This is a transcript from “The Big Story With John Gibson,” July 31, 2007.
JOHN GIBSON, “BIG STORY” HOST: The “Big Crackdown”: McDonald’s is taking a stand against violence and derogatory slurs. The fast food giant has dropped rapper Twista from its concert series because of his controversial lyrics. While Twista is known for his fast rap style, many of his songs are laden with violent and explicit words, like this song for example called “Kill Us All” on his Kamikaze album. Take a listen.
Now in case you missed what he said, it goes something like this, and I’ll say it slow: “I’ll murder you and come at you again in the after life. My brother, you can’t bring harm with guns. I’m armed with bombs. Bleep all that bleep you carry, I got your obituary. A mother bleeper in phenomenon cuz I’m a come till they put all of us in a cemetery.”
Twista says he is surprised by McDonald’s decision. He says he was planning to clean up his lyrics for the concert tour. So how do you clean up lyrics like the ones you just heard? With me now is the founder of allhiphop.com, Chuck Creekmur. So Chuck, do you think Twista was really surprised to have McDonald’s drop him?
CHUCK CREEKMUR, ALLHIPHOP.COM: Well, I mean, he signed a sheet of paper that allowed him to participate in the tour, so I’m sure he thought he was on board at that point.
GIBSON: Well, do you think that — what didn’t they know? Didn’t they bother to look at his lyrics?
CREEKMUR: Well, that’s the interesting thing to me. I mean, obviously once you have somebody that’s endorsing your product you would think you would do the necessary research and background check to see exactly who it is that you’re putting in front of people. So obviously McDonald’s didn’t do their homework.
GIBSON: Well, all right. So they drop him and it’s obvious these violent lyrics were too much for McDonald’s. Do you think this will change anybody’s attitude about what they write down and perform as lyrics in the hip-hop world?
CREEKMUR: Absolutely. I mean, I think hip-hop has taken an active change in terms of cleaning up their lyrics and it’s all based upon this whole post-Imus climate that has been created since that situation. So, you know, we have freedom of speech here but a lot of artists are really considering these sorts of endorsements and sponsorships as part of their overall package.
GIBSON: What is it about — I mean, I think we all understand that people like violent movies. We watch a lot of violent movies. But you kind of see it’s an action movie. What is the attraction to these violent, threatening lyrics: I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to do this to you, I’m going to do that to you?
CREEKMUR: Well everybody loves a tough guy. I mean, for me growing up I looked towards Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Terminator,” you know, and Chuck Norris. These were the guys that when we play-fought and we punched each other and all the karate movies, I mean we were endeared to some extent at these kinds of guys. And the rappers are the new rock stars — the guys we can live vicariously through and we can sort of be voyeurs into their life and frankly those artists consider themselves in the same vein as a Chuck Norris or you know…
GIBSON: Are these rapper and hip-hop recordings not selling as well as they once did?
CREEKMUR: Well, the industry is down in general. I think rap is down as well. There is a pretty significant slump in record sales. I mean, I have talked about this time and time again. I don’t attribute that in any way, shape or form to violent lyrics.
GIBSON: Allhiphop.com, Chuck Creekmur, thanks very much. We’ll talk to you again.