I could not agree more with almost every well-articulated point that Emory Holmes II made in his debate (regarding hip-hop not being art) ("It's Father Versus Son on Hip-Hop," Aug. 22).
I have yet to hear a single hip-hop album with the same depth or innovation as that of such rock albums as U2's "The Joshua Tree," Radiohead's "OK Computer" or Pearl Jam's "Vitology."
Dear Emory Holmes III: Sorry, man, but your Pops comes off like a head-in-the-sand ignoramus. Doesn't he realize that hip-hop culture has influenced worldwide mass culture in everything from clothing to music and film production techniques to everyday language? To unequivocally dismiss hip-hop as low-minded is, well, low-minded.
Unfortunately, you didn't do an adequate job of defending and illuminating the virtues of hip-hop, failing to mention such creative musical giants like De La Soul, Rakim and Public Enemy or visual artists like Keith Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat. Or the hip-hop-derived cut and paste/juxtaposition aesthetic that permeates mass media today.
It's sad that Pops is treating hip-hop like his fore-oppressors treated jazz and bebop. "We don't get it, therefore it's not art ...."
The Holmeses left out the most important hip-hop film of all time, the legendary "Wild Style," in which I appear. Now finally available legally after being bootlegged for 15 years, this 1982 film features break dancers Rock Steady Crew and rappers Cold Crush Crew, Fantastic 5 and Busy Bee, along with a great scene of Grandmaster Flash cutting up on the "wheels of steel" (turntables) in his real-life kitchen. Check it out!
PATTI ASTOR Hollywood