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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Musicians often voice political opinions in their songs, especially during an election year. Most hip-hop acts, however, have remained mum on the current political environment -- until now.
Ruff Ryders/Interscope artist Jadakiss -- also a member of rap trio the Lox -- is receiving a lot of attention for his single "Why?" The song questions President Bush (news - web sites)'s involvement in the events of Sept. 11, 2001, with the lyric "Why did Bush knock down the Towers?"
The line has prompted some radio stations to edit the song. According to sources at MTV, the "Why?" video arrived at the network without the lyric.
For Jadakiss, the song is a way to reach people.
"I wanted to make a song that could appeal to a broader -- and not only the hood," he says. "I wanted to make something that would touch people at home in white America.
"I was thinking, 'What's the one thing that everyone has in common? Questions.' Everyone asks why, so I decided to write a song asking questions that everyone wants to," he adds.
As for the controversial line, the Yonkers, N.Y., rapper's view is unwavering. "I just felt had something to do with that," Jadakiss says, referring to the events of Sept. 11. "That's why I put it in there like that. A lot of my people felt that he had something to do with it."
Some programers say they received only the version that omitted the line -- in both the radio edit and the "clean" version.
"Actually, the uncensored version of that line is probably my favorite in the whole song," says one program director, who asked to remain anonymous.
"Since they can hear us in D.C., and I don't want Secret Service knocking down my door in the middle of the night," the program director adds, "I'll stick to the clean version."
While some stations air an edited version of the song, other stations, among them WGCI Chicago and WWPR New York, have opted to play the unedited track.
"I saw the video, where they edited the, but when it came to playing it on the radio, we never thought we should," WWPR program director Michael Saunders says. "Freedom of speech gives him the right to say what he does. No one edited 'Get Low' by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz."
Saunders says the lyric has not been an issue at WWPR.
"No one has called about it," he says. "Even with women, who listen to lyrics more, no one has noticed it enough to call."
Interscope head of rap promotions Kevin "Always Bet On" Black isn't concerned about the controversy. "'Why?' is the biggest record I've," he says. "It touches the heart and says things that a lot of people are afraid to say."
Black isn't the only one who thinks that. Jadakiss' second album, "Kiss of Death," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 last week, selling more than 246,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Meanwhile, "Why?," which features R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, continues to climb the charts. The second single from "Kiss of Death" debuted at No. 71 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The single is No. 16 this week.
The type of controversy that surrounds "Why" can end up helping an artist, and Jadakiss knows it. "They're censoring me all over the place, and that's good," he says. "That means it's reaching out to everybody. When I made the song, I wrote it to be political, controversial, and to stir some things up.
"Somebody has to take the forefront and sacrifice," he adds. "That's what I do -- I sacrifice myself."
So basically Jadakiss is saying that Bush was aware of what was to take place on the morning of September 11th 2001. Here's some lyrics from the song "Show Discipline" on Jadakiss's first solo album that are apparently not considered contraversial........
Quote: [Chorus: Nas (Jada)] Now gangstas live, gangstas die Grab ya guns, soldiers ride (show discipline nigga!) Kill ya moms, kill ya pops, kill ya seed Kill ya girl (Its principle nigga!) Sell ya crack, sell ya coke Sell ya E, sell ya smoke (you hustlin nigga!) Grab ya nine, grab ya pound Grab ya tec, grab ya pump (you bustin at niggaz!,wha)
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