Hip hop gets the drop

Music is one the most diverse areas in entertainment. And, considering the fact that the University of La Verne prides itself on diversity, it would only make since that the concerts performed on campus would be just as diverse.

However, due to insurance policies and “risk factors,” hip hop artists are not allowed to perform on campus.

The University’s insurers apparently think that these concerts are too much of a liability.

The notion is based on past events with a “history of losses and claims,” according to ULV’s Director of Risk Management Clark Hitt. None of these events, however, took place at ULV.

Still the cost of insuring hip hop is more expensive than the University wants to pay.

Excluding all forms of hip hop music from performing is discriminatory. Yes, hip hop is known for being rough, hard, violent – and predominantly African American. Some songs talk about guns and killing people, but that is only one style of hip hop music.

Not every hip hop song glamorizes the thug life. There are artists who are inspired by rappers like Common which have a poetic soul to their songs or Lil’ Mama which are just fun to get up and dance to.

When hiring hip hop acts to perform, the artists should be screened first to see if their style of music will stir up violent behavior. If the music sends out a positive message, then there is no reason why they cannot perform.

Allowing for acts to be screened beforehand or placing restrictions on acts would give the company a chance to decide the liability of that specific artist/concert. This way students can attend hip hop performances on campus and the insurance company does not have to worry about a high liability rate.

The current policy makes it seem like hip hop performances are the only ones that can become unruly and wild. Rock performances can become rowdy too at times, but the insurance for rock concerts has not become prohibitive.

Although it is not the University’s fault that hip hop is banned, some of the money from the activity fees that students pay each year could go towards paying the extra money to have a hip hop artist come and perform.

Diversity is a major part of the campus’ mission. It only seems fair that diversity reach into every aspect of the student’s life, including music.

Considering the fact that the activity fee increases each year, maybe some of the extra money students pay to have enjoyable events could be used toward paying the extra insurance money. The music would be a change of pace from all the same sounds heard at every concert CAB hosts.

It seems as though the insurance company believes the labels without doing any research.

If it did, the companies would realize that the style of hip hop has changed in the last several years, shifting away from violence, and leaning more toward positive songs. There are still some negative songs that could cause riots during concerts, but the performers could sign a contract stating that they will not perform songs of this nature.

The only real conflict that stirs up from songs these days are between the artists. The East Coast/West Coast beef is gone and there are fewer gang affiliated songs in mainstream music.

The audience has no reason to turn violent because the music will not persuade them to be this way.

The insurance company may need to re-evaluate some of their liabilities and decide whether they are really that risky. It’s understandable that white water rafting and parachuting are too risky to cover in the insurance plan because those have a high death factor. Then again, this school does not have a reason to insure those liabilities.

Music is a tool that unites people. If only certain music can be performed on campus, then it divides us.

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