Falcons scramble to explain expletive-laden halftime show

Updated: November 3, 2003, 9:58 PM ET

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- As if they didn't have enough problems, the Atlanta Falcons were scrambling to defend a halftime show featuring three rap groups.

Bonecrusher, Youngbloodz and Jermaine Dupri performed Sunday during a 23-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons' seventh straight loss.

Bonecrusher, a hefty, Atlanta-based artist, sang the hip-hop hit "Never Scared," in which he muses about shooting someone in the head.

According to profanity-laced lyrics obtained from an Internet Web site, the song goes, "Let a choppa go PLOOOOOOWWW! to yo melon. Now the plasma is oozin outta yo cerebellum."

Groups often cut two versions of songs -- one to go on the album and one that's appropriate for radio airplay.

It wasn't clear which versions of their songs the groups used at the Georgia Dome. Some people at the game claimed they heard profanity, others said they didn't.

Roddy White, the team's director of event marketing and entertainment, conceded Monday there were "some things that happened that shouldn't have happened."

"We had a conversation with them prior to (the show). We said, 'Look, this has got to be appropriate for the audience that's there.' The crowd that comes to a Falcons game is different than a crowd that comes to one of their shows," White said.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank watched the performance from his private box, but said he couldn't decipher the lyrics.

"Well, I'm sorry," Blank said. "If there was profanity, given the family atmosphere we have there, that's not right. We shouldn't have entertainers there that do that."

Bonecrusher took the stage first, ripping off his shirt during a raucous version of "Never Scared." Youngbloodz went next, performing the song "Damn!"

Dupri, a prominent producer as well as performer, finished the 10-minute performance with his hit song, "Welcome to Atlanta," which is often played by the Falcons during play stoppages.

Dupri could not be reached for comment. His personal assistant did not return two messages left at his Atlanta-based company, So So Def Records.

Dupri has produced hits for Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, TLC and others. In January, he was named a senior vice president of Arista Records, taking with him the So So Def label.

Bonecrusher and Youngbloodz both record for Dupri's label.

White insisted that team officials screened the songs and felt they would be appropriate for a diverse crowd that included plenty of children.

"We listened to the tracks beforehand and we didn't see any reason to be alarmed," he said. "When you're in a live situation, like doing live TV, things can happen that are good, bad or indifferent."

White said he wasn't sure if the team had received any complaints about the show. He said it's impossible to come up with entertainment that appeals to everyone in the crowd.

"I'll be honest with you -- I didn't hear the profanity that people said was being put out there," White said. "I will say this: Whether you liked it or didn't like it, there were a lot of people in the building that liked the show."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index