Arson rap song
February 25, 2007 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Greetings, Late 80's early 90's rap song that describes an arsonist starting a fire, then watching the response....a very powerful song that was essentially banned from the airways as it was thought it would possibly encourage arson... Anyone remember the song, group, have lyrics etc. By the way, is it appropriate to censure this kind of art?
posted by Daddest to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
I think you're thinking of MC 900 Foot Jesus' The City Sleeps.
posted by jessamyn at 2:55 PM on February 25, 2007

And to your second question... I heard it on the radio all the time, so while it may have been locally kept off the airwaves in some places, I don't think it met any widespread banning, though I could be wrong. Since radio ownership has been more and more consolidated in the past decade or so, one "station's" decision to pull a certain song from the rotation has wider consequences than it did previously, but there's a solid argument to make that now that internet distribution works and is popular, radio airplay isn't the determining factor in a song's success anymore.
posted by jessamyn at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2007

It was definitely all over the corporate "alternative" radio station in New York. I vaguely remember there being some controversy over MC 900 Ft. Jesus's name, but honestly I think his real problem was that radio was becoming highly segmented in the early 90s, and nobody really knew where to put him. He ended up getting slotted into "alternative," which meant that a lot of potential fans never even heard him.
posted by craichead at 3:27 PM on February 25, 2007

Did you mean censure or censor?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:51 PM on February 25, 2007

I believe that "The City Sleeps" may have been banned by the BBC (specifically Radio 1). That's based on nothing more than memory, and I can find no web confirmation for it.
posted by Hogshead at 4:08 PM on February 25, 2007

Umm, you can hear the song at his MySpace:
posted by theiconoclast31 at 4:36 PM on February 25, 2007

As an aside, I think you mean "airwaves" and not "airways."
posted by mikeh at 5:02 PM on February 25, 2007

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is on Fire...
posted by grateful at 5:28 PM on February 25, 2007

Yes, censure is some kind of haircut, airways are for jets...but I'm not sure if this is the correct song.
There is no mention of sirens, and fireman, policeman, etc.
But as I only heard the song once, my memory might have added a line or two!!!!!
posted by Daddest at 5:36 PM on February 25, 2007

I think the haircut is "tonsure", not "censure". Monks are fond of it. And the ladies dig it.

And that song? Is totally bitchin'. I never heard it in its original release--I first caught it on Sirius. I gotta get that album.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2007

fantastic track, ended up grabbing the album after reading this thread
posted by moochoo at 11:46 PM on February 25, 2007

MC 900 is fantastic, truly underrated.

Try "Hearing Voices In One's Head" on Welcome to My Dream (same album as While the City Sleeps).
posted by Mid at 8:12 PM on February 26, 2007

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