Livin’ in a Zoo: CNN’s Black in America II

Paul Scott “I’m kickin’ cold facts so true Feels like I’m livin’ in a zoo” Public Enemy Step Right up! In this cage we have the tame, “Negro-intellectualus.” Notice his freshly pressed shirt and creased pants. Go ahead and pet him. He won’t bite…However, watch out for this next animal, “Thug-ignoramus.” Beware of his gold… Read more »


Ebonics 101: Big L & E. B. White Break Bread

“Euphemisms are misunderstood as mistakes/ But it’s a by-product of the ghetto music we make/” —Canibus, “Poet Laureate II,” Rip the Jacker, 2003. Of the many reasons Hip-Hop music dogged for, one of the most unremarkable is that it teaches bad English—broken English—Ebonics. Critics argue that it celebrates anti-intellectualism, with an emphasis on rhyme rather… Read more »


Rappers: Where Ya’ Ba**s At?

“Half these rap lyrics ain’t thought-provoked/ Just a lot of beef till they get caught and smoked/” —GZA, “Illusory Protection,” Grandmasters. “If I rhyme about home and got descriptive/ I’d make 50 Cent look like Limp Bizkit/” —K’Naan, “What’s Hardcore?,” The Dusty Foot Philosopher.  Nowadays, nothing seems to annoy this writer more than the fecklessness… Read more »