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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Argues With Columnist That Nobody "Killed Hip-Hop" Music

I am sure that Josh Baylin meant no harm in writing "How Suburban White America Killed Hip Hop," but that does not mean that his ignorance of the hip-hop music scene should be excused. I am very disappointed in The Daily Tar Heel for publishing a column about an art form by a writer with an obviously limited knowledge of not only the music itself but also the extent to which hip hop has spread.

Suburban white America did not kill hip hop -- nobody killed hip hop. Hip hop is not dead at all. To assume that an artistic form of expression, one which has been the voice of a people for more than 20 years, can be silenced by popular American culture is an insult not only to the musicians and artists themselves but to true fans of the music.

Baylin is right in suggesting that most of the music played on 102 Jamz these days is bad, but so is almost everything else on popular, mainstream radio.

The world of hip hop is much larger than the one Baylin portrays in his story -- in fact, hip hop's influence extends further into other established forms of music every day.

Hip hop is not strictly American, and to assume so shows an obvious lack of desire to fully understand its performers. Besides the countless talented and important American hip-hop outfits, there is a wealth of international hip hop. I almost could not believe the sincerity with which Baylin writes. The hip-hop world that I know is alive and well, and just like in any other form of music, or anything in life really, the best substance takes some effort in finding.

Charles Dillard
Journalism and Mass Communication

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