Thomas Chatterton Williams: Black culture beyond hip-hop

During the controversy over Don Imus’ comments this spring, the radio host was pilloried for using the same sexist language that is condoned, if not celebrated, in hip-hop music and culture. As the scandal evolved, some critics, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the NAACP, shifted their attention to the rap industry. Indeed, every couple of years, it seems, we ask ourselves: Is hip-hop poisonous? Is it misogynistic, violent and nihilistic? What kind of message is it sending?

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