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Transmission
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News Thu Jun 28 2007

Don't Hate Da Rapper, Hate Da Man

Religion, Rap music and politics is a combination that shouldn't be lumped together.  But recently a church on the South side of Chicago purchase of billboard space calling some contemporary rapper's music trash seems to have broached the subject.  While the move has been met with praise, it is in fact moralistic grandstanding and false artistic interpretation. And while the moral and artistic shortcomings of the church's ploy could be deconstructed in detail, we find a historic angle that deserves commentary as well.  Music, more specifically black forms of he auditory art, have oft been criticized by the holier-than-thou types for it's ability to turn the good to evil or the passive to aggressive.  Blues music found detractors in both white and black judgment as it rose to popularity and was being co-opted into Rock and Roll.  Blues in its earlier forms had been called the devil's music and was cited as a cause for violence, inappropriate race mixing and sexual freedom.  Similarly, years later Disco (which was basically co-opted Funk) was lambasted by conservative types for many of the same negatives supposedly found in Blues, with drug use also included. Today Rap has found itself facing similar detractors

The cultural expression as an art form (complete with negative imagery and degrading lyrics) has been under attack for contributing to the continued oppressive conditions of African-Americans.  We're not debating that the expressions in Rap can be damaging, what we are crying foul against is the attack on freedom of speech.  Art is a product born in part out of an artist's environment and innate perspective and any attempt to restrict these voices is nothing short of fascist.  We suggest if people want to change the creative voice of Rap music that they listen to the words of Windy City Hip-Hop artist Shala Esquire, "Don't fix the music, fix what causes the music.&

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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