BET’s Commercial vs. Community Interests: Questions Linger After Killer Mike Ban

July was supposed to be a busy month for Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, aka Mike Bigga.

His second national appearance as mentor to a want-to-be rapper would air on MTV’s “Made.” And before he left the country for a European concert tour, he had all sorts of promotional appearances for “Burn,” a politically-charged single from Render’s latest album, “PL3DGE.” But that kind of pop-star schedule didn’t even include the biggest thing to happen to Render in July.

Before the month was over, Black Entertainment Television (BET) would refuse to air the “Burn” video for what the channel described as violent and “convoluted” content. “Burn” voices a musical cornucopia of post-recession frustrations ranging from elevated joblessness and home foreclosures, to corrupt civic and religious organizations, the bank bail-out and police brutality. The network’s decision to ban the video reignited a long-running debate about the politics, place and purpose of the 31-year-old network and made BET the target of what can best be described as a 21st-century mob.

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~ by livefromheadqcourterz on August 7, 2011.

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