I am not interested in seeing “Get Rich or Die Trying”. I’m not much of a 50 Cent fan so I know if I can’t take 80 minutes of listening to him, I’m sure I’m not going to handle listening AND looking at him attempt to act for 90 minutes. I will make no judgment on the movies but the studio has stirred some controversy with their billboards in a Los Angeles neighborhood.
This is a statement from Najee Ali of Islamic Hope:
"We are outraged because 50 Cent and Paramount Studios are promoting gun violence right next to a childcare center,” he said. “We’ve lost too many lives to gun violence, and we don’t want our youth influenced by death and destruction. We are demanding that Paramount Studios remove these billboards.”
Later in the article, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich says:
"The billboard conveys to students a disturbing message actively promoting gun violence, criminal behaviour and gang affiliation,"
I haven’t followed the story closely but in interviews Najee Ali states that she is blaming Paramount and not Fiddy for the billboard. This simply doesn’t make sense. Fiddy has spent the last couple of years promoting a violent image and if the billboard is upsetting then the cover of the CD, "Get Rich or Die Tryin," should be just as upsetting. It seems to me that the messenger’s message is five million CD sales too late.
Rap has disintegrated into a cesspool where thug life, misogynistic mentalities and materialistic glorification equate to million dollar contracts and multi-platinum CD sales. When rap music gave a voice to the ghetto youth, it opened Pandora’s box. Rap music is doing for ghetto life what Hurricane Katrina did for the impoverished natives of the Gulf Region. It placed it in the forefront of the American psyche.
But the indigenous folks of rap found a way to make a profit. Because not only did America find itself shocked by the violent images portrayed in rap, it also found itself enamored by them… celebrating them.
Loving them to a point where the violence of a young man’s life will shine on the silver screen and like the Romans converging on the Coliseum, many will flock to watch the glorification of a violent life. We need to do more than boycott a billboard if we do not want that to happen. We could start by boycotting the movie, boycotting the music that spawned the movie, boycott the rapper that created the music. But if we really want to stop this madness, then at some point we’re going to have to change the condition that gave birth to 50 Cent. And that takes a lot more work than what it will take to remove a billboard.