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.
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.
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.
July 26, 1992
White America is so hypocritical! This is certainly true of "our" politicians who are using rap as an issue to capitalize on the fear of white people who are terrified of being the victims of the same kind of racial violence that has been perpetuated against African-Americans by whites since Day One. The record companies that promote rap artists are not at fault. The men who manage them are simply doing what "businessmen" in America have always done. They are making money by hook or by crook.
December 26, 2010 |
Preaching With Sacred Fire An Anthology of African American Sermons, 1750 to the Present Edited by Martha Simmons and Frank A. Thomas W.W. Norton: 976 pp., $45 The Anthology of Rap Edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois Yale University Press: 868 pp., $35 Could one build some sort of sturdy footbridge between, say, Frederick Douglass and Kanye West? Two new books, "Preaching With Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons, 1750 to the Present" and "The Anthology of Rap," look at two very different forms of African American oral tradition but take similar paths to their conclusions about the history and import of the black narrative tradition, the sacred and the profound.
December 3, 2005
Re "Don't believe the hype -- rap anger isn't a meaningful message," Current, Nov. 27 John McWhorter makes a common error when he labels Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Common as examples of "conscious" rappers. No serious hip-hop aficionado would hold them up as "conscious," because that term has lost any meaning it once held. All of the above represent the most mainstream strain of hip-hop, not an alternative to the mainstream. What critics often miss is the diverse and global world of independent hip-hop, which is so much larger than any empty marketing terms such as "conscious" or "gangsta."