December 20, 2012

How many homicides is a quarter century of gangsta rap responsible for?

Rap music hit the Top 40 in 1979, but took a new turn around 25 years ago in early 1988 with the introduction of crime-glorifying gangsta rap, which arrived almost simultaneously with crack and an increase in the black youth homicide rate. Black homicide offenders had averaged about 10,000 per year in 1983-87, but then averaged about 15,000 per year from 1990-94.

The general theme of gangsta rap is that to be authentic, black males should follow a code of conduct that increases their likelihood of murdering other black males.

The Rev. Al Sharpton hates gangsta rap and intermittently crusades against it. I wouldn't be surprised that if Sharpton could make a decent living as an anti-gangsta rap advocate, that that would be his first choice of cause. But beyond the Tyler Perry audience of older black church ladies, there's nobody terribly interested in supporting advocacy on this topic. 

To younger white people, well, of course black people make hit songs about poppin' a cap in each other. It's just a thing they do. Haven't they always done this?

It's difficult to explain to anybody younger than a certain age that black people never used to make hit records about such a thing. The closest parallel might be blues songs like Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" about shooting your messing around woman down, but they generally were played as tragedy, not advice.

Has anybody's career ever suffered for having been a gangsta rapper? Ice Cube stars in family movies now and Ice T fights crime on one of the Law & Order shows. How much trouble have media companies gotten into over the years for purveying gangsta rap? A little, but not much.

So, within an order of magnitude, how many homicides could reasonably be attributed to gangsta rap over the last quarter of a century? Let's assume that it has zero affect on non-blacks. Assume blacks commit half of all homicides, and there have been maybe 16,000 total homicides per year over the last 25 years, or 8,000 per year by blacks. 

Now, what percentage of black homicides are due to the existence of a major genre of catchy rhymes advocating thug life?

It's pretty much impossible do disentangle factors with confidence, but I'll say, 5%. How do I know that? I don't, but it seems more plausible than 50% or 0.5%. So, 5% of 8,000 is 400 deaths per year. 

Over 25 years, that sums up to 10,000 murders.

129 comments:

Alpha Dog said...

Does gangsta rap influence black culture or does black culture influence gangsta rap?

The rise of gangsta rap seems to coincide with the rise of the black crack dealer/gangster in urban America.

To me, gangsta rap is just a reflection of urban black youth culture.

I think the causation is in a direction opposite to what you are trying to imply.

Anonymous said...

Did gangsta mariachi cause 50 000 murders in Mexico's drug war since 2006? BTW, "Hey Joe" was written by a white dude.

Anonymous said...

In Sierra Leone's civil war, the arm-amputating militias were partial to Tupac Shakur t-shirts.

The majority of the gangsta rap audience was always suburban white kids. For the smart ones it was cool and transgressive, and for the dumb ones it replaced death metal as the aggressive music genre used to piss off mom and dad, with South Central taking the place of Satan.

Speaking of which, Jimmy Iovine is truly the devil-- the truly evil human being who put an amazing amount of poison into the culture through his label Interscope Records.

Even Rick Rubin has his wonderful career rehabilitation of Johnny Cash to balance out his karmic scales. Not Iovine.

Anonymous said...

It's likely a feedback loop, Alpha Dog. Culture's not a one-way street. If fashions and hair styles among the young are often derived from pop culture, other forms of behavior are no less likely to be.

Anonymous said...

The solution is to ban "assaulty" rifles. That's the solution to any gun related problem, even if it does nothing. Modern American politics is like its creature, the TSA - it's all security theater, where actual results are beside the point.

Anonymous said...

Did you miss this extremely long report from the AP on steroids in college?

AP IMPACT: Steroids loom in major-college football

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grsj5oPQVW-aM1y--ZAtT5INg82g?docId=145060a9b83e4a3daf2ca958b80fe38f

How the AP analyzed football players' weight gain

Read more: http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/20389665/how-the-ap-analyzed-football-players-weight-gain#ixzz2Fekxr1wm

Steve Sailer said...

"Did gangsta mariachi cause 50 000 murders in Mexico's drug war since 2006?"

From Wikipedia:

A Narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkokoˈriðo], Drug Ballad) is a type of Mexican music and song tradition which evolved out of the norteño folk corrido tradition. ... The first corridos that focus on drug smugglers—the narco comes from "narcotics"—have been dated by Juan Ramírez-Pimienta to the 1930s. ... Music critics have also compared narcocorrido music to gangster rap.[1] [2]

Narcocorrido lyrics refer to particular events and include real dates and places.[3] The lyrics tend to speak approvingly of illegal criminal activities such as murder, torture, racketeering, extortion, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and sometimes political protest due to government corruption.

kurt9 said...

That's why black music (and black culture) was good in the 1970's. The funk and other black music was quite good and a lot of fun to play at parties. I liked 1970's funk. I never liked rap or hip-hop at all.

Anonymous said...

Alpha,

I read that low level gang bangers are very poorly payed. Glamour rather than economic reasons may drive them to make foolish choices. The glamour of gangsta rap makes them feel like winners when they are actually loosers.

(a bit like the prestige of science and being a STEM Ph.D. student but that's another story).

Horace

Chuck Ross said...

I know of two for sure: Tupac and Biggie.

But seriously, it is an interesting question and is of course fraught with correlation-causality issues.

Did the violent tendencies of the black community create gangsta rap? Seems so. But the very same creation helped perpetuate the violence.

bjdubbs said...

The culture wars are over, and the culture won.

Gringo said...

Steve Sailor
A Narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkokoˈriðo], Drug Ballad) is a type of Mexican music and song tradition which evolved out of the norteño folk corrido tradition.

Yesterday I happened to tune to a Spanish station when it was playing a narcocorrido. It was about delivering a load across the border. The DJ called it a "corrido prohibido." I thought to myself, this is gangsta rap set to polka music.

My take here is that the narco-gangsters predated the songs glorifying them.

Anonymous said...

I ran the numbers on this Steve and you're close - it's 10,232.

It is sickening to see Ice T on Law and Order. If I watched it of course. I don't because I'm not a f'n moron.


Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

OT:

Steve, you handsome devil! Great pic in the top right. Ladies, get out your donatin' purses!

Podsnap said...

When I was a kid into hardcore punk in the 80s I was pretty confident in believing that there was no new trend in music that could offend me or be more transgressive than the stuff I was into.

I was very wrong on that score.

Rap proved once and for all that the only point of modern youth culture is rebellion. It is the ne plus ultra until the next one comes along.

Anonymous said...

"Has anybody's career ever suffered for having been a gangsta rapper? Ice Cube stars in family movies now and Ice T fights crime on one of the Law & Order shows. How much trouble have media companies gotten into over the years for purveying gangsta rap? A little, but not much.'

Yep. Just ges to show how little the society expects of black folk.

In fact, I think that is to a great degree why Obama won re-election. "Hey, give the guy a break. He gets to blame everyone else for the state of the economy....and it's okay, he's black." Low expectations.

DaveinHackensack said...

"A Narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkokoˈriðo], Drug Ballad) is a type of Mexican music and song tradition which evolved out of the norteño folk corrido tradition"

That's how the recently departed Jenni Rivera got her start, according to her obits.

Nice pic, btw, Steve. Without the beard, you look like a senator from central casting.

AllanF said...

Well, gangsta-rap seems to have cost Trayvon his life, no?

Too bad no one asked the Reverend Sharpton, when he was down in Florida stirring the pot, his opinion on that matter.

Mr. Anon said...

"Chuck Ross said...

I know of two for sure: Tupac and Biggie."

It seems that one hears about a rapper getting shot and killed every month or two - mostly small-time ones, I suppose. Minor league filth, not the the big-time trash that ends up on national TV, like Ice Cube, Ice T, and Snoop-Dogg.

It is especially ironic (or, rather, just offensive) that "Ice-T" (to use his ridiculous rap moniker) got a gig playing a cop in the Law and Order franchise, given that he is the **artist** who cut "Cop Killer".

wren said...

Really enjoying the popular rap of Macklemore.

Damn! That's a cold ass honky.

Like Steve.

Marc B said...

It would be hard for me to pin the blame on gangster rap when dysgenics is the more likely culprit. LBJ's Great Society encouraged a flourishing birth rate from among the least responsible, least future-time oriented, and least impulse controlled people, and the 1980's are when the fruits of the Great Society entered adulthood.

This generation had not only largely been raised without a stable father figure in the home, but the donor himself was more likely to be closer to the 40% of incarcerated black males than from the Talented Tenth. Mom probably wasn't a member of MENSA herself.

I posit that the crime rate was influenced by the proportional increase in deficients among the Post-Segregation era black population. The financial restraints that limited the birthrate of responsible, contributing members of the black community to only as many as children as they could afford were no hindrance to the shiftless and sexually impulsive blacks. This group of blacks quickly became a disproportionate percentage of the entire black population (Chris Rock's classic Niggers vs. Black People routine shows the friction between these factions) thanks to welfare and the laundry list of other handouts. Gangster rap only reinforced the irresponsible behavior they were already hard-wired to engage in.

Anonymous said...

I love the pic, Steve, you handsome devil, you.

MuayTyson said...

All you old farts(just a tease) are missing something. Once an "artist" hits main stream maybe with the exception of Tupac and Biggie, whom both are dead, black youth are not as interested, White youth drive that market. If you want to hear unimaginable filth you need to hear the mix tapes that are put out by more local artists. These are sold on ever street corner in the hood' for a few bucks. The violence and filth on these are much worse than anything you will get commercialy.

Anonymous said...

from Hey joe to hey ho.

maybe paradoxically, the increase in black crime reduced black crime. with negroes killing negroes, dangerous negroes were more likely to die or end up in jail.

it's like the rise in wild homorgies had a way of taming the gay community.

so, rap music may have the same effect as unfettered crap sex.

Anonymous said...

"If you want to hear unimaginable filth"

How much more unimaginable can it get?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Psy who wants to kill Americans has been invited to the White House.

Suppose he'd said 'kill Jews, negroes, or gays'. By 'yankee', he meant white americans.

rotten scum.

hasn't rap culture humped the shark yet when some kim jong il clone can become a worldwide sensation?

Chief Seattle said...

The big question is if gun control takes precedence over amnesty. If I were a soulless liberal interested in government takeover then gun control would be top priority every time. Amnesty would be top priority about three months before an election.

Anonymous said...

Back in NWA's heyday, I knew people who couldn't appreciate hip-hop that wasn't about murder and ho's. White people from Colorado.

Not sure what they'd say now, what with Snoop hanging out with Martha Stewart, and these fans now soccer parents.

MuayTyson said...

This is R&B but not what you are used to it also contains some Rap. This is how unimaginable it can be and this is not that violent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY

OSS said...

The Rev. Al Sharpton hates gangsta rap and intermittently crusades against it.

Sharpton is at least as culpable for inciting violence as any rapper. Amazing how his involvement in the Freddie's Fashion Mart and Crown Heights disappeared down the memory hole, not to mention Tawana Brawley, his taxes and comments on gays.

It is sickening to see Ice T on Law and Order. If I watched it of course. I don't because I'm not a f'n moron.

I get physically sick every time I change the channel to MSNBC and see Sharpton loud talking about the latest 'injustice' in America. How he ever finagled a show on MSNBC is beyond me. Blackmail on someone?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W4A_NcYOpk

We need to bring back Panathenaia.

Truth said...

"Has anybody's career ever suffered for having been a gangsta rapper? Ice Cube stars in family movies now and Ice T fights crime on one of the Law & Order shows. How much trouble have media companies gotten into over the years for purveying gangsta rap?"

"Even Rick Rubin has his wonderful career rehabilitation of Johnny Cash to balance out his karmic scales. Not Iovine."

Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me?

"Well, gangsta-rap seems to have cost Trayvon his life, no?"

Really? I thought it was a Kel-Tec PF-9?

Anyway, I guess like the liberals say, "guns don't kill people, music kills people."

Truth said...

"Has anybody's career ever suffered for having been a gangsta rapper? Ice Cube stars in family movies now and Ice T fights crime on one of the Law & Order shows. How much trouble have media companies gotten into over the years for purveying gangsta rap?"

"Even Rick Rubin has his wonderful career rehabilitation of Johnny Cash to balance out his karmic scales. Not Iovine."

Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me?

"Well, gangsta-rap seems to have cost Trayvon his life, no?"

Really? I thought it was a Kel-Tec PF-9?

Anyway, I guess like the liberals say, "guns don't kill people, music kills people."

jody said...

i don't know how many murders it is responsible for, but it is funny how rap music peaked in parallel with the murder rate.

1991 to 1996 or so was the peak of rap music, been slowly and steadily downhill since then, until, oh, 2006 when it really starting going downhill. now it's garbage. no redeeming value at all.

of course, some would say that's always been the case, rap never elevated beyond garbage, but i'd argue that some of it used to be good.

ATBOTL said...

"To younger white people, well, of course black people make hit songs about poppin' a cap in each other. It's just a thing they do. Haven't they always done this?"

Yes. It's only recently that whites were exposed to it.

The Iliad is a song whose general theme is that to be authentic, Aryan males should follow a code of conduct that increases their likelihood of murdering other Aryan males.

Black culture is not pathological. Modern white culture is pathological.

ATBOTL said...

"Even Rick Rubin has his wonderful career rehabilitation of Johnny Cash to balance out his karmic scales."

In some sense, I think Nashville's abandonment of Cash is a microcosm of what's wrong with "red state" type white American culture and by extension modern conservatism.

The total rejection of anything of aesthetic or spiritual value for commercialized, lowest common denominator swill is a big reason why so many white Americans turn their backs on their own culture and people.

You can't build a nation around Wallmart values.

Anonymous said...

There's Lightning Hopkins "Shotgun Blues" (no relation to the GunsnRoses song), but that's another my-woman-done-me-wrong song.

Btw, on glamourising shooting aka making a buck out of mass murder, don't forget Bob Geldof's "I Don't Like Mondays".

Anonymous said...

"Did gangsta mariachi cause 50 000 murders in Mexico's drug war since 2006?"

It seems, at a minimum, that widespread cultural influences will act to normalize the gangs and their activities to the public.

The fashions of drug runners are also emulated (2011 MSNBC article w/ pics). It seems like the Policia Federal has responded to this phenomenon. Now, when Drug War arrests are paraded in front of the cameras at news conferences, the offenders' shirts are concealed by otherwise gratuitous bulletproof vests.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a pic where you don't look like a creep. If you were an NYT columnist, that would be your head shot.

Anonymous said...

Like the new photo.
Dare I say it, but an older, more earnest looking Steve than the bearded,bespectaculed photo that I was used to, and which formed my mental image of Steve for years.
- And now, for some reason, I feel intimidated from making frivolous, profanity laden and often silly posts.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right.
Prior to 1980, say, black music was pretty much distinguished by its inoffensiveness and, dare I say it, its inanity,
The punk rockers of the time took all forms of black music - with its 'micro-phone' hairdo's, little dance routines, guitars with the necks held high etc, as a big joke, and the ultimate in bland, gutless, balls-less nonsense. Think of the Floaters and 'Float On', *that* was black music in the 1970s. Or Boney-M.
The other main theme in black music, believe it or not with all the snarling violence of today's rap, was a kind of ridiculous comedy of absurdity and smuttiness - based mainly on male attitudes to sexuality and women eg Chuck Berry's execrable 'My ding-a-ling'.

No Limit Wigga said...

"Let's assume that it has zero affect on non-blacks."
-
That's so unfair! And racist! You ... cracka! You honkie!

Rap artists are artistic geniuses. They influence everyone, even those unaware of it. We only live in their world.

Anonymous said...

Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me?

This is may be the first comment of Truth's with which I've wholeheartedly agreed.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory

It is interesting. Black music has always been "k" and all about sex rather than love whereas almost every other ethnic group's music is "K" and 90% love songs.

The switch to the violent version of k where males create a harem through driving off rival males rather than through smooth-talking multiple women ought to have a reason.

That the poison culture should promote the most destructive form of k-type behaviour makes perfect sense as it would least effect the highest IQ groups - they might take 5% damage but everyone else would take 30-80% damage - which increases the *relative* gap between the proto elite caste and everyone else but did they create it or did it come out naturally and they only fanned the flames?

Or maybe a bit of both - gangsta rap as a naturally occurring outcrop of black music along with the much larger sex-focused stuff but after being fanned by MTV rap became dominant?

Apparently the time-scales involved are too small for it to be genetics but otherwise i'd say the balance between the smooth-talking kind of predatory r-type male and the violent kind of predatory r-type male was shifted by either

- the post-60s retreat from policing black areas to simply containing them

- some side-effect of the drug culture

leading to a cultural tipping point where the Barry Whites became outnumbered by the Biggie Smalls.

Then the poison culture simply copied the idea to sell as poison to white kids - or in fact globally now as shown by gangnam style.

Actually now i mention it there's a scene in the Brazilian film City of God where the men who compete with other men through being good dancers get humiliated by a gangstas which kind of mirrors what may have happened?

Overall i'd say fighting over the drugs probably started it followed by media encouragement intended to spread the poison to white kids but which had a disproportionately negative effect on black kids for IQ reasons.

So 50/50 - maybe an extra 5000 rather than 10,000?

Daybreaker said...

Johnny Cash's album Murder is good. Its focus on crime, lamentation (for example in Mr. Garfield) and punishment, lots of punishment makes it a very different influence from rap.

georgesdelatour said...

I've come to this discussion late. I'm probably repeating others ideas.

Johnny Cash seems to have invented gangsta rap several years earlier.

The crucial question is, who was actually listening to this music?

I've always assumed NWA were most popular with white middle class teenage males - the kids who otherwise would have got into dark heavy metal. There's the old joke about Rage Against The Machine's most famous lyric - "F*** you, I won't do what you tell me". In the suburbs it really meant, "F*** you, I won't clean up my bedroom".

A lot of the local humour of Sasha Baron-Cohen's British wigga Ali-G comes from the fact that he lives in Staines, a prosperous middle class commuter town west of London. But because he listens to gangsta rap, he's re-imagined it as if it were Compton or Watts, complete with drive-by shootings. The Offspring's "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" satirises the type from an American perspective.

Here's Gwyneth Paltrow coverning "Strainght Outta Compton":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6Oej7K469I

Here's Nina Gordon's Joni Mitchell-style cover:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6Oej7K469I

I wouldn't be surprised if people who actually lived in Compton wanted something more aspirational or escapist to listen to. Whenever I heard African Americans interviewed about their musical taste around this time, they often said their favourite artist was Sade, because she was "classy."

Anonymous said...

No one is going to question this. It's too awkward. We might have to ask why white people can listen to this music (and we do - I love it) without committing hugely disproportionate numbers of murders.

White people would rather flee from blacks than ask awkward questions that might make them look bad in front of other white people.

Podsnap said...

The punk rockers of the time took all forms of black music - with its 'micro-phone' hairdo's, little dance routines, guitars with the necks held high etc, as a big joke, and the ultimate in bland, gutless, balls-less nonsense.

Totally. I always saw black music as a joke in the 80's (of course I was quite ignorant of older forms of black music like soul). Apparently a lot of black people did too, and they reacted with an overload of 'authenticity' (which always gets critical respect these days) with rap.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, a pic where you don't look like a creep."

I liked the old photos. I've often thought that someone artistic could take the optimistic, smiling bearded Sailer and use it to make an iconic T-shirt. You could wear it and make a statement most people would not understand unless/until they went home and googled Steve.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember the whole Ice-T Cop Killer brouhaha, which was the one time there was collective outrage over Gangsta rap. Except that the song was not gangster rap - it was heavy metal. Ice-T's "Body Count" album was his attempt at the genre. It was mostly unlistenable, but no worse than a lot of the hair band metal that was on its last legs at the time. As for the offending song, the fact that it was in a genre that catered almost exclusively to whites probably had something to do with it, although almost all of the media and politicos erroneously referred to it as rap. The genuinely gangsta rap , and equally offensive "F*** tha Police" by NWA a few years earlier generated nowhere near as much outrage.

Anonymous said...

Nice pic Steve. You look like one of the great white defendants on Law & Order.

JoeJoe

josh said...

"I think the causation is in a direction opposite to what you are trying to imply."

It runs both ways, genius.

"Did gangsta mariachi cause 50 000 murders in Mexico's drug war since 2006?"

You know, there is a genre of music in Mexico glamorizing the drug cartel life.

elvisd said...

Here's some comments from a poster on a similar theme on Takimag:

"I don't know if McInnes is familiar with the black theology that one often hears in lowbrow, downhome churches. If he's ever driving through the South on a Sunday, just flick on the radio and tune into some religious programs. He'll inevitably hear that black theological insight, "Only G-d can judge a man", which is always paired with "you can't judge a man with where he's been, only by where his is now." In other words, no sin can be condemned by the police, a judge, a jury, society. It's a a front-loaded absolution of guilt, and is the kind of "thinking" that corrupts young blacks. This is the true root of "Stop Snitching" and every other kind of amorality that one finds in black communities.

Another feature of black communities is how in many churches, anybody, and I mean anybody, can become a "reverend". You'll see worthless teenage thugs who've fathered two kids get annointed with "reverend" status. It's such a mockery of spiritual authority that it's small wonder that you see such a cynical, blasphemous portraying of the pimp/preacher dichotomy everywhere in black culture. The preacher-as-hustler is a well-known archetype, yet you see it celebrated, and it has been this way for a long time. Just listen to how pimps will casually blaspheme religious imagery and language. When they toast each other, they'll say "church".

People rant on about rap as being some kind of of cause of black pathology. It's actually much older and can easily be traced to what goes on in many black churches. Everyone with half a brain in the South sees this stuff and knows it, but nobody will talk about it."



Karen said...

Crime is not a new subject for songs. Murde ballads.

Shouting Thomas said...

Cocaine Blues!

Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my baby down
I shot her down then I went to bed
I stuck that lovin' forty-four beneath my head


Circa 1947!

carol said...

geez, be fair. I haven't heard it all, but check out some deathcore lyrics, 20 years' worth.

FWG said...

I remember gangsta rap becoming popular around 1994, when I was in 4th grade (to give you an idea of my age). I had just been moved to a more "diverse" from an area with very little diversity, so I was probably exposed to this phenomenon a little earlier than most children. Very interesting experience. Going from music like Louis Armstrong to Motown to gangsta rap can't portend a good outcome, any way you slice it.

Hope you had a happy birthday, Steve! Lookin' good, by the way.

Truth said...

"Finally, a pic where you don't look like a creep."

"Like the new photo.
Dare I say it, but an older, more earnest looking Steve than the bearded,bespectaculed photo that I was used to, and which formed my mental image of Steve for years."


LOL, I have to agree here, Steve-O; most middle-aged, professional, married white men just aren't Black-Leather-Jacket type-Katts.

When I used to look at that old picture I conjured up this image of you being interviewed by Leslie Stahl on 60 minutes and she says:

"So what are you rebelling against, Mr. Sailer?"

And you sneer and spit on the studio floor and almost insouicantly mumble;

"What have you got?"

Londoner said...

Around 2004 the Goldie Lookin Chain were a moderate cultural phenomenon in Britain. The GLC were an all-white hip-hop crew from Newport, South Wales and some of their material, especially pre-fame, was utterly hilarious. Not sure how well it would be understood by Americans, but they have many songs on YouTube so try them out. Their most famous song is called "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do" (ask any politician and they'll tell you it's true).

ironrailsironweights said...

@ Marc B -

Dysgenic fertility is easily overrated as the cause of a population group's socioeconomic decay. Greg Cochran at West Hunter recently pointed out that even in the worst case scenario it can cause a group's average I.Q. score to fall by no more than a half-point per generation.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Gangster rap got big in the 90's. Crips & Bloods in the 80's. Killing was bigger in the 80's.

Jachim said...

There was someone here who used to comment on Debbie Harry a lot. Harry was the first hit single having artist to do "rap" and had a big hit with a rap break surrounded by some semi-treacly spacey pop.

I had a black man working for me who was alsoa minister in his church. I was fooling around on guitar at the office one time and trying to figure out a Blondie song when he expressed extreme disdain for that group. He said that when white rockers started playing rap-style music the young blacks were driven to be more and more extreme, because they only liked music that white people obviously didn't.I thought that was kind of ignorant and said so, to which he replied, "Why do you think scrappy white kids like Metallica and Led Zeppelin and Rush? No one can dance to that bulls***. It's to drive off their parents and the regular people. So how are our kids worse than yours?"

He had a point.

Anonymous said...

Melli Mel explained on an old Fresh Air episode that, to record the first ever rap album, some producers gave him the rap lyric and asked him to speak it over a beat, thereby inventing the genre and giving a protest voice to the urban male.

Black singers have been cutting down unfaithful ladies in music since at least back in the 20s; there are a number of versions of 32-20 (or 22-20) from that hard knuckled era.

Anonymous said...

Truth: Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me?

While Johnny Cash had some lines that related to violence he had many songs about spirituality, redemption, civil rights, getting along, and other concepts related to righteousness.

Gangster rap is nothing like that.

Let's be objective for once Truth. Imagine being a chinese man put into an uncontrolled environment such as a prison - would you rather be put in a room full of people raised on Johnny Cash songs or a room full of people raised on Gangster Rap.

For once be intellectually honest with yourself. Understand the difference that the distance between Cash and Ganster Rap makes for the rest of us! At least have some respect for the dead!!

Kylie said...

"Like the new photo.
Dare I say it, but an older, more earnest looking Steve than the bearded,bespectaculed photo that I was used to, and which formed my mental image of Steve for years."


My mental image of Steve was more along the lines of the Great and Powerful Oz.


"- And now, for some reason, I feel intimidated from making frivolous, profanity laden and often silly posts."

Not me, I'll go right on making frivolous, silly posts. For me, the choice is simple and stark.

But I sure as heck won't be posting them while in my jammies.

Anonymous said...

All I know is gangsta rap just makes me aware of just how ALIEN blacks and black mentality are from me and my mindset.

Anonymous said...

Gangster rap mirrored the rise in black violence. I don't think it caused it. Black violence then declined because urban law enforcement got a lot better in the 1990's.

Farbar Beeston said...

To me rap has always just sounded like extremely illiterate, obscene jump-rope ditties. Simple. Stupid. Childish. One dimensional.

That makes White admiration of it all the more insane. And that admiration is literally a form of self-destructive mental illness. It is such a massive denial of reality that it can only be described as a mass mental pathology.

Malkin's description of Obama as the "Hip-hop president" is quite apt if you understand that Obama is nothing but a common criminal. Obama has all the principles of an enraged Badger hidden behind that bland, effeminate, inarticulate, stammering exterior. He embodies a uniquely malignant combination of incompetence and evil. Obama is sort of like a Clinton but with truth Tourette's. Every lie he tells simply reveals itself, by its utter absurdity, as a transparent lie.

And yet all the frightened White hippies idolize him, and the rappers, as if they are spiritual giants and promethean intellectuals.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many murders rap music is responsible for, but I witnessed (and so has any other public school employee) the effect its lyrics have had on students of ALL ages--it emboldened them to use the most vulgar, the most profane language. It was the beginning of the end.

FredR said...

On the subject of the Iliad, here is Richard Kulisz's post "Gangster rap is 3000 years old"

http://richardkulisz.blogspot.com/2012/06/gangster-rap-is-3000-years-old.html

Anonymous said...

"Well, gangsta-rap seems to have cost Trayvon his life, no?"

"Really? I thought it was a Kel-Tec PF-9?"
___________________________

Certainly his punk-ass perception of himself got him killed.

peterike said...

Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me?

Decontextualize much, Truth? Find me a rap song that says something like this:

Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free.

The song is about, you know, a guy in prison, who is regretting that he's in prison. After all, his mamma told him "Son, Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns."

As for rap in general, of course it's damaging. How much, who can say? But equally damaging is how white music critics fethisized it and excused any degeneracy as "authentic."

"Authentic" is such a great giveaway word, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"wren said...
Really enjoying the popular rap of Macklemore."

Thanks for the link ...on a further comic note ... the readers might like to check out a dude from the Netherlands on Youtube who goes by the name of OGFurious.

His real neame is Dean Leysen.

He has two youtube accounts, one as Dean Leysen. As Dean Leysen he talks about various Gladwell type stuff from his own background as a psychology grad student.

However, where he really shines is as OGFurious a White WannaBe Gangster rapper who give all sorts of very politically incorrect absolutely hilarious advice about picking up chicks (or "scoring Hoes" as he might refer to it), and how to be gang banger, etc...

In addition to sending up the rap culture he also takes a lot of hilarious shots at the PUA crowd.

He is a little bit inconsistent ...but when he is on he is hilarious and very unPC (as a European he may not be aware of how unPC he is).

Check out this one from him: Gangsta Pick-Up Artist: Locking In - YouTube
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLjk2dtYnqE

Another funny take on rap was done by the Whitestkids (a group of White comedians who take on some funny issues ocassionally) in their famous Hitler Rap.

The Whitestkids - Hitler Rap - YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9HOAkpPnt4

Very funny stuff ...hey if you don't feel like crying at least you can laugh.

Anonymous said...

This is an out-of-touch, middle-aged white person post, Steve. The "gangsta" element in hip-hop has been fading since the early 2000's. Those rappers who still make reference to violent street life are either isolated instances of lyrical atavism or alluding to earlier records.

Marc B said...

"Even Rick Rubin has his wonderful career rehabilitation of Johnny Cash to balance out his karmic scales. Not Iovine."

"Mr. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? Are you fucking kidding me"?

A friend and I were drinking beer and listening to the Johnny Cash "Live at Folsom Prison" album back in the late 1990's, and he agreed with me that it was one of the early gangster rap albums.

"In some sense, I think Nashville's abandonment of Cash is a microcosm of what's wrong with "red state" type white American culture and by extension modern conservatism".

New York AR types have remade country music in their image after seeing the $$$ leave rock and roll and ending up in Garth Brooks' pocket. You can thank them for Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts popularity. I know the ugliness of a big box store shopping, chain restaurant dining, new country/Rush Limbaugh/classic rock listening, cross-over driving suburban/Red State America isn't winning over any SWPL converts. Until a parallel alt right cool emerges or Middle America changes it's tastes, we'll have to rely on the cognitive dissonance and anecdotal life experience to mug people back into racial reality.

alonzo portfolio said...

It seems to me that I heard the first story of a black kid getting killed for his Air Jordans around 1985, before your estimate for emergence of GR. So, I think you'd first have to factor out Nike.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Steve, it was the Crack Wars in the early 90s.

Whiskey said...

Gangsta Rap is the symptom, not the problem Steve.

Black men compete to be as someone (oh, you) put it: the best fighters, singers, and dancers. Jay-Z is worth about a half a billion, by being credibly one of the hardest, angriest, baddest, scariest Black men around. That is what sells. Its male dominance displays and Black people and ... White women just LOVE IT!

A guy who kills in a "rap feud" will get riches and lots of the best women. It does not surprise me that an aspiring rapper was "hit" in NYC after a beef with Usher and his posse ... said hitman tracking him down in NYC after he flew there for a week-end from LA.

White girls in particular love Rap. They respond to the dominance message, pure and simple.

It is interesting to compare/contrast Rap and Country, in terms of lyrics and sales. Rap far outsells country and seems to generate far larger fortunes. I.E. Jay-Z and Usher are richer than most Country stars.

Truth said...

"Certainly his punk-ass perception of himself got him killed."

That's funny, the media said someone shot him.

Truth said...

"While Johnny Cash had some lines that related to violence he had many songs about spirituality, redemption, civil rights, getting along, and other concepts related to righteousness."

So did Public Enemy, Naz and a host of others. Even NWA had some redeeming "social content."

The main fact is that Johnny Cash got famous by singing about murders he never committed, bar fights he was never in, and prison terms he never served. Just like, well you know who.

Karen said...

Have any of you ever heard of Tom Dooley? Murder Ballads? The thousand and one songs about cheating, drinking, and life generally reeking that country artists used to record? I have no love for gangsta rap because it sounds ugly, but it's hardly the first genre of popular music in English about anti-heroes.

Anonymous said...

"The Offspring's "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" satirises the type from an American perspective."

Hey, thanks for explaining that to me. I never took the time to read the lyrics and understand them.

http://www.lyrics007.com/Offspring%20Lyrics/Pretty%20Fly%20%28For%20A%20White%20Guy%29%20Lyrics.html

In the first verse, they explain who they are talking about. In the second verse, they comment those that imitate black rappers.

In the second verse, they must be commenting on those who imitate Mexican gang members. Hence the "Uno dos tres cuatro cinco cinco se�s". Here's what the 13 tattoo would signify.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sure%C3%B1os

Anonymous said...

"The preacher-as-hustler is a well-known archetype, yet you see it celebrated, and it has been this way for a long time."

This isn't restricted to black people. Maybe not the celebratedness aspect, but the dishonest hustler aspect. When a white preacher is exposed, gullible white church goers are always surprised - "But he was a minister!". When it comes to gullibility, sometimes I think we are not much better than natives giving away their gold for trinkets.

Anonymous said...

"So how are our kids worse than yours?""

Homicide rate and general crime rate is nearly ten times worse.

Anonymous said...

Don't fight Truth on this, you'll just make yourself look stupid. Go back and read what he was replying to. He's right. He wasn't arguing that Johnny Cash is the white equivalent to gangster rap (he's not really in the same league), it's just that rescuing Johnny Cash's career won't be doing any balancing of karmic scales.

Ron Woo said...

"Jay-Z is worth about a half a billion, by being credibly one of the hardest, angriest, baddest, scariest Black men around. "

You're completely off the mark.

Jay-Z does not strive to depict himself as a surly, intimidating badass. Instead he's crafted an image as a slick, urbane music tycoon.

Anonymous said...

"Jay-Z is worth about a half a billion, by being credibly one of the hardest, angriest, baddest, scariest Black men around."

I heard some of his stuff. Sounds gay to me.

Btw, I think the appeal for girls isn't merely hardness.

Goth and metal can be hard too. The thing about black music is the groove, beat, rhythm, slickness. Even when tough, it sounds 'easy' and cool instead of clunky(metal) or retarded(punk).

Anonymous said...

"Jay-Z is worth about a half a billion, by being credibly one of the hardest, angriest, baddest, scariest Black men around."

Have you listened to anything Jay-Z has ever done? True, his early records were done in the post-Biggie mafioso vein (drug dealer rap that takes cues more from gangster movies than anything else) but I can't think of anything particularly hard, angry, or bad he's done in the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

"Decontextualize much, Truth? Find me a rap song that says something like this:"

What? Themes of remorse and depression run throughout hip-hop, particularly that of the early nineties "gangsta" rap upswing. The final track on Ready to Die is Biggie cataloging all the things that make him despicable and then killing himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GygEAcFFMVs

Anonymous said...

After Nixon left the LBJ black ward heelers in office, there was a stable black middle class. They could afford to leave the hood. So they did.


Twenty years later, their kids grew up knowing they had to mau mau the flak catchers to follow in their parents career path, but oops, they weren't from the hood. So, rap, and as they got farther from the hood from 79-89 they made it fuglier to compensate. It's like all the fuss over switchblades in the 50s. Switchblades started as a WWII troop utility pocketknife; nobody in WWII was scared. Ten years later, they let their kids play with them.

Anonymous said...

Peterike ftw

Truth don't waste your occasional talents defending something as corrosive to your people as gangster rap.

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

Whiskey is sort of right, that gangsta rap (throwing signs, cursing out strangers) appeals very strongly indeed to suburban white females, but not the voting "women" he fixates upon so much as the culture-forming population of insecure adolescent girls--the type often seen in sunglasses with the 5" lenses to completely cover their faces--these apparently gleaning some special resonance from manchild boasting. Granted, there is only a continuum between these 12-year-olds and their future parasite-single selves.

Truth, is that the "black way" of spelling the performance name of Nas?

Coincidentally I have just been reading about urban hero/crack kingpin Rayful Edmond and his rosy prospectus for further fame.

dirk said...

I'm no expert on new music these days, but if bands appearing on Saturday Night Live are representative, white music and black music have decoupled a lot since the 60's, 70's and 80's. The white music all sounds sissified, with seemingly no influence from the blues, soul, rock-n-roll era. Similarly, rap music seems uninfluenced by white music. James Brown used to be about the blackest man in show business, yet he was clearly listening to some white Rock-n-Roll as well as Italian crooner music.

Put another way: white music now sounds whiter while black music now sounds blacker.

elvisd said...

This is an out-of-touch, middle-aged white person post, Steve. The "gangsta" element in hip-hop has been fading since the early 2000's. Those rappers who still make reference to violent street life are either isolated instances of lyrical atavism or alluding to earlier records.

Bullshit.

A thirty minute drive around the hood on a saturday to assorted gas stations proves this wrong. Just look for the cd racks next to the cheap incense. Then head to the abandoned lot where they're selling boot cd's with the two-pair-for-ten-dollars jeans. Where have you been?

jody said...

"The "gangsta" element in hip-hop has been fading since the early 2000's. Those rappers who still make reference to violent street life are either isolated instances of lyrical atavism or alluding to earlier records."

it didn't start declining in earnest until 2006 or so, until after the 2005 feud between 50 cent and the game, and eminem retired in the middle of his prime, deactivating his D12 crew.

in 2007 what i call "retard rap" started to emerge and that became more popular than gangster rap by a good margin. soulja boy was the vanguard of this ridiculous stuff, which is now the main format of rap. total nonsensical lyrics sometimes even mumbled so you have no idea what is being said, with choruses that are inane. lil wayne being the current primary purveyor.

by the time eminem came back, gangster rap was over, and he had dropped most of that stuff from his material.

tourmaline said...

"Malkin's description of Obama as the "Hip-hop president" is quite apt if you understand that Obama is nothing but a common criminal. Obama has all the principles of an enraged Badger hidden behind that bland, effeminate, inarticulate, stammering exterior. He embodies a uniquely malignant combination of incompetence and evil. Obama is sort of like a Clinton but with truth Tourette's. Every lie he tells simply reveals itself, by its utter absurdity, as a transparent lie."

Thank you. I knew there had to be somebody else out there who gets it.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey wrote, "It is interesting to compare/contrast Rap and Country, in terms of lyrics and sales. Rap far outsells country and seems to generate far larger fortunes. I.E. Jay-Z and Usher are richer than most Country stars."

Would you care to cite any sources on that? According to CMT news, sales of Country music albums in 2010 were 43,718,000 units. Sales of Rap albums during the same time were 27,328,000 units.

If you want people to take you serious, than you have to stop making false claims two thirds of the time. Try linking to some source to back up your claims.

I have no idea if the source I linked to is correct. But it would seem to contradict your claim that rap far outsells country.

Kylie said...

"The main fact is that Johnny Cash got famous by singing about murders he never committed, bar fights he was never in, and prison terms he never served. Just like, well you know who."

There'a difference between lamentation and celebration but I wouldn't expect you to get that.

Or put more simply, there's a difference between "If I do bad stuff, that makes me a fool" and "If I do bad stuff, that makes me cool".

Or put even more simply, there's a difference between:

"When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry.."


...and...

"Yo! Yo! Yo!
All that shit you taught me, mom, was full of shit!
Know what I'm sayin'?
How the fuck you gonna tell me to run my motherfuckin' life?
Bitch! You dont even know who the fuck you are!"

ATBOTL said...

"Prior to 1980, say, black music was pretty much distinguished by its inoffensiveness and, dare I say it, its inanity,"

You only heard black music, like Motown, that was crafted to appeal to white audiences.

In the 70's in NYC, lot's of young black men listened to heavy metal and in the late 70's and early 80's, punk rock. Both influenced hip hop, which is Jamaican in origin.

NYC is different.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

While Johnny Cash had some lines that related to violence he had many songs about spirituality, redemption, civil rights, getting along, and other concepts related to righteousness."

The salient difference between Johnny Cash and rap is that Cash's work is music, whereas rap is just unmusical sh*t.

Truth said...

"The salient difference between Johnny Cash and rap is that Cash's work is music, whereas rap is just unmusical sh*t."

Thank you for your usual erudite and highly scientific analysis.

Truth said...

"t murders he never committed, bar fights he was never in, and prison terms he never served. Just like, well you know who."

There'a difference between lamentation and celebration but I wouldn't expect you to get that."

Oh, so he felt bad after murdering a man for no reason at all? Well that's sweet. Maybe the governor should have pardoned him.

Anonymous said...

Rap is based on square dancing calls.

Malcolm McLaren - Buffalo gals

socks said...

I'm torn by this essay/post.

On one hand, I like rap. It makes up about 20% of my ipod. Otoh, I can understand (some of) people's objections.

I like the intensity and drive of rap, and whatever energy I get from listening, I focus on non-violent, often more productive outlets, than what is found in the lyrics.

I wonder how many other suburban white kids, often said to be rap's primary audience, have done the same and how many suicides (or even mass murders) have been prevented by by not listening to things like "alternative". Rather than reinforcing bad impulses, rap may be balancing for some.

socks said...

Also, rap has had one other redeeming quality for me personally. I did a lot of shadowboxing to Bone-Thugs and the fast, erratic rhythms made me a better (point) fighter. Not that this has broader implications. Well, I guess it's an example of doing something intensely rather than not getting out of bed because I didn't see the point, which I have also done, though I associate that period with... Soundgarden comes to mind? Maybe Alanis Morissette or Pearl Jam?

vinteuil said...

Achilles' reply to Odysseus in Book IX of the Iliad is the greatest thing anybody ever spoke &/or wrote, in any language, before the Sixteenth Century A.D.

"We are all held in a single honour" &c.

Are there ways in which the Iliad can be compared to "gangsta rap?"

Well, yeah, sure. Stupid, malign, trivializing ways.

panjoomby said...

they should call it "assault rap" :)

Svigor said...

I have to agree with Alpha Dog - we're simply seeing a flowering of black culture here. Of course, it has its enablers; three Jewish kids invented Gangter Rap in Brooklyn in the late 80s. And Jewish producers gave Gangsta Rap its platform. But then, the rescinding of White Supremacy could be called a contributing factor, too. It's pretty well established that some flavor of White Supremacy is the undisputed world champ of getting decent outcomes out of blacks.

The majority of the gangsta rap audience was always suburban white kids.

Like welfare, I think per capita rates are more germane, and per capita consumption of GR has always been a black thing. Also, the "paying customers" vs. "actual audience" thing is pretty relevant here.

It's likely a feedback loop, Alpha Dog.

True. I was thinking the same thing. But the feedback loop is just another manifestation of the flowering of black culture.

A Narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkoko'riðo], Drug Ballad) is a type of Mexican music and song tradition which evolved out of the norteño folk corrido tradition. ... The first corridos that focus on drug smugglers—the narco comes from "narcotics"—have been dated by Juan Ramírez-Pimienta to the 1930s. ... Music critics have also compared narcocorrido music to gangster rap.[1] [2]

Narcocorrido lyrics refer to particular events and include real dates and places.[3] The lyrics tend to speak approvingly of illegal criminal activities such as murder, torture, racketeering, extortion, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and sometimes political protest due to government corruption.


They featured this in a season (3?) of Breaking Bad, if I don't miss my guess.

Alpha,

I read that low level gang bangers are very poorly payed. Glamour rather than economic reasons may drive them to make foolish choices. The glamour of gangsta rap makes them feel like winners when they are actually loosers.

(a bit like the prestige of science and being a STEM Ph.D. student but that's another story).


Yes and no. Banging = street cred. Cred = pussy and status (intimidation). Also, it may pay like McDonald's, but there's no actual work involved. You just sit/stand there and hand out drugs and take cash, and maybe get into a fight once in a while.

Back in NWA's heyday, I knew people who couldn't appreciate hip-hop that wasn't about murder and ho's. White people from Colorado.

That's funny, because I listented to NWA when they came out, then my interest in rap peaked with the more poetic/experimental stuff like Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, etc., and then I lost interest in rap, and when I got out of school and heard it again years later, it all sounded like the worst sort of commercial tripe. And every time I hear it I think, "you know, back in the day it wasn't all shit."

Svigor said...

Oh, so he felt bad after murdering a man for no reason at all? Well that's sweet. Maybe the governor should have pardoned him.

Something tells me the gangsta rappers sound a lot more like Johnny Cash at their parole hearings than they do gangsta rappers.

HipHipHooray said...

You mention a rise in crime such as crack violence co-occurring. How do we know that gangsta rap isn't an effect of that instead of a cause? If it served as a pressure valve to vent some steam, it could actually reduce crime. That's the problem with correlations.

Sam R. said...

Its funny how we are supposed to be so protective of minorities, keeping them from injuring themselves through things like gangsta rap, like they are children- its clear the dems have an even lower opinion of minorities than anything the republicans can conjure up.

Where is the protection against white pathologies like liberalism which are vastly more destructive to whites?

Anonymous said...

"some producers gave him the rap lyric and asked him to speak it over a beat, thereby inventing the genre"

I thought the roots of rap were in Jamaican reggae. In the late 60s studios released "version" B sides which were simply the backing tracks sans vocals. It wasn't long before DJs/MCs were 'toasting' (improvising lyrics) over the music at dances and parties, and by 1970 you could buy whole LPs of toasting, like the "Version Galore" series. The genre probably reached a peak in the late 70s, but was still strong in the early 80s when rap began. Lyrics were (black) "conscious" or (Rastafarian) religious but not violent. It all went downhill when rap started and by the late 80s was mostly rap-style boasting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdTCtYuDpgc

Anonymous said...

I should say that even in the days of "one love" reggae its adherents and practitioners were notably more violent than, say, the Brits.

The death rate of reggae musicians is comparable to rappers.

http://www.blackechoes.net/memoriam.htm

Kylie said...

"Oh, so he felt bad after murdering a man for no reason at all? Well that's sweet. Maybe the governor should have pardoned him."

You mean so he could become a cop killer like Maurice Clemmons?

Nah, that's a black thing.

Truth said...

"Rap is based on square dancing calls."

Yeah, we listened to them all of the time in Brooklyn in the 70's.

"three Jewish kids invented Gangter Rap in Brooklyn in the late 80s."

I just threw up on my keyboard, Svigor, makes it hard to type.

"You mean so he could become a cop killer like Maurice Clemmons?"

So much worse than killing 5-year olds.

Anonymous said...

What about Reggae?

Well, at least he didn't shoot the deputy.

Anonymous said...

What about the movie Sweetsweetback's Badass Bong?

Kylie said...

""You mean so he could become a cop killer like Maurice Clemmons?"

So much worse than killing 5-year olds."


Actually, it was worse--because it was highly predictable whereas the Newtown mass murders were not.

Past behavior is the best predictor of future actions.

Most people who are really weird, live in their moms' basements and play video games don't go on to become mass murderers. Apparently Lanza had no criminal background, no history of violence that brought him to the attention of law enforcement.

But Clemmons already had an extensive documented history of violent crime.

Of the two, Clemmons is the one whose murderous rampage could have been predicted with a far greater degree of certainty. I'd say mass murders that could have been prevented simply by doing nothing (i.e. having Clemmons remain in prison) are worse than those sudden murderous outbursts that couldn't be predicted. Indeed, some people said they didn't think Lanza capable of violence. I think few entertained that delusion about Clemmons.

Nice try, though.

Truth said...

"Actually, it was worse--because it was highly predictable whereas the Newtown mass murders were not."

That ain't bringin' those kids back to life.

tommy said...

What I find interesting is the blatant progressive schizophrenia when it comes to the media.

The progs constantly claim the media has no impact on violent behavior among blacks or sexual behavior among the young or the general manners of the public, but the feminists aren't always so certain the media is harmless when it comes to pornography, the Jews are damn certain the slightest antisemitic insinuation could lead to the next Holocaust, and all progs seems to agree that a lack of attention to the details of political correctness or multiculturalism could be hazardous.

The fact that the media cannot impact behavior in ways conservatives would decry also doesn't stop liberals from congratulating themselves on spreading the progressive gospel through venues like, say, Will & Grace.

Progressives know that thinking and behavior are influenced by the media except in those cases where thinking and behavior cannot be influenced by the media. It's all very rational.

tommy said...

You mention a rise in crime such as crack violence co-occurring. How do we know that gangsta rap isn't an effect of that instead of a cause? If it served as a pressure valve to vent some steam, it could actually reduce crime. That's the problem with correlations.

One reason to think the venting explanation doesn't hold much steam is that crack has declined but rap has continued to get more narcissistic and perhaps even more violent. That's the problem with correlations.

Kylie said...

""Actually, it was worse--because it was highly predictable whereas the Newtown mass murders were not."

That ain't bringin' those kids back to life."


Who said it was? And stop moving the goal posts.

As horrific as it is to lose someone to murder (and yes, I know this from personal experience), how preventable that murder was--or should have been--makes a difference to those who grieve (after the first shock has worn off).

At this point, the only way* to have prevented the Newtown massacre would have been to preemptively lock up all the young guys who act weird, can't socialize and spend too much time on video games. We don't have the resources for that. Clemmons's mass murders could easily have been prevented simply by keeping a convicted criminal locked up.

Anyway, all that is irrelevant. Your people commit far more murders proportionate to their share of the population and make lousier music. Taking a white musician's lyrics out of context and mentioning a white murderer's victims don't change that. End of story.

*No, not even more stringent gun control would have worked. Lanza was weird but determined--and smart technologically. If it hadn't been guns, it would have been something else, probably a bomb.

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

""The salient difference between Johnny Cash and rap is that Cash's work is music, whereas rap is just unmusical sh*t."

"Thank you for your usual erudite and highly scientific analysis."

Not scientific. It's an aesthetic judgement. But as you know nothing about science, and have no judgement, you wouldn't know that.

How is it that noise, made by talentless thugs, who have not even a rudimentary knowledge of music theory and who can neither sing nor play musical instruments, came to be called "music"?

Anonymous said...

"The salient difference between Johnny Cash and rap is that Cash's work is music, whereas rap is just unmusical sh*t."

Whatever else Cash did that particular Cash song is vile. It comes from exactly the same place that rap does.

Truth said...

"How is it that noise, made by talentless thugs, who have not even a rudimentary knowledge of music theory and who can neither sing nor play musical instruments, came to be called "music"?"

How is it that you, with no accomplishments to speak of, no footprints, no reputation, or name, no money, and I would assume, no artistic talent, became the arbiter of good music?

This is the question you should be asking.

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

How is it that you, with no accomplishments to speak of, no footprints, no reputation, or name, no money, and I would assume, no artistic talent, became the arbiter of good music?"

You make these assertions about people about whom you know nothing. Most of us here don't volunteer much information about ourselves. I know I don't. You, however, where your pathetic life on your sleeve. We know lots about you: Easy college degree, absentee father, family who doesn't much like him, thinks he's a lothario - the usual basket of black stereotypes. We get it, "Truth" - you're a real black man.

Truth said...

"You make these assertions about people about whom you know nothing."

I notice you didn't deny them.

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

"You make these assertions about people about whom you know nothing."

I notice you didn't deny them."

Yes, I deny them.

You didn't deny what I said about you.

Truth said...

"You didn't deny what I said about you."

Why would I? It's all TRUE! BAWWWWWW-HAWWWW-HAWWWWW-HAWWWWWWW!

Merry Christmas, Grasshopper.