A Manifesto on Art and the Church

A Manifesto on Art and the Church

The Christian Church is in exile. Not that we are living in tents (though many church buildings may qualify as temporary). Instead, there is a deeper exile. The soul of the American Church is in the plot point of the epic poem in which the protagonist becomes a...

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When the People Cheer – Strip-Clubs and Black Thought’s Poetic Insight

When the People Cheer – Strip-Clubs and Black Thought’s Poetic Insight

On The Roots newest album ‘. . . and then you shoot your cousin,” one of the most powerful tracks is ‘When the People Cheer.’ Each stanza is written from a different perspective. The third stanza, Black Thought’s stanza, is written from the perspective of a sex addict that has reached both a financial and existential low because he is enslaved to sexual pleasures. He knows that what he is doing is wrong, but he can no longer resist the strip clubs. He turns in to an after-hours joint to blow his last dollar on a lap dance.

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Packaging the Tribe: Selling More than Music

Packaging the Tribe: Selling More than Music

Netflix’ new documentary Hip Hop Evolution is a history of the development and rise of Hip Hop and Rap. In one of the interviews, Ice T, a primeval purveyor of Gangster Rap, talks about his early rhymes: “I was just writing about my reality.” He was trying to capture “the laid back vibe of reality.” The people in the neighborhood listened because they recognized their life in his words. According to Ice Cube, another early Gangster Rapper, Ice T wrote rhymes that “were our version of what a day in the life of Los Angeles was like.” They were not trying to create a new genre. They wanted to fetter their daily insanity with verse.

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