Where is the love?

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    Where is The Love?

    As I read Scott Madson’s Viewpoint, “Hip hop is shaking like a Polaroid picture,” not only was I offended, but I was astonished by the lengths some of us in this community will go to in order to indoctrinate others with our personal opinions, based on snip-bits of information learned on VH-1’s “I love the 80s.”

    Mr. Madson, if you as you claim “appreciate some hip-hop” how is it that you didn’t know and see fit to include in your article that the “Old School” artists that you named were part of the “shunned school” when they first came about.

    The fact that you are able to listen to records of Grand Master Flash and Run DMC is a miracle in itself, considering that record labels refused to sign rap artists or touch rap music with a ten-foot pole.

    Def Jam Records now a successful record label for hip-hop artists responsible for bringing you Run DMC, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys to name a few, was created by Russell Simmons the younger brother of Reverend Run lead lyricist of Run DMC in his college dorm room because no one would give his brother’s music a chance.

    Grand Master Flash’s famous song “The Message,” which I assume is one of the only GM Flash songs you’ve listened to, was considered highly offensive when it first came out, and now is revered as bold and as music’s first honest portrayal of life in the inner-city.

    You also seemed to have forgotten in your selective amnesia to mention that the Beach Boys and The Beatles were also thought of as offensive and edgy when they first came on the scene, and now it seems we can’t stop singing praises for Paul McCartney.

    My point is not that these artists became mainstream, but that the decision to listen to, learn about and appreciate was an individual one and it is only because these individuals listened to and supported the music of Run DMC, The Beach Boys, Grand Master Flash and The Beatles, that we have it today.

    To define hip-hop as “a culture” and then proceed to portray it as transmitting a crude and immoral message to society, places the culture it is a part of and the culture in which it was created in that same light. And how dare you? Who are you to sit on your high moral throne and pass judgment on anyone else’s culture?

    Your article is offensive to me, and to my culture. That’s right, the culture where hip-hop has its origin. The next time you take it upon yourself to judge for everyone else what is moral, stop.

    Renee Ebony Miller

    Brooklyn, N.Y.

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