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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

First of all, thanks to Jeff Chang and the always awesome Dave Zirin for saying something that's needed to be said since the whole Don Imus thing started: It's not the music, it's the corporations.

I live in Philadelphia and am a huge fan of The Roots, but unless I feel like listening to college radio or get lucky somehow, you can't catch them on commercial radio here. However, if I want hot and cold running Young Jeezy or 50 Cent, all that I have to do is turn on the radio.

Because the music industry has figured out that the way to make money from hip-hop is to feed into the fantasies of suburban white boys about the lives of blacks, we're stuck with some absolute crap. I don't think that Public Enemy, Eric B and Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest or DeLa Soul would have seen the light of day in the current climate. Not violent enough.

One thing that I'd like to tell the white folks in particular who are wringing their hands about the misogyny in hip-hop is that they could solve the problem by not giving their kids the $17 to go to FYE and buy this crap. Because record companies respond to money, money's what we need to use to change things.

Since it's your kids that are buying this crap, the ball is in your court.

Denise Clay

Philadelphia, PA

May 8 2007 - 3:02pm