January 30, 1999 |
Anti-rap crusader C. DeLores Tucker's lawyers didn't listen to the lyrics before claiming that the words of slain rap superstar Tupac Shakur defamed their client, a former Pennsylvania secretary of state. This was a big mistake, because the lawyers got the allegedly offensive lyrics "flat out wrong," according to a federal judge in Philadelphia. U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter yesterday dismissed Tucker's $10 million defamation case against the rap star's estate and the estate's lawyer, Richard Fischbein.
February 5, 1991 |
Outside O'Hara's restaurant at 39th and Chestnut, about 20 expensively dressed young men are having a shoving match over the comparative virtues of rappers Three Times Dope and Steady B. The sounds of their argument are heard inside, where Penn students are uneasily tucking into lunch. Eventually, one patron sidles up to the manager, who like the busboys, is watching the fracas with his nose against the glass. "Excuse me," she asks. "But are we . . . safe in here?" "Oh sure," he says.
September 20, 1986 |
In football, a "rap" has long been known as a strong defensive weapon, a blow to the side of the helmet to let the opponent know you're there and thinking of him. Los Angeles Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes is a master rapper, perhaps the player most feared by scampering wide receivers throughout the league. But these days Hayes is doing a different rap - to music. Hayes is just one of 26 Raiders who rap, rock and dance in "The Silver/ Black Attack," a record and video.
August 4, 1998 |
I've always admired men and women whose legacy included theological speeches and/or poetic writings, forever transcending their accomplishments. Men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose "Mountaintop" speech moved a people, and women like Maya Angelou, whose poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," touched this great nation. Gangsta cap now has society moving . . . and ducking . . . and praying. From urban battlefields, to Town Watch communities, gangsta rap is making its way into every home, unexpectedly - by someone trusted with a key. The unimaginable horror committed by the 13-year-old and 11-year-old boys who gunned down a schoolteacher and four students in Jonesboro, Ark., reflects the suppressed nightmares of torment-ridden parents, shouldering the responsibility of raising what society has dubbed a "difficult child.
February 10, 1990 |
"There's a lotta kids today," says Quincy Jones, "who figure, 'Hey, I'm gonna go for the gold 'til I'm 16, and if I live past 20, that's great.' " This is not an optimistic assessment. "What we have to do," he continues, "is provide an alternative to the glass pipe. 'Just Say No' doesn't mean anything in the inner city. It's coming from someplace else - well-intended, but naive. The only people who get someone's attention there are rappers like Ice-T, who's saying you can get killed if you wear the wrong colors.
September 19, 1996
There's a message in the death, life and art of rapper Tupac Shakur for those too offended by his violent, profane and misogynous behavior ever to listen to his work. It bears being heard by parents and all adult members of the Tupac Is a Thug club. They may not realize that rap or hip-hop music is one of the major styles popular among those twenty-something and younger, regardless of race, income or locale. Gangsta rap, Shakur's style, is a subset whose appeal is strongest among young black people in cities but probably will be heard by your child at some point.
September 17, 2002
AH, SUSAN Sarandon - Hollywood intellectual and iconoclast. Let's consider what it is that makes her worthy of a multi-page spread in the Daily News (Sept. 9). She is an admitted drug user. She admits to having indulged in pre-marital sex in college. (I believe the old fashioned word for that is "fornication. ") She had an "affair" while married. (I believe the old-fashioned word for that is "adultery. ") She now lives - unmarried - with a man who fathered a couple of her children.
November 30, 1989 |
You may not realize this, but those teenagers stepping and sweating on the dance floor to the scratching, subversive, electronic dissonance of a Public Enemy rap are actually commenting on the ideas that Henry David Thoreau advanced in his treatise on Civil Disobedience. And, those of you who went to see Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing this summer - you may be similarly unaware that, when pizza man Sal trashes Radio Raheem's boombox, he is acting out the ancient, Platonic dialogue between the philosophers and the poets.
March 18, 1990 |
There aren't that many places to go, where they come from. Mount Holly's a small town. But they have a message, and they've got to take it somewhere. Coming Off Correct, or C.O.C., is an aspiring group of rap singers on its way to a recording studio, then to Mississippi. Then, who knows where. "Our goal is to set an example that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve anything," said Harold Russell, 24, the group's producer. "A lot of people dream and don't continue with it. " C.O.C.
June 27, 2001 |
I JUST GOT the chance to see the videotape of rapper Chuck D at the recent hip-hop summit in New York, and what he had to say was illuminating about the world of rap and the entertainment corporations that run it. The first thing that struck me was that Chuck D used one curse word after another. The guy could have been giving his talk in a locker room, as opposed to a room filled with ministers, women and others. What he has to say is important, but he cuts himself off from mainstream audiences with that language.