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Artistic merit of rap music

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Mike K.
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book reviews
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  1. Introduction.
  2. Marvin J. Gladney's explaination of the necessarily of rap music.
    1. Music as a form of catharsis for African-Americans.
    2. The need to encourage the young adolescents.
  3. New type of discrimination for rappers.
    1. Errol A. Henderson's agreement with Dyson's claim.
    2. Rap music - thought to be predominately an African-American form.
  4. Government officials and the debate over rap music.
  5. The obvious Anglo-American critics.
  6. Anglo-American opponents of rap.
  7. Conclusion.

According to Webster's Dictionary, music is defined as "sounds produced in harmonious, rhythmic combinations". There are many forms of music, some may not even be "harmonious" to others, but they are still considered music. This is perhaps due to the real reason for music: the expression of the human soul's thoughts and emotions. However, expressions vary and when new forms are born they can often produce conflict and criticism. Rap music is no exception. Rap has received more criticism and conflict since its start in the late 1970s then its counterparts, including rock-n-roll in the 1950s. With only a few exceptions, the conflict surrounding rap music is drawn along the line of African-American and Anglo-American cultures.

[...] WORKS CITED Chappell, Kevin. "What's wrong (and right) about Black Music?" Ebony Sept. 1995: 25. Dunham, Richard S. "Gunning For the Gangstas." Business Week 19 June 1995: 41. Dyson, Michael Eric. "When Gangstas Grapple with Evil." New York Times 30 Mar natl. ed., sec. 34. Fried, Carrie B. "Bad [...]


[...] Because Anglo-American still control most of music industry, media and governmental structure, Henderson tries to shield rap against their prying eyes. Not only are they ignorant of the situation rappers and their audiences are going through, but the critics are also unable to judge African-American music from a non- biased standpoint. How can you feel the appeal of an oppressed person, says Henderson, when it is your societal structure which is doing the oppressing? "Rap must be insulated from white supremacist criticism from outside the community. [...]


[...] Yet it is easily accepted by white Americans, while rap arouses alarm and calls for labeling." (Noe 21) Could it be that the intensity of rap music is the main cause of its split from country music in critical circles. Noe points out the differences in language is what most often pushes white critics toward the panic button, but as she explains, the frustration in the African-American community for many authority figures, especially police, is not felt by country music fans. [...]

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