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COUNTERPUNCH LETTERS : An Artist Reflects Society

August 10, 1992

Ice-T's "Body Count" is not rap, but rock music, as the artist has tirelessly pointed out to the media. Nonetheless, Kuehl calls it rap. Presumably because Ice-T is African-American, his music must be rap: i.e., black = rap. Kuehl then denounces Ice-T for his sexist lyrics, saying his misogyny should receive more attention. Kuehl hopes people will realize that "rap music is really rape music."

Describing Ice-T's music as rap was the first sign of Kuehl's racist blunders. Far worse is her cleverly turned phrase that "rap music is rape music." It should shock anyone opposed to racial prejudice, since it employs one of society's most racist myths regarding black men's relationship to (white) women.

Many rock artists are guilty of sexism comparable to Ice-T's. As a feminist, I abhor the sexism in music of Ice-T or Guns N' Roses. But, perhaps because rock music is dominated by white artists, it does not receive condemnation from the likes of Kuehl.

I'm sure that a female rap artist such as Queen Latifah would object to naming her chosen art form "rape music," as would progressive (and male) artists in Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Kuehl should remove her racial blinders.

JULIE GREENE

Northridge

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