Southern rap = Fox News?

Ben Westhoff posits one of the most ridiculous theses I’ve ever heard.  He does his best to make the case that Southern Rap is unfairly maligned (much like Fox news) and that it’s really not as bad as people make it seem.  I guess he’s even trying to argue that it’s better than Fox news (which really  shouldn’t be that hard)

While I’m a huge fan of particular kinds of Southern hip hop (UGK, OutKast…) I also hate on some of the stuff that’s come out of the dutty south (No Limit Records, T.I…).

If you need any proof about why Westhoff is an idiot, listen to this paragraph:

“Meanwhile, rather than exercising their famous “tolerance,” liberals blew a gasket after FOX News debuted in 1996, and they continue to believe the network is more biased and somehow lesser than CNN or MSNBC. But more likely, FOX just doesn’t fit their stereotypes of what a cable news channel should be. Take perky FOX Report host Shepard Smith, perhaps the Soulja Boy of news anchors, who doesn’t seem like he could hold an intelligent conversation on Russian politics and appears to wear eyeliner. But, I would argue, the more you watch him, the more you can’t help appreciating his silliness and his infectious energy.”

Comparing someone to the Soulja Boy of news anchors is by no means a positive statement.  It demeans all the parties involved, especially the reporter.  And it’s fully documented that Fox tends to flow right of center (though Rupert Murdoch himself endorsed Obama).

The part that bothered me the most was this:

“Is it really so crass to embrace your dancing shoes over your thinking cap? Should you really need to be an expert in Eastern mysticism to like an album?”

Westoff seems to make the common argument that concious rappers are elitist.  What’s worse, he seems to group in rappers like Nas and Ghostface with this crowd.  No one’s going to accuse Ghostface of rapping like Mos Def anytime soon, and I think that the hyperbole of accusing him of needing Eastern mysticism just reduces the strength of what minimal argument Westhoff had.

There is nothing wrong with a club banger.  We here at 4080 will be on the dancefloor the same as anyone else when someone ridiculously catchy comes on, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

There’s definitely times when it seems like Westhoff is acting tongue-in-cheek, but for the most part I assume he’s serious.  If so, he’s wrong.  If not, then he sure needs to work on his humour.

[Source: Miami New Times]

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