If the Sylviagate incident proves anything, it’s what happens when you let your opponents control the debate.
As hip-hop grew ever more commercially successful, criticism of hip-hop enjoyed a similar boom, to the extent that the term “hip-hop” itself became synonymous with misogyny, violence, hypersexuality, and crime.
Not that hip-hop’s critics hadn’t always laced the culture with those adjectives. And not that hip-hop didn’t do everything it could to encourage that criticism by its failure to support the artists who could make it a well-rounded genre. But hip-hop itself has begun to accept the fallacy that it is, by and large, a liability. What a shame.
It pains me, in 2007, to have to defend hip-hop against the charges of people like Bill O’Reilly. It’s like being asked to defend Evolution from its Creationist opponents. Or putting Ahmadinejad (or Bush for that matter) onstage with academics looking for straight answers. In a proper debate, you and your opponent play by the same basic logic. In the above discussions, none of that happens. Science cannot debate Belief, because Belief doesn’t care about evidence. Humans cannot debate their humanity against people who believe them ultimately inhuman.