Published March 23, 2005
NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton (search) plans to try to combat violence in the hip-hop and rap music industry by buying stock in record companies that produce such music.
Sharpton has been on a crusade against violence in rap music, particularly since last month's shooting of a member of rapper The Game's entourage during an interview with his rival, 50 Cent, at a radio station known as Hot 97.
"I'm concerned about the violence that has occurred in the music industry and particularly the hip-hop industry," Sharpton told FOX News' Neil Cavuto (search) Tuesday. "I want to initiate stop-the-violence campaigns. That's something we can address as stockholders."
He also wants to see the Federal Communications Commission (search) crack down on the problem and plans to put pressure on the government agency in upcoming meetings with FCC commissioners, he told FOX. Sharpton said he wants to see artists and radio announcers held accountable for engaging in or inciting violence.
"The FCC should regulate them," he said. "If they can regulate Janet Jackson's breast being exposed, how come they're not going after this?"
Last month, a member of The Game's entourage was shot at the WQHT-FM (Hot 97) studios while the rapper's former-mentor-turned-rival, 50 Cent, was being interviewed.
In 2001, another shooting at Hot 97 involved members of Lil' Kim's entourage. Last week, the rapper was convicted of lying about the incident to a grand jury.
Sharpton has accused the station of instigating the violence by having rappers bait each other on the air. After last month's shooting, he proposed a ban on artists connected to any violent acts, denying them airplay on radio and television for 90 days.
"At what point does it go from programming to inciting?" he told the Daily News for Monday's editions. "I'm not giving up on rap music, I'm trying to make sure it's rap music and not attack music."
Sharpton didn't say what companies he plans to buy stock in or how much he intends to purchase, but he thinks becoming a stockholder will have an impact.
"I don't think too many CEOs want to see me come into his stockholders' meeting to say they're not doing enough to stop the violence," Sharpton told the Daily News.
"The way to stop it is not by censoring," he said on FOX. "It's by getting into the companies and getting onto the airwaves."
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.