Music Hip-Hop on Trial: A Debate

Spang

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I recently finished watching this. It's pretty interesting (my initial response to follow in a new post). From the website:
Join Intelligence Squared for the first ever global debate on hip-hop. Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?

In the third of our Versus series of debates with Google we’re bringing together some of the biggest names in hip-hop to debate these questions. Some of the speakers will be on stage at the Barbican Centre and others will be appearing on the big screen via the Google+ Hangout technology. We have rappers such as KRS-One, ?uestlove, Q-Tip and Estelle, and renowned US hip-hop intellectuals such as Touré, Michael Eric Dyson, Tricia Rose and dream hampton. We’re bringing over civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson, once a critic and now in the hip-hop camp.

Hip-hop and all it stands for has moved well beyond its black American roots. We’ll also be hearing from John Sutherland, Victorian fiction expert, who is a hip-hop aficionado, and we’re bringing over the Egyptian rapper Deeb who was involved in the Tahrir Square uprising and thinks hip-hop has fostered revolution in North Africa.

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Spang

Spang

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I think what's most interesting about this entire debate, is that there was a debate on hip-hop music, a predominantly black musical art form, in the first place, and not, say, country music or death metal, predominantly white musical art forms.

Missing from the panel were any of the wealthy white men who have profited the most from the negative forms of hip-hop music -- the commercialized ******** that dominate the radio, television and film -- wealthy white men who are largely responsible. When hip-hop started in the late 70s and early 80s, the bad, "degrading-to-society" style of hip-hop music was not present.