Spring concert artist sends wrong message on bias crimes

The Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) has chosen J. Cole as the headliner at the spring concert. I’m my opinion, choosing a rapper for the spring concert was a terrible idea. I’m not here to attack J. Cole’s talent, or to debate how good he is (after all he was the first person to sign on Jay-Z’s record label). The matter of talent is not up for debate. I will not compare him to Ke$ha, even though I did vote for her. I will not complain that he was not on the ballot, because after all SAPB did state that the original ballot was not a guarantee. However, I will point out that J. Cole has a tendency to include racial slurs, and often makes references to life in the ghetto in his songs.

With the increase in hate crimes during the past few years at Oswego State, One must question SAPB’s decision to bring J. Cole to campus. While researching his music to find out who he is, I found that many of the songs refer to cops as the bad guys. Many have racial undertones, and are sexist toward women. He also seems to be especially concerned with making money, spending money, and women who are prostitutes.

For example, in J. Cole’s song "Who Dat?" he proclaims "Your b**** is tired of missionary/ boy you failed the mission/ Speakin of positions? Just witness how I elevated/ Real n****s celebrate it/ finger-f*** whoever hate it."

Even more offensive than that is his song "Higher." J. Cole says "Won’t spend her life slavin’/ So she graduated rich n**** wife train/ And if you got money/ man the head is amazing."

The fact that the amount of students allowed at the concert has been cut in half may reduce his negative influence, but I don’t think it will eliminate his message, which spreads the risk of hate crimes. The presence of J. Cole on this campus has the potential to send the wrong message about how seriously we take these matters. The use of racial slurs and offensive language can only cause more problems for campus police, and those working to promote tolerance and acceptance here at Oswego. There is nothing in J. Cole’s music that is even remotely tolerant for any way of life but his own decadent lifestyle. He puts down anyone trying to make an honest living, saying that trying is hopeless. These are not the messages that the Oswego students, or the nation at large need right now or ever.

While I appreciate SAPB’s efforts as a programming board, their lack of forethought about the impact of their choices is disappointing. I believe J. Cole’s appearance could lead to more issues for the university as a whole. It is important to keep the campus diversified, and J. Cole’s negative message is not how the campus should be portraying itself.