Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Tony Blair seems to be getting his advisors from a strange place now - we think it might be 1950s Louisiana if Alan Steer's ignorant dismissal of rap as an "abomination" is anything to go by:

Sir Alan Steer blasted lyrics that refer to women as “whores” and “bitches”.

He said: “There is a violent aspect to youth culture — you look at rap music, for example.”

And he added that hip-hop is also “incredibly anti-women and dire”.

Now, obviously, there is a lot of rap and hip-hop that fits his description. There's also a lot that doesn't, but clearly Alan wouldn't be able to comment that. The fact he chooses the word "dire", which sounds more like a review than a moral judgement, says it all, really.

The Sun helpfully pipes up:

Rappers often sing about guns and violence.

So do country and western musicians, though.

Sir Alan urged parents to look for signs their children were falling into the rap lifestyle.

We're assuming he means "are they buying records by black people?" or "are they hanging out with black people?", rather than "have they redesigned their bedroom on a Cribs style layout?"

Of course, it's far easier to demonise the genre of music rather than suggest parents engage with what their kids are listening to on a song-by-song basis - that way you can rage at your children from the beat coming through the floor rather than the songs themselves. Yes, it might be healthier to say to young people "why do like this 50 Cent record which takes a nasty attitude to women; isn't there something more positive in this Kanye West track?", but it's so much simpler to march about yelling "all rap is bad."


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