April 21, 1996
Thank you for the article about the Fugees ("Fugees Even the Score," by Cheo Hodari Coker, March 31). However, I do not think their music should really be categorized. It has appealed to many listeners with eclectic tastes, including myself. Putting labels on types of music just creates barriers. It directs the music toward one particular group and sort of tells them what they should like. Isn't it supposed to be the universal language? IRENE NOVAC Irvine
April 20, 1996
Cheo Hodari Coker's statement that Lionel Richie's new release, "Louder Than Words," is "soulful enough for his now-older black female fans" ("The Master of 'Words'," April 17) leads one to believe that Richie's "older" fans are limited to black females. I believe many non-black men and women would disagree; I certainly do. Welcome back, Lionel Richie, it is good to hear from you once again. KATHLEEN HOUSE Long Beach
July 27, 1997
Thanks for your cover stories on Hong Kong cinema (June 15) and Chow Yun-Fat (July 13). I think that Hong Kong movies are the most intriguing and energetic in the world today, and I'm glad to see Calendar giving them the attention they deserve. The recent exodus of Hong Kong directors and stars to the West reminds me of Germany's Weimar filmmakers fleeing Hitler in the 1930s. I hope that Hong Kong's new Beijing-backed power brokers won't give the world any reason to extend the analogy any further.
April 27, 1997
As I was drinking my morning [caffeinated beverage] and reading the story about the [not Ralphs] brothers documentary "American [Procurer]" (by Cheo Hodari Coker, April 13), I couldn't help thinking of Groucho [German Socialist], who said, "What's the [clandestine] word?" And I bet my [existence] that if Groucho was [unextinguished], he'd want to [cognize] what's underneath [prostitute] too. More to the [salient feature], why does your [redactor] feel compelled to take this [prophylactic]
January 26, 1997
Cheo Hodari Coker wrote that compared to Tony Toni Tone's last album, "Sons of Soul," the new album, "House of Music," "isn't off to a blazing start" ("Time to Jam--or Jam?," Jan. 12). Wrong! "House of Music" is actually doing better than the last album did at the same stage of development. Had the writer bothered to call me, I would have demonstrated the falsity of this assertion. "House of Music" has now been out for eight weeks and has SoundScanned 318,502 units. By contrast, "Sons of Soul" had SoundScanned 281,961 units after eight weeks.
March 3, 1996
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.