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Sunday, June 13, 2004

READERS IN COUNCIL

Music preferences transcend race


Tokyo

In defending hip-hop music in his June 2 article, "Out of the 'hood," Philip Brasor dismisses critics by saying, "There's something elitist, maybe even racist, about the refusal to acknowledge popular taste simply because you don't share that taste."

I beg to differ. Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's any good. Moreover, there's something elitist, maybe even too politically correct, about critics who try to bully listeners with the race card. There are many reasons not to like hip-hop, ranging from disgust at much of the music's misogyny to a simple preference for music that involves more melody and less mouth. None of these involves racism.

It's also interesting to note that critics like Brasor try to portray white indifference toward hip-hop as "racism" while not remarking on African-American indifference to metal, indie rock, electronica or country music. I wouldn't call any of this racist, but rather the gravitation of people toward music that speaks to them.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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