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Long Live Hip Hop! The Good, The Bad, and the Vulgar

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
4:00 AM
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Room 125

MAP: Minorities and Philosophy presents (click here to view MAP's website)...

Rappers people love to hate tell tales of gangstas, thugs, pimps, and use the N-word with reckless abandon. They make critics wish for the death of hip hop. But rappers do more than just rhyme over beats. They think and reason too. Professor Derrick Darby argues that we can’t let rap music die no matter how vulgar, violent, misogynistic, homophobic, or irreverent. Why? Because rap challenges us to confront a lingering legacy of racial slavery and racial segregation in America—the denigration of black humanity. Professor Darby, a Queensbridge housing project native turned philosopher, reveals that rap critics on the right and left are complicit in sustaining this legacy when they overlook a basic truth: rappers are persons too. Taking this truth seriously requires a more charitable attitude toward hip hop, which is a crucial first step toward serious normative engagement with rappers as artists.