Rapper feels added heat from foes of misogyny
Women object: Student ire moves Nelly to cancel visit
BY YOLANDA JONES: Scripps Howard News Service: May 31 ,2004

  Women gyrating sensually in next to nothing is not new to the World of music videos. Neither are the complaints.  
  But the debate still rages every time a video or a concert pushes the sexual themes a bit further.
  Students at Spelman College, a black women's college in Atlanta, have taken a stand, and this time rapper Nelly is under attack.
  Nelly was to have gone to the campus for a bone-marrow drive. When students found out they protested because of his unrated  "Tip Drill" video that shows the rapper swiping a credit card through a woman's rear end and women in skimpy bikinis running through, a huge mansion.
  The students complained about the sexual portrayal of women in the video and the misogynistic lyrics. In hip-hop slang the term "tip" refers to a penis and "tip drill" usually is a reference to an unattractive woman with a nice body useful to a man only for sex, or a woman who will do anything for money.
  The students launched phone campaigns and petition drives over the growing number of X-rated rap videos on cable and the Internet.
  Nelly canceled his appearance.
  Michaelyn Oby, 18, a student at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn., said she's glad the women at Spelman, spoke out.
  Our generation has grown up immune to a lot, but I'd say Nelly really crossed the boundary, with this video," she said. "I mean, he had a right to make it with freedom of speech and all, but the women at Spelman also had a right to exercise their freedom of speech and protest it."
  Misogyny in rock and hip-hop has been around for years on MTV and BET, which airs unrated videos such as Nelly's on BET Uncut late at night.
  According to a 1999 study by Girls Inc., the average American girl uses some type of communications medium - television, computers or radio - for more than five hours per day, and 1 in 5 girls say they are negatively influenced by characters they see on television.
  That is why Girls Inc., whose motto is "to teach girls to be strong, smart and bold," launched its national program called "Girls Get the Message" to help them sort through the media messages.
  Even so, it's the artists who should be held accountable if what they produce is objectionable not the entire hip-hop industry, said Wendy Day, who heads the Rap Coalition, an artist advocacy group that tries to educate rappers about the hip-hop business.
  "Don't get me wrong, I love what the women at Spelman are doing and I love rappers, but when you're wrong, you're wrong and some of them (rappers) are wrong. But tell them that. I wage my war with an artist one on one," Day said.
  She said that despite rappers like Nelly, there are also ones like Mos Def and Talib Kweli, whose themes are more positive.