Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). DIDIER BAVEREL/SHOWTIME
FeatureReviews

Hanged at Sunrise

The Impossible Ethics of the “Homeland”

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Chuck D performing in Malmo, Sweden,1991 © Jonn Leffmann | Wikimedia Commons
Arts & DesignEssaysMedia & Publics

Rap as News or Art?

“Rap music is the CNN of the ghetto.” – Chuck D

Rap began — Chuck D nailed it — as news from the streets. Rap riffed ghetto life, syncopated in hard rhymes and dense metaphor the raw reality of the ghetto. In Ronald Reagan’s America, blacks in the ghettos from Harlem to Bed Stuy to South Central formed what George Bataille called the heterogeneous element of society — or the unassimable byproduct of a culture, born of that culture, upon which the culture rests. In plain English, rap was the art of the dispossessed, and as the art of the dispossessed, it tells us the truth of the trickle-down economic era from the mouths of those who were held far beneath the place where the trickle dried up. …

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