Funny that Cheo Hodari Coker should point out similarities between Coolio and Hammer ("Rap Gets Soft (Really)," Feb. 25). Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" does more than "borrow liberally" from Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise," as Hammer's "Can't Touch This" does from Rick James' "Superfreak," so much so that they had to share royalties. Both just changed the lyrics.
Coolio would do well to avoid Hammer's egotistical error: investing in an extravagant road show. Without original material, these so-called rappers will be relegated to the pile of one-hit wonders scattered throughout American pop history.
You can't have a burger without killing the cow, an omelet without breaking the egg. There is only one "king" of rap who can guarantee mainstream success: Snoop Doggy Dogg. Love him or hate him, he is original, albeit every bit as controversial as another "rapper" currently getting attention--Pat Buchanan.
I find it hard to believe that C. Delores Tucker can use such a negative and derogatory term as "porno rap" to identify gangsta or hard-core rap. Pornography provides scenes of illusion, fantasy and escape from reality, whereas rappers talking about sexually active females, experiences with alcohol and drugs, poverty, gangs, single-parent families, life in prison, etc., are real.
Has Tucker ever considered how she can work with more rap artists and record executives to improve the conditions that they talk about, rather than condemning them for simply reporting an experience, an experience that society needs to pay attention to.