Hip-Hop Fridays: Rap Music Gets Bad 'Rap' At Myers Park High by Michelle Boudin

A treat for students at Myers Park High School backfired on administrators when representatives from Def Jam records to went to campus Wednesday and some students were given free music with questionable lyrics.

Def Jam records are hit-makers, with popular rap and hip hop artists on the label.

Myers Park sophomore Grace McEwen said, “Nowadays there’s a lot of stuff with bad words and cussing and stuff.”

Def Jam tried to spread the word about some new artists, at an unlikely place – Myers Park High.

Senior Dominique Massenburg said, “I was surprised they let rap music come in.”

Mackenzie Wynes said the label was there handing stuff out, such as umbrellas, posters, CDs and lip gloss.

Everything was pre-approved by school administrators in an effort, they say, to reward students for good behavior.

Only someone with Def Jam wasn't on their best behavior.

Assistant Principal Carlos Grant said, “They handed out some things that we were not aware of, definitely vulgar.”

Those “vulgar” freebies were CDs with lyrics requiring parental approval.

“I don't think they'd be very happy at all,” McEwen said of parents. “My mom would probably complain.”

Administrators admit several parents did complain, but not all blame the school.

“I think the school did it (in a) well-intentioned manner,” said Grace McEwen’s mother Ginny. “I'm not upset with school; I'm upset with the individual who took advantage of the situation.”

The students aren’t upset at all.

Wynes said, “I think its OK -- kids listen to it anyway.”

The school sent out a phone message to all parents letting them know what happened. And the assistant principal says they've spoken with a representative from Def Jam records, and the company is no longer welcome on campus.

Michelle Boudin can be contacted at: MBoudin@WCNC.com

Editor's Note: This article first appeared at wcnc.com

Michelle Boudin

Friday, June 1, 2007