Johnson, vacationing in Aruba at his fourteenth home, could not be reached, but issued this statement through a representative: "Shit, I'm rich, biaatch!"
posted by Zentronix @ 8:11 AM
Thangs To Do, Books To Read
The Minutemen Vs. Anti-Racists
Dan Charnas on Blacks and Jews
Mark Anthony Neal on Common
The Latest in Mac Dre's Murder
A Long Bad Summer
Me and Lizz On The Source Petition
Crowning The City of Quartz
select * from pages where handle = "BlogLinks"