I mentioned my friend Martha’s book on pop’s nihilistic tendencies just the other day. Although she’s more of a film person nowadays, she still slips into music mode occasionally. Her latest piece, in the Wall Street Journal, reports on attempts to roll back the gangsta rap industry. Attending an Al Sharpton-sponsored forum in New York, she watched as smooth-talking suits from the hip-hop biz hijacked the proceedings:

Watching this happen was like watching an SUV collide with a bicycle: The big machine (the rap industry) kept rolling, while the little one (the community) got crushed. The industry's primary audience is not black: Between 70% and 80% of all rap CDs are sold to whites. Yet because rap draws its talent and mystique from poor black communities, the executives present seemed to regard sessions like this as nothing more than the cost of doing business.

Martha digs deeper into pop’s malaise in this interview at Jerry Jazz Musician.
Food for thought, too, in Thomas Sowell’s Journal piece on the relationship, as he sees it, between black and redneck culture (via Arts & Letters Daily). His new book should attract some very lively reviews.

On a much more frivolous note, Chase Me Ladies supplies his own response to rap's excesses. He’s ready to indulge in a little gunplay of his own.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/rapping-i-mentioned-my-friend-marthas.html|||4/30/2005 07:13:00 pm|||||||||