January 26, 2014 |
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' “The Heist” won the prize for rap album at the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday. It was unlikely that the rapper-producer team from Seattle would walk away empty handed - with seven nods they were among the most for any artist - but their win for rap album will undoubtedly spark a firestorm among rap critics. The two emerged as outliers with a pop-oriented brand of rap informed as much by indie rock as it was traditional hip-hop. Their single, “Thrift Shop,” a witty critique of rap's penchant for designer duds, exploded on radio and went on to become the bestselling digital song of 2013 - even more impressive was the single being the fourth release from an independently released album.
July 19, 2010 |
Donald Glover had things to do. In his trailer on the set of the NBC sitcom "Community" last spring, the up-and-coming young comedian itemized his various pop cultural obligations. There was the screenplay for a movie he had pitched that still needed plenty of work. There was the TV pilot Glover was obligated to deliver (with, of course, a prominent role earmarked for himself) under his contract with NBC. Then there was his day job: performing as Troy, a former prom king and high school jock matriculated in classes at "Community's" titular community college.
January 17, 1999
According to reader Robert T. Leet, "rap 'music' is literally not music--no melody or harmony, no notes. It is rhythmic, rhyming talk . . ." (Letters, Jan. 10). Poppycock! I looked up "music" in my dictionary: "vocal or instrumental sounds having rhythm, melody or harmony." That's or, not and. A composition need not have all three components; any one is sufficient. Rap has little, if any, melody or harmony, but it most indisputably has rhythm, and therefore meets the definition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1997
Re "Still Peddling Filth for Profit," Jan. 19. What other outlets do you think "we" should boycott / ban because "they" (definitely not part of "we" or "us") also use ugly themes--"sexual mutilation of women, gang fights, cop killing, rape, race wars and street murder" to make a buck? Who else can be accused of "peddling filth for profit?" Movies? Nope. Television programs? Never. Newspaper articles? Uh-uh. Magazine features? Nah. Lots and lots of books? No. It's all gangsta rap's fault!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 1995
How dismaying but perfectly in sync with the self-serving whining about the inequities in our judicial system to read attorney Richard Walton's comments regarding the outcome of the trial wherein his client, Dasean Cooper, was convicted and sentenced for murder (Feb. 4). Walton states that the real tragedy was the Cooper's rap career was just taking off. I beg to differ. The real tragedy is the violent and senseless loss of a human life. While I cannot comment on whether or not Cooper got a fair trial, presumably Walton was present during jury selection and bears some responsibility for the make-up of that jury.
June 30, 1990
I'm not a fearful person, but there are a few things that frighten me. Nuclear weapons. Moldy leftovers. Astronomical real estate prices. And men like Jack Thompson ("The 'Batman' Who Took On Rap" by Chuck Philips, June 18) frighten me. Thompson's virulent campaign to smother First Amendment freedoms is noteworthy not only for its vociferousness but also for its apparent success. When he says, "(God) has put the world together in such a way that government exists to point people God-ward," I become truly frightened.
June 24, 2000
Why does Robert Hilburn, a man who should know better, continue to glorify a recognized band of genuine thugs ("Arena Rap Has Arrived," June 17)? Day after day, we are assaulted by the barrage of news items heralding this crap as "artistry," and at the same time other reports of murder, robberies, assaults, weapons, threats, mistreatments of spouses, strong-arm tactics and worse. And, of course, the ever-present harangue from all of them concerning disrespect of authority and racial supremacies and hatred.
June 30, 1985 |
"Rap is about the gangs and the killings that went on until rap music and break-dancing helped end the violence. It brought people together." That's the view of Afrika Bambaataa, 26, one of the major forces in rap music's spread from the black and Latino gangs on the tough blocks of the southeast Bronx to international phenomenon Though he looked unconventional with his Zulu warrior hair style, Bambaataa spoke as politely as a mild-mannered Clark Kent during a recent interview here.
November 7, 1999
Thank you for glorifying a cultural criminal like Andre Young (a.k.a. Dr. Dre) and allowing him to spin his public persona with no less a writer than Robert Hilburn's help ("Does He Still Have the Rx?," Oct. 24). Young is merely trying to make himself more marketable in an age when gangsta rap is played out, and certainly wants to keep himself out of the line of fire of those rappers shooting each other these days (hence, his new label's name Aftermath, whereas he once recorded for Death Row Records)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2010 |
Los Angeles police are investigating a home invasion robbery at a Woodland Hills house used by a rap record label as a temporary residence for visiting recording artists, authorities said Monday. Officers went to the home in the 22100 block of Mulholland Drive about 1 a.m. Sunday after a report that two men and two women broke into the home during what was described as a "party or gathering." According to police, two suspects pulled out weapons and pistol-whipped some of the guests.