Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, June 20

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Michael McDermott Tries To Move On From 620 W. Surf Don't forget....Fugue State!! »

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.&

GB store
GB store

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 »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15