Universal Music Group (UMG) is the target of our national boycott because they are the leading company in the rap industry. They are a colossal recording company that owns about one-fourth of the global music market. This company owns three of the top five rap labels: Island Def Jam, Interscope, and Universal Music.
In 1999, UMG pledged to ban sexually graphic and violent images in their music as a result of pressure from concerned citizens. The company quickly went back on this promise when it added Def Jam to its holdings, and has since actively promoted explicit sex and violence in its rap music and videos.
We are also boycotting UMG because we believe that this company is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to rap. It is currently working with an adult video company to further exploit Black men and women in rap with a new music video channel featuring uncensored and uncut videos from artists. How low will this company go in its exploitation of Black Americans to make a buck?
We are boycotting all UMG artists to pressure this company to take the lead in moving the rap industry forward. While it might seem unfair to boycott unrelated artists who are not responsible for UMG’s poor judgment, an all-out boycott is necessary to send a strong economic message to the company. Why should UMG artists in other genres enjoy a vast diversity of images in their music while rap artists are pigeonholed into damaging racial stereotypes?