BOISE, ID – Quick Gem Staters, hide the Biggie Smalls! The state of Idaho is banning hip-hop music!
The Idaho State Legislature unanimously passed a bill on Friday that prohibits anyone in the state from playing hip-hop or rap.
Under the new law, anyone caught listening to hip-hop would be slapped with a $3,000 fine, or worse, could face up to seven months in prison.
Legislators from the Idaho House of Reps said the decision to ban hip-hop was based on a study conducted by University of Idaho scientists, which showed that rap music can have adverse effects on young listeners.
“Rap music leads to violence,” said Republican Sharon Maclean. “So if you want to get rid of the violence, you have to get rid of rap music. It’s that simple.”
The law would also prohibit Idaho radio stations from playing “anything that resembles hip-hop music,” including reggae, techno, dancehall, and pop.
“I’m just trying to raise my kids in a wholesome environment,” said John Stiglitz, a resident of Boise and father of two, “and if that means getting rid of rap music, then so be it.”
“It’s a shame, though,” added Stiglitz. “I really enjoyed Kanye’s phat beats.”
Though the bill received overwhelming support in Congress, some Gem Staters feel that the new resolution is a blatant attack on hip-hop culture.
“This is unfair,” said Mike Williams, a 23-year-old rapper from Nampa whose stage name is Thuggy Bumpkins. “Hip-hop is a way for people to express themselves through music. It’s not violent. I’ve listened to hip-hop all my life, and not once have I done anything illegal.”
Williams, along with other Idaho-based rappers, launched a campaign against the bill called “Rappers Against the Prohibition,” or RAP. They’ve already organized several protests and “rap-ins” around the state.
“Our mission is to get people out in the streets,” said Williams. “Our voices need to be heard. This anti-rap bill is unfair and it must be stopped!”
But despite the voices of opposition, those in the Idaho State Legislature show no signs of backing down.
“They can complain all they want,” said Democrat Mark Harping. “But we’re standing firm in our decision to ban rap. If they want to beef, tell them to bring it on!”
So, is the new bill unfair? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think. Bonus points if your comment rhymes!