Sharpton announces shareholder campaign targeting sexist rap

by Nolan Strong,

The Rev. Al Sharpton announced the next steps in his battle against rap music and will take his fight into various corporations' boardrooms, by buying stock in companies that promote the music.

Sharpton and his National Action Network are planning on purchasing stock in various companies, including Time Warner and Universal Music Group, and will then use his right to attend shareholder meetings, where he will voice his opinion on lyrics deemed raunchy and sexist.

"Some of these stockholders have no idea that they own stock in a parent company that owns companies calling them b**ches and ho's," Sharpton told The New York Post.

The tactic is the same strategy that C. Delores Tucker used in 1995.

Tucker was an outspoken criticism of "gangsta rap."

She bought stock in Time Warner and attended shareholder meetings, where she read the lyrics to various albums marketed and sold by Interscope, which was eventually dropped from Time Warner's distribution system, because of releases by Death Row Records.

Sharpton will also lead a group of women who will boycott the offices of Sony, Time Warner and Universal Music Group.

The announcement was made during the National Action Network's four-day conference, which took place from Apr. 18-21.

Various politicians supported the conference, including Senators John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean (DNC), NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams, Governor Eliot Spitzer, filmmaker Spike Lee, Governor Bill Richardson, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who addressed the current fervor around Hip-Hop music.

"We are all complicit...let's not just single out the rappers," Obama said, noting that he had heard offensive words in many places other than rap songs.

Universal Music Group withdrew it's $15,000 contribution to Sharpton's National Action Network, after Sharpton decided it was inappropriate to honor Universal Music Group executive and Island Def Jam CEO, Antonio "L.A." Reid.

Sharpton, who had planned on honoring Reid with the James Brown Freedom Award prior to the Don Imus controversy, changed his mind and felt it was inappropriate to bestow the award upon Reid.

Congressman Charles Rangel, who recently introduced a bill in Congress to reinstate the military draft, is also among Sharpton's supporters.

"I heard that someone in the music industry threatened to take back $15,000 they'd paid for a table at this convention," told The New York Post. "I said to Al, 'You'll have $15,000 from me tomorrow."

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