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POP EYE

March 06, 1994|Chuck Philips

RAP, ROUND II: As prominent black leaders challenge the racial attitudes of companies that exploit "negative African American stereotypes," white conservatives have also begun to question the priorities of the Japanese conglomerate Sony Corp., which they accuse of "peddling" the pro-marijuana music of rap group Cypress Hill to American kids.

Freedom Alliance, a Washington-based nonprofit group founded by former National Security Council aide and IranContra figure (and current Virginia senatorial candidate) Oliver North, attacked Sony in its most recent newsletter, demanding that company chiefs Akio Morita and Michael Schulhof withdraw sponsorship of Cypress Hill recordings. The Los Angeles rap trio's songs include the likes of "I Wanna Get High," and the members serve as official spokesmen for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

"For the sake of the children, we think Mr. Morita, who in the past has lectured our nation on how to do away with drugs and violence, ought to put an end to his company's relationship with these potheads," said Cliff Kincaid, director of the 100,000-member organization, which played an instrumental role in the 1992 boycott of Time Warner over Ice-T's song "Cop Killer."

Sony officials declined to comment.

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