About that headline...I've felt that way for some time, but I've never cared enough to go on the record and say so. Now, Steve Blow has gone and blamed a murder on rap lyrics. Actually, the Dallas Police Department did as well, but as Michael Davis pointed out today, such an assertion has been called into question.
What's not questionable is that Blow couldn't possibly sound more out of touch. I love this line: "I learned just last week that 'buck' means to fight." In what scenario, exactly, was Blow confronted with this piece of slang (since it was a week before the shooting)? Was he perhaps trying to figure out what that Will Smith guy is all about? Maybe he saw that funny Chappelle guy on the TV and got excited about a whole new subset of American culture to write about in his column.
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If we're going to believe this accusation--that a song immediately inspires its listeners to do as it decrees--well, damn, we can go on all day about other popular hip-hop tracks. How many people tear each other's clothes off and get to it in the middle of Nairobi when the Ying Yang Twins' "Wait (The Whisper Song)" comes on? I'd list a few more fake examples, but they're not worth the effort. I hate mainstream hip-hop as much as the next guy, thanks to hoodlum-encouraging lyrics that are, at least to some extent, targeted at dumb-ass kids in the 'burbs who still buy into the gangsta mythos. But this, just one more example of lazy blame-gamery, should've been left behind during the Tipper Gore hoopla of the '80s. It's a tacky device for writers who are too clueless to investigate pop culture. Let's face it: A pissed-off guy at a dance club on the weekend, full of liquor and bravado, doesn't need Lil' Jon's help (nor Damageplan's) to do something stupid. So Blow off. --Sam Machkovech