just a little something to get you started (addendum: the links are my own.):
Wes Vernon (WV): Recently, XM [Satellite] Radio did a four-week marathon across six of its channels, starting out with the hits of the Thirties, and going right up to the Millennium. I followed most of that, I really enjoyed it until they got to the mid-Eighties. Right about then, I sort of fell off the sled. [At that point] they got into stuff I couldn't recognize [or] deal with. Is it just me? Is it a cultural or generational difference, or what?
BOONE: Oh, man, the whole music industry has been [dragged] into the ghetto. In fact, I see it as a ghettoization ... a coarsening of the culture, led by the entertainment industry. [This applies to] music in particular, because once ... hip-hop [and rap] music came in--because it was an outgrowth of ... a street or urban culture.
That is not to be derogatory. It was kids ... doing hip-hop stuff and rap and you know, throwing themselves under the pavement and doing all kinds of crazy gyrations, and really dramatic athletic things....
It captured the attention of not only the kids, but the record executives who saw a new thing that they could make a lot of money with, so they promoted it like crazy. And they discovered that if a hip-hop or rap artist had a criminal record, and if he was part of a gang ... out of it came an overnight hugely popular NWA [which stood for] "N**gers-With-Attitude."
Then there was Two-Live Crew, with them advocating that you should get a gun and shoot a cop.
All of this gangster mentality, and the danger and the guns, "Pimps and Whores and Bitches"--and all of this stuff was actively promoted by the hierarchy of the record business. They saw they could make millions promoting performers [who] made sure you knew they had been to prison, they'd been shot up.
The guy that was on with Dave Letterman last night calls himself Fifty-Cent. The first question was, "You'd been shot nine times?" [His answer was] "Yeah." And then he talks about being in prison and being in gang wars and selling drugs. So that [supposedly] makes him a very hip artist.
So all these artists--I say artists, [I should say] these performers--are making millions, driving Rolls-Royces, and buying [fancy homes], and dragging urban and suburban kids into a ghetto culture. It's one of the most ironic, crazy things that I have ever seen in my life.
WV: About as idiotic as you could imagine. Pointless.
BOONE: Yes, I mean they wear big diamond rings, put diamonds in their teeth.... [They get] all kinds of endorsements and people around them just making them into glamorous figures. They put out a record [and for] most of it, you can't understand a single word even if they perform it [live]. You're distracted by them grabbing their crotches. They've got--they say--"skanky-looking" women behind them, chanting and making all kinds of suggestive moves. All of it [is] designed to make this rap performer--and occasionally a white performer just trying to get in on it--making him look like [someone] who is able to serve as many women that they all desire. He takes his pick of all the women, and gives them ... champagne. I mean, these are all in the lyrics of their songs.
One that I saw on "Saturday Night Live" recently ... was doing a song called 'You Can Lick my Lollypop.' He makes it very clear what he's referring to. This is about a four-minute number as he struts around the stage, and the background singers act [as if] they just can't wait to get to him.
oh. if you'd prefer lighter reading, glance at this. warning: the overly-pretentious commentary might kill your buzz.