Robert Hilburn's June 24 commentary, "Getting a Bad Rap," misses the point. His mistake is he fails to realize or examine the fact that rap scares parents and the mainstream not just by its content but its context.
To say people outside the inner city can't relate to life there because they don't experience it isn't the issue. If rap is representative of inner-city life, then what is shown is a life that is violent, scary, tough and aggressive, even in the positive messages that Hilburn says rap music gives.
By conveying all of this in a confrontational and aggressive posture, rap makes the inner-city life even scarier to the mainstream, and thus gentrifies our society even more.
Instead of feeling a stronger need to improve life there and understand it better, people get scared or put off by it and they build walls to avoid it.