PSA: Rage Against The Ratchet

Filthy, violent lyrics: Enough already!


A WHOLE LOT of folks think it’s cute to see young children twerking and singing along to sexually suggestive songs.

They laugh. Maybe post a YouTube video of it.

Not two-time Grammy winner Carvin G. “Ransum” Haggins.

After visiting a beauty salon in the Philly burbs earlier this spring and watching a 2-year-old girl mimicking Beyonce’s provocative dance moves and singing the very adult lyrics to “Drunk in Love,” Haggins got fed up and launched a grassroots campaign called Rage Against the Ratchet. Its purpose? To force radio stations to clean up the airwaves.

“I’m just coming as a concerned citizen saying, ‘We’ve got to do something about the music. We’ve got to do something about how the music is getting to the people,’ ” Haggins, 45, who grew up in Philly, said in a YouTube video.

“There are rappers saying, ‘I dropped a molly in a girl’s drink,’ ” Haggins added. ” ‘She didn’t even know. I took her home and had my way with her. She didn’t even know.’ Yo, that’s date rape! . . . There’s a child right now with that in his headphones saying that that’s the cool thing to do because a rapper said it.”

Haggins – who has worked with Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Justin Timberlake and others – has organized a protest outside the Bala Cynwyd studios of Power 99 FM at 11 a.m. Saturday to protest filthy, violent lyrics in popular music.

I spoke at length with Haggins, but I think his YouTube comments say it all. We ought to get behind him. Turn out in droves at 111 Presidential Blvd. to show the powers at Power 99 that the stupid lyrics and misogynistic filth that gets played on the airwaves is unacceptable.

Take, for example, what Chris Brown spews in “Loyal”:

” . . . When a rich n—- want ya

And your n—- can’t do nothing for ya

These hoes ain’t loyal . . .”

These hoes ain’t loyal

Just got rich

Took a broke n—- b—-

I can make a broke b—- rich

But I don’t f— with broke b—-s.”

 “What type of lyric is that? What are you saying to our kids? Some kid is going to recite that. My mom ain’t a b—-. My daughter ain’t a b—–,” Haggins added. “Why is it so free to say that word and disrespect women? And the sad part is women are singing along with these records like that’s the thing to do.”

The first time I saw those lyrics, they were on a young relative’s Instagram page. Yes, I confronted her. And when I did, her excuse was that it wasn’t her personal commentary but popular rap lyrics she’d heard on the radio and was merely reciting on social media. To her, the fact that Brown sings this mess on the radio makes it OK.

I can see how her young mind could make such a leap, because the Federal Communications Commission regulates what comes across the airwaves.

And adults, older people she’s been trained to look up to and respect, put this crap out for public consumption. And it’s everywhere.

Take the song “Partition” by Beyonce:

” . . . Oh he so horny, yeah he want to f—

He popped all my buttons and he ripped my blouse

He Monica Lewinsky’d all onmy gown . . . “

“What?!” said Haggins, a father of seven. “I don’t want to see somebody’s daughter in the car singing that song.

“Like, why is that cool that Beyonce is telling these girls about how she’s having oral sex? Nothing about that’s cool. It ain’t cool. It ain’t sexy. It ain’t fly. It’s just a lack of creativity . . . and I feel like right now we’re being treated like sex-slave beasts.”

He likens commercial radio to drug dealers.

“You are dealing poison to our kids,” said Haggins, who lives in Marlton. “Y’all flipping these records back-to-back-to-back.

“You’re pumping that poison into the heads of our kids when they’re sitting with their headphones on. We need better music. We need better programming.”

He’s right on about that. Yesterday I reached out to the powers at Power 99, who then emailed me a statement: “Power 99 is part of the fabric of the city of Philadelphia and has maintained a great relationship with the local community by playing music that our listeners want to hear from their favorite artists, while abiding by all government regulations as a responsible broadcaster.”

If you don’t like what comes from Power 99, which is owned by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, stop being passive. Get involved. Rage Against the Ratchet.


Are Black Women Haters?

Why Are Black Women Hurting Each Other?



If it was up to reality television, a lot of people of different races would probably think that black women couldn’t get together without drink throwing, bottle chucking, and shoes coming off before someone’s weave is snatched. We’ve debated that topic before. Many of us can accept that this is not our reality. We can get together and be civilized and not go through the motions of acting a fool in public places. But there is still an elephant in the room: black women really can’t stand other black women.

Let me make it clear that this is not the case for all of us. Please read that again. This is not everyone’s truth. But unfortunately, we have some sort of bitterness towards each other for one reason or another. I can’t tell you how many times my mom and I have gone out shopping and we get these looks from other black women as if we did something to them. We don’t know these ladies and yet they spew venom with just an evil glare. I’ve gone to places where a black woman is working, and get met with an attitude no matter how nice I am. I just don’t understand it.

I pretty much smile at whoever I make eye contact with. It’s just a habit. But I really make it a point to do so when I make eye contact with another black woman. And can you believe sometimes I get a response like an eye roll or a scowl? Woah, I don’t even know you. Why are you mad at me? It used to make me extremely uncomfortable growing up. I would feel like black women were staring at me and talking about me and I never knew what I did. As I continued to grow, I kept experiencing it and it was just sort of the norm.

The reasons could vary. You should see the negative conversation that happens when it comes to skin color. I’ve heard snide remarks about another sista’s clothing or hairstyle. Your job, your car, your home, anything is up for grabs for some women to talk about. I just don’t understand why. We tear down ladies who look just like us for no reason. People don’t like Jada. Folks talk about Gabby’s hair. Women aren’t satisfied with Halle. And don’t even get them started about Beyonce. It’s just a bunch of negative energy directed towards each other.

We should be embracing one another, not tearing each other down. The attitudes should disappear. Smile, don’t scowl, at the next black woman you see. Don’t think the worst of her, think the best of her. We allow jealousy and envy to get in the way of finding common ground. The ladies you’re talking down to have feelings. The women you refused to smile at may have really needed that smile. The one you think you’re better than could be in the same position as you.

I want to see us continue to build each other up, support each other, and love each other. We’ve been doing better, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. We have to help each other, not hurt each other.

Oprah has been discussing the Terrible Things that Women Do to Each Other during her Life Class. Check out this video about why women compete with one another: