Debate: Hip Hop On Trial

“If the soci­ety that we’re talk­ing about is a soci­ety that starts wars all over the world, degrades indi­gen­ous cul­tures, is miso­gyn­ist­ic in itself, if that’s the soci­ety we’re talk­ing about, then it’s not a bad thing if hip-hop did degrade that soci­ety.” — KRS-One

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And we have 25 great quotes from the debate, brought to you, thanks to  @Rizoh from rap.about.com . They’re all tweetable, in 140 char­ac­ters or less. ‘If you do end up tweet­ing some of these, give your boy a shoutout’ @Rizoh

25. “Tony Mor­ris­on said, ‘Can’t I love what I cri­ti­cize, cri­ti­cize what I love.’” — Michael Eric Dys­on

24. “Hip-hop saved my life.” — ?uestlove

23. “If black people talk about killing black people, why would every­one else not do it?” — Shaun Bailey

22. “If we have power to degrade an entire soci­ety, then we also have the power to uplift it.” — KRS-One

21. “Hip-hop is the lobby of the pris­on indus­tri­al com­plex.” — Jason Whit­lock

20. “Hip-hop is merely speak­ing about the situ­ations that we have been deal­ing with for the last 20 to 30 years.” — Toure

19. “Com­mer­cial main­stream hip-hop responds to and exacer­bates and glor­i­fies viol­ence.” — Tri­cia Rose

18. “To ques­tion wheth­er rap is poetry is paro­chi­al and idi­ot­ic.” — James Peterson

17. “I have a ques­tion: What the f-ck am I doing on this pan­el?” — P.J. O’Rourke

16. “The lan­guage of poetry is ugly. Poetry is not greet­ing card shit.” — P.J. O’Rourke

15. “What are we gon­na do? Say, ‘No, you can only rap about pup­pies? You can’t tell us how you feel?’” — P.J. O’Rourke

14. “Hip-hop teaches a respect for rhet­or­ic­al geni­us, for ora­tor­ic­al wiz­ardry, for the inven­tion of words.” Michael E. Dys­on

13. “Hip-hop flips the lan­guage. Poor people lie, rich people pre­var­ic­ate. Poor people steal, rich folks embezzle. Jesse Jack­son

12. “There’s some b—-es in this uni­verse. I know a couple of them. I can dir­ect them your way.” — Joe Bud­den

11. “N–ga is a very com­plic­ated word.” — Q-Tip

10. “When we talk about b—-es, we’re talk­ing about b—-es.” — Joe Bud­den

9. “I’m com­fort­able with people rais­ing their chil­dren and not blam­ing hip-hop for a cer­tain type of lan­guage.” — Estelle (In respon­se to the ques­tion, “Are you com­fort­able with b—-es and hoes?”)

8. “It would be unfair to reduce hip-hop to three words.” — Jesse Jack­son

7. “Rap is per­form­ance. When rap­pers get onstage, they per­form.” — John Suth­er­land

6. “Hip-hop speaks to and speaks for the oppressed. It gives us a voice.” — Isai­ah Thomas

5. “In 20 years, Tupac Shak­ur would be ranked with Walt Whit­man as a great Amer­ic­an poet.” — John Suth­er­land

4. “Rap comes from the oral tra­di­tion. The oral tra­di­tion gives voice to those who would’ve oth­er­wise been voice­less.” — Ben­jamin Zephaniah

3. “The argu­ment that hip-hop doesn’t empower people is void in my region.” — Deeb, Egyp­tian rap­per

2. “There’s no one-to-one cor­rel­a­tion between a hip-hop lyr­ic & a sub­sequent mater­i­al con­di­tion that leads to crimin­al­ity.” — Michael E. Dys­on

1. “The flaws in hip-hop are the flaws in us.” — Jaron Lan­i­er

HON­OR­ABLE MEN­TIONS


There was also a slew of great quotes that I couldn’t squash into 140 char­ac­ters. I’ve high­lighted some of those below. This por­tion of the list was sponsored by Twit­longer.

“If the soci­ety that we’re talk­ing about is a soci­ety that starts wars all over the world, degrades indi­gen­ous cul­tures, is miso­gyn­ist­ic in itself, if that’s the soci­ety we’re talk­ing about, then it’s not a bad thing if hip-hop did degrade that soci­ety.” — KRS-One

“Now’s the time to have a snooze. I’m the old­est per­son on this pan­el. I’m white. And I know less, I sus­pect, about this dis­tinct­ively Afric­an-Amer­ic­an music than 8% of the audi­ence.” — John Suth­er­land

“Self-cri­ti­cism is built into hip-hop and is more true than any­where in the black com­munity. I cer­tainly can’t go to my pas­tor and check him about all the bitches and hoes in the bib­le the way I can go to with Too $hort or Dr. Dre.” — dream hamp­ton

“Hip-hop is a cul­ture of rebel­lion, born in pain, on street corners, gar­ages, and some­times in jail. It exposes con­tra­dic­tions.” — Jesse Jack­son

“We are still — as black people in this coun­try — lick­ing our wounds from slavery. We’re still deal­ing with how we view ourselves, and we do that through music.” — Q-Tip

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Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra

Edit­or / Research­er at No Bounds
Gata is a music and arts lov­er, stud­ied anthro­po­logy, art man­age­ment and media pro­duc­tion ded­ic­at­ing most of her time to cre­at­ive pro­jects pro­duced by No Bounds.
Gata Malandra

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About Gata Malandra

Gata Malandra
Gata is a music and arts lover, studied anthropology, art management and media production dedicating most of her time to creative projects produced by No Bounds.

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