I watched the Grammys Sunday — not that anyone cares.

But if you ask me, it was gauche. LL Cool J reminded us why he should stick to bodybuilding, or whatever makes him so muscular.

Taylor Swift reminded us why her exes probably would never ever want to get back together with her, either.

Chris Brown reminded us that you can beat the hell out of a woman and still get nominated for a Grammy four years later.

I don’t understand our culture’s morbid obsession with awful music. I don’t understand why we worship these stodgy, talentless clowns. I don’t understand how we listen to their disgusting lyrics and then rationally admire them, whether it’s by following them on Twitter or purchasing their songs on iTunes (or converting them from YouTube).

Sure, it isn’t all of them, but it’s most of them. Music is something that is subjective, and I understand that. In terms of taste, it differs from generation to generation, from society to society and even from race to race.

Like Obama’s view on gay marriage, it’s constantly evolving — which we can all be thankful for.

Soon, Fun. will disappear like the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna will be the next Whitney Houston and Drake will return to acting or high school, whichever comes first.

Without war, anti-war activists would have absolutely nothing to whine about, and I feel the same way about music: Without it, I would have nothing or nobody to make fun of.

Like I said earlier, music is relative, and therefore it’s impossible to define what objectively sounds the best.

For example, I could argue that Jimmy Page played the best guitar solo of all time in “Stairway to Heaven,” but somebody else may say that it was Jimi Hendrix’s solo in “All Along the Watchtower,” Eddie Van Halen’s in “Eruption” or neither of the three.

But if there is something that we can all agree is the best, it’s this: the content of the lyrics. No one can deny that Bob Dylan, according to Rolling Stone readers, was the best songwriters of all time. Meanwhile, everyone can admit that the rap industry is characterized by some of the most inarticulate and unintelligible lyricists who confuse clever wordplay and humorous puns for childish metaphors and lay-z innuendos.

I’ll be honest with you. I can’t stand rap. I believe that it is the most profligate and ignoble profession of all.

Rappers spew filth and objectify women. They glorify violence and promote drug use. Paradoxically, they are the most outspoken about the War in Iraq and women’s rights — and so are their listeners.

There’s nothing that I enjoy more than the feminist who bops her head to sexist lyrics or the lefty who listens to filthy, untalented thugs. These are the same people who criticized Todd Akin because he said “legitimate rape” and chided Mitt Romney because he mentioned “binders full of women.”

If only Romney had sang it, featuring rapper Akin, then he would have been a potential nominee Sunday night at the Grammys. And maybe he would be our president.

Their freedom to express themselves trumps the negative influence their songs have on teenagers and the college-aged.

If we have the power to tax carbon monoxide emissions or to socialize health care, then wouldn’t it make sense to regulate their morally repugnant verbiage by tacking on a surcharge every time they sing something obscene, or make some idiotic reference to the Illuminati — whatever that is.

I’m certainly joking, but imagine how many Planned Parenthood clinics would lose business if teenagers weren’t manipulated by disparaging, undereducated pigs who encouraged fans to sleep around, mistreat women and, uh, vote for the current president.

Does that make me out of touch?

Erik Skipper is an economics sophomore at UF. His column runs Wednesdays. You can contact him via [email protected].

(33) comments

Geoffrey Mason
Geoffrey Mason

Yes Erik, you are out of touch.

Geoffrey Mason
Geoffrey Mason

Erik, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you were born in the early 1990s, many years after the dreaded "rap music" became a popular form of music in the United States. I would therefore assume that you weren't around when Rap became the mainstream, with MTV launching "Yo! MTV Raps" in 1988.

Certainly some "gangsta rap" may be misogynistic, but then again so are other forms of music. If you go back and re-read your "column" you'd realize that you can easily replace the word "rap" with "rock" or "country" and be just as correct/wrong with your assumptions. You are taking the most myopic view of just one form of music.

You reference Led Zeppelin, Jimmi Hendrix, and Van Halen as potential fodder for subjective argument about the "best" guitar solos. Then you move on to say that "the content of the lyrics" are subject to objective scrutiny. Wouldn't you agree that Led Zeppelin, Jimmi Hendrix, and Van Halen also delivered plenty of misogynistic lyrics into teenagers ears?

Yes, I understand that you are attempting to "joke" -- but just maybe you should understand that many voters for Barack Obama didn't like the tone deaf Mitt Romney or the Republican Party Platform, which itself is rife with misogynistic notes.


So are you fighting against misogyny, violence against women, female objectification in your own community, or are you just using these causes to score points against other groups of people like "filthy thugs" (nothing racially coded there...) and (most likely) Muslims?


Erik, you're a college sophomore still trying to earn your music cred by talking about the "good old days" and namedropping dylan and hendrix like they're your frat brothers, so I'm willing to give you a little leeway, but please read this column written after the Trayvon Martin shooting last year http://www.good.is/posts/america-is-dying-slowly-talking-about-hip-hop-after-trayvon-martin/

You're a member of the "yeaaaah, but it's different" elitist, and you're poisoning more minds than rap artists ever have.


If I wanted to see what an old, bitter white guy had to say, I'd unblock my grandfather's email address.


"Livin, lovin', she's just a woman" - Led Zeppelin- 'Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)

" I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady, You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man" - Jimi Hendrix - 'HeyJoe'

"I'd rather see you dead little girl than to see you with another man" - The Beatles - 'Run For Your Life'

"Black girls wanna get fucked all night" - The Rolling Stones - 'Some Girls'


Now, let's hear your opinion on country music, which puts women on chastity-belt-equipped good girl pedestals and puts the jingle in jingoism.

J Vargas

Because hip-hop is the only genre of music that talks about drug use, and objectifies women. The problem is you've been exposed to some god-awful artists. Anyway, your close-minded article got me to read and comment... so it did what is was supposed to do. Good job.


i bought a cake for you it says "You're a racist, bro" pick it up at the publix on 13th you can use it to throw a racism party in your dorm room


I'm laughing at your logic... X-D

To those that say you could interchange "rap" with "rock", "country", or some other genre remember that his is about a 500 word column. If you want a thesis on what the author has to say, this isn't the place, obviously. Now, stop trying to through every other genre under the bus with "rap", and give an actual reason how the current top "rap" charts do not objectify women, exhort narcotics, violently getting your point across, or some other abhorrent social way of dealing with an issue. While we're at it, you should read the part about how music is indeed subjective and that an example includes "guitar solos", at least that's what I read.

Oh, almost forgot, are we really still on the whole calling someone racist? There's plenty of white rappers.. and that's besides the point. Someone said "filthy thugs" is racial, have you watched a music video in the past decade? I always thought they were portraying someone in a gang.. I know I don't care what color there skin is, neither should you.


The author cite Hendrix, Zeppelin and Dylan, and we're supposed to be upset that rappers talk about drugs? Remind me again why Jimi Hendrix is "Forever 27?" Why exactly did Zeppelin lose their drummer? Trivia question: who introduced The Beatles to marijuana?

He then cites a Rolling Stone poll for the premise that Dylan is the best songwriter of all time. I subscribe to Rolling Stone. My most recent issue features a long profile on Rihanna, who he trashes. Not to mention the lack of proofreading in the very graf he expounds his lyrical knowledge.

Besides those glaring overarching logical holes, great job. I liked the wordplay comparing noted rape enthusiast Todd Akin to the popular rapper Akon. Funny!


@lulz we're calling him racist because nearly all of his remarks about rap mirror racist insults hurled at people of color for hundreds of years, and he's making those remarks about a genre that's heavily dominated by black artists. just because "white rappers exist" doesn't mean he doesn't walk like a racist and talk like a racist. he offers no examples of lyrics from popular rap songs that are misogynist because all he's doing with this column is trying to score some feminist points by throwing rap (and by extension a lot of african-american artists) under the bus, which is honestly hilarious when he straight-up insults feminists who like rap in this column. he's the one who's making the assertion that rap is bad and yet all of his examples are general and not even researched, it's his burden to supply evidence for his claim, not the people who doubt it.

also when someone's opinion is racist, subjectivity goes out the window and you get to point and laugh at them because they gave up all credibility


@killerbird "mirror racist insults hurled at people of color for hundreds of years". What this: "Rappers spew filth and objectify women. They glorify violence and promote drug use..."? Do they, or do they not? IF the answer is no, then yes he's being racist (somehow). IF the rapper (regardless of color) does, how can disagreeing with that be racist? Not being racist would mean we can talk about it, and agree to disagree. Don't you think?

"he offers no examples of lyrics from popular rap songs that are misogynist because all he's doing with this column is trying to score some feminist points by throwing rap" Oh, because we all KNOW the songs are not misogynist in any way...

Lil Wayne – B****es Love Me Lyrics:
"These hoes got p***ies like craters
Can't treat these hoes like ladies, maaaan!
P***y, money, weed, codeine
She said my d*ck feel like morphine
I hope my name taste like sardines to these ni**as
She wake up, eat this d*ck"

What was your point again? I don't agree, am I racist? NO! lulz Your argument is prejudiced against someone who disagree with an African American? Does that mean you're in fact racist? By the way, I don't think he could have included lyrics like that in his column.


Killerbird's publix cake comment cannot be topped


Well, yeah. The rap music I've heard has some very, colorful, lyrics. And honestly, I think they're distasteful, and, again, with the rap music I've heard, I agree with the writer in that there are a lot of misogynist themes, as well as themes to glorify alcoholism, drug abuse, violence on several different levels, and heck, since everyone wants to talk about it, racism (in which I mean they say n**** a lot, which still has an heir of racism in a way that I can't quite put into words). So yeah, from all that I have heard of rap, or what a define as rap perhaps is a better way of putting it, rap music really can be/is a horrible influence on American culture.

I think another point of interest isn't just the lyrics themselves, but also the music. To prime my point, music has a way of moving people. That is why I study to really soft, lyric-less music with pianos and string instruments; not quite classical, but definenty orchestral. It's calming and focuses my mind. Before a game I listen to something more upbeat, something with music that grows. When I'm relaxing I likely a steady song that seems to just, go. I mean, it just go's and it's pleasant to me, like Mumford and Sons just "goes", with their 6/8 beats and non-retouched sound. Rap music tends to have a strong bass, is characterized with loud music, and the pronunciation of the words often is more aggressive. I'd hypothesize that that alone can lead to aggression.

Now finally, I don't have any sources to site. But these are things that I have observed. Also note, many of you will say I don't know what rap is, perhaps I don't. But then I would appreciate it if instead of changing the subject to defining what "rap" is, you would just focus on the message that I am trying to convey, and also the message the original author wished to convey. As opposed to getting knitpicky about his analogy to the Rolling Stones magazine and what not, and I'm still not sure why he's racist either? But that's irrelevant. Let's try to relevant here, ok?


Go buy yourself a copy of Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," junior.


The columnist makes the claim that rap is "awful music" by making a comparison of its lyrics to other genres. If someone's counterargument brings in evidence of similar themes in other genres, that counterargument is relevant.

To be clear, there are obviously distasteful lyrics in many subsets of rap music (gangsta, mafiosa, etc.) and I think its understandable why people would prefer not to listen to it. However, as others have pointed out, there are plenty of examples of rap artists who are popular and purposefully choose not to engage in certain language and/or whose lyrics do not conform to the characteristics stated by this column.

So, if your' problem with rap music is its lyrical content, then its not really the music itself that you dislike; it's the particular artists you've heard that are the problem. Several artists have thought-provoking lyrics that are swept to the wayside because of the stereotypes of the genre they are in or because of a listener's superficial interpretation. For example, Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools (Drank)" sounds like a song simply about drinking. The catchy hook says:

"First, you get a swimming pool full of liquor then you dive in it
Pool full of liquor then you dive in it"

Naturally, if this is all you heard, your first instinct is that it glorifies drinking. But, if you actually listen to the lyrics, you understand the song is actually discussing the perils of alcoholism and peer pressure.

I hope this example helps the columnist and others who are confused as to why people are upset over the column. For more on this song, look it up on Rap Genius.


Rap is not "awful music", in fact it's not even music at all. I find it to be more like a grand mal seizure of sounds. There's a lot going on and very little that's coherent. Just a lot of filthy, sleazy, degenerate staccato trash surfacing spasmodically.

Show me a rapper who can read music, never mind actual create it, and I'll show you a concierge who wears cutoffs, flip-flops, and has gold front teeth.

Incidentally, Debbie Harry sang the very first rap in "Rapture" circa 1981 and she was classically trained in opera, and the song is marvelous. Did you see that? Rap is the first part of name of the song? However, *gasp*, she's a honkey. But let's not let a little fact like that get in the way.

I don't see any rationale to bring racism into this. Plain and simple the majority of rappers are black (African American doesn't work for me, that would make me a German American, and I wasn't born in Germany either), so you assume the author is racist. Finding a place to yell racism when there isn't any, makes YOU the racist.

I actually prefer my music to have a melody line, regardless of the type of music.

Hey look, this is America and if you like rap, then go for it. Just don't make my car vibrate at intersections because you don't care if your deaf by your mid thirties. I certainly don't need you damaging my eardrums either. You listen to what you like, and I'll listen to what I like. You write about what you like and don't like, and other will do the same.

Some of you seriously need to take a chill pill. You know there is a reason they call this an opinion column, right? I can see some of you pointing at your screen and laughing all empty headed and pissed off. I'm certain you'll do your research before you post your opinion--well next time anyway.


If you think "Rapture" was the first rap song, you are astoundingly ignorant.


@Alligrater, Andre 3000 actually plays 4 or 5 different instruments, so I will assume he reads music. It sounds like you're just unaware of the intricacies of rap music, which is understandable. While your stereotypes are amusing, feel free to ask if you would like to be enlightened.

Also, this a comments section of an article. Are people not supposed to comment on an editorial simply because its an opinion?

Lastly, "Rapture" being the first rap song? Lol.


Your opinions are astoundingly uninformed and your logic primitive, but the worst part of this is the writing itself.

"Stodgy," while a functional pejorative adjective, is the wrong word to use with the rest of your description of rappers. "Insidious?" "Vile?" Perhaps. But certainly not "dull." One does not "rationally admire" someone by purchasing their songs on iTunes. Hypothetically, they use their cognitive abilities to weigh the pros and cons of the actions of the person and determine whether they are worthy of admiration. But, of course, admiration does not hinge on logic alone; there is emotion involved as well. Further, "No one can deny that Bob Dylan, according to Rolling Stone readers, was the best songwriters of all time" is grammatical disaster.

Your essay is puerile on many levels, and I can't believe this passes for journalism nowadays. Please leave an article about the state of journalism to someone more competent, however.

In sum: stick to econ.



I would bet, that you would rip apart politicians for arguing over something and getting a single minuscule fact wrong. You would laugh, if a news reporter made an unintelligible comment on the current economic program, you would write up a news article claiming that they shouldn't be filling the world with "unintelligible garbage" and "misinformed opinions" that they should learn the facts before they speak.

And yet, you turn around and write complete bull shit like this.

First of all, generalizing anything as big as a genre is up there with the dumbest things anyone can do. That is like saying all Chinese cars suck because they are made cheaply. If a news reporter said something like that, you would be at arms with an army. But it's music, so clearly that's deserving. You obviously haven't listened to any rap since N.W.A. dropped "fuck the police". Because if you just read some of the comments on a rapper like Macklemore, or Kid Cudi, or Kanye West, or B.O.B. you would realize that most rap fans don't enjoy Lil Wayne, and his "pussy money weed" lyrics. They hate them. So before you bash an entire genre, learn some facts. By saying that you enjoy rock, I must then assume that you enjoy slade, and their skin head lyrics correct? Fucker.

Second, Rap music's percent of rap songs with sexist lyrics is about the same as Rock, a genre that you idolize in this article. It seems the only thing that you set it apart with is the fact that there are no instruments, which is like judging orchestras for not having any pianos in it. A drum and a synth both satisfy the requirements of an instrument, and i can guarantee, Kanye West has more talent producing music in his left pinky, then could ever have. Making beats takes a huge amount of skill. And to bash it just because you don't appreciate the outcome is like saying Coltrane was a terrible saxophone player.

Also, to complain about the content of the lyrics of rap, is just about the bravest shit I have ever heard anyone say. Please try to understand with your tiny brain, that the culture that rap emerged from, was violent, unjust, and for the most part uneducated. But i think you know that, so here comes the challenging part: People like you made it that way. I don't know anything about you, Erik, except that you're an economics major, and from your taste in music, you're most likely at least a mid to upper class white male. People like you, who for generations refused funds to schools filled with mostly Black kids, created the violent and uneducated culture. To then complain about, not the effects their culture has had on your culture, but instead to complain about the effects your culture has had on their culture, is absolutely the most brash shit I have ever heard.

So does that make you out of touch? no.
You don't have to listen to rap music, and not listening to it does by no means make you out of touch. But talking shit about an entire genre that you clearly have only listened to one or two songs in and then read a bunch of articles about makes you ignorant as fuck.

Also, notice that I swear a lot. I hope you realize that they are just words. And if for some reason these words, which are literally enunciated sounds leaving my lips, are offensive, or even worse "immoral" they for god sake kid, you should just stay in your room and eat cheetos watching dora the explorer.

And to some of the commenters on your side, saying the N word doesn't make you a racist, especially when you are African American. Making negative, ignorant stereo types and generalizations of an entire race makes your a racist. Which sounds very similar to what you are doing, except instead of a race it's the race's music.

In sum: stick to econ.. Bitch...
Harrison H.
P.S. Please excuse my grammar.
P.P.S. Have a nice day :)


"filthy, untalented thugs". Let me start with that.

First of all, what makes them filthy? What right do you have to call them filthy? And what categorizes someone as a "thug" and someone else as an upstanding citizen? These are questions I would love you to answer.

You say that the content of the lyrics is mindless. Have you listened to anything recorded before 2000, or do you only hear 2Chainz bumping on your local "Top 100" radio station? Tupac, Biggie, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the list goes on and on. These men (not "filthy thugs") wrote POETRY. They incorporated social commentary into their lyrics as well as powerful sentiments about what our purpose in the world is. Their music helped and inspired people, can you say the same for your beloved Rock bands?

I'll admit, some rap these days does consist of monotonous "drugs pussy money" lyrics, but to generalize an entire genre based on these few is just incredulous and irresponsible.

Furthermore, for you to generalize an entire genre (one that has had a huge impact on the lives of many youths around the world) and say that it "sucks" is just immature.

Before I leave you, Erik (nice -k at the end, very trendy!), I'd like to say that, the next time you decide to bash an entire style of ART (and that is in fact what it is), think about it first. Check your facts, and listen to some of the originals (N.W.A., Wu Tang, Tupac, etc.).

I love hip-hop, and I know I am not the only one.

And FINALLY (I know you must have a pro-life rally to go to, Skipper, so I won't impede you), this article is trash. Horrible flow, maybe you should go listen to some Biggie?


Good article. Rap does suck. Its been a proven fact for years.


This article is gauche. You're generalizing an entire genre of music and it's listeners. Try not to let your racism show too much next time. Qualifying your ignorant statement with "I'm certainly joking" certainly does not hide the fact that you believe it or mean it.

As much as you'd like to brag about your so called "mature" music tastes (aka music produced before you were born), this pathetic excuse for an article reeks of immaturity. You obviously haven't taken the time to research musical history before posting this crap online.

Ralph Pootawn
Ralph Pootawn

I cannot begin to describe how amazing this article is. I rarely read "The Alligator" because like most papers, the "stories" are mediocre and the opinion articles are simply poorly written childish imitations of the national newspapers/communist rags like the New York Slimes or the Washington Compost.

Great article Eric, I look forward to more.

Ralph Pootawn
Ralph Pootawn

In before

OMG u r RAISICT U DONT LIKE RAP = U DOTN LIKE BLACK PEPOLE PLANE AND SIMBPLE !!! WuT R u A repOblicaN or smomethin?? gO bakc to ur uesless ecomnomics major u shouda pikced a REAL maejor like polotical slcience or DANCE freekin IDOIT REDNEKC !!


From the comments, I guess we can assume it's hard to criticize rap without being assumed a racist. I guess therein lies the dilemma, as it would appear to me that it's a product of the industry itself. There are a lot of African-American people in the rap genre, so to not like the music, you must not like them. And then of course, there's Eminem... That one lone white dude! It's the easiest thing for someone to claim racism, but then if you criticized country music, you would be assumed to be gay. :)

But at least in country music, you can call a pig 'pig'. (For the record, I have called Eminem a pig on several occasions, quite freely, and no. I didn't analyze his music first. I just played it straight from the hip. And I do sing along with some of his songs.) But when I see a pig... I'm inclined to call it a pig.

So, no. I don't think you're out of touch. I think someone who would call you a racist for expressing your own self- not just taking an insane amount of creative license to a beat and putting some snazzy light-up sneakers beneath it, but actually expressing your own self- in an open way 'out of touch'. That has 'WTF' all over it! If you called someone a 'b***h' or a n*****r', maybe all would get swallowed much easier. Or show us your awesome moves!

I didn't watch the Grammys, but I have to agree with you- it sucks! I can't stand Taylor Swift any more than I can stand most current rap. I don't care how nice, glamororus, or put-together she is, either! I just know when they play the song 300 times a day EVERYWHERE that in the next coming months, I will be meeting hundreds of her around every street corner. 'Another one! Nooo! Get back, Taylor Swift-ite people!' Beyond the deluge of standard industry muscle, there may be rarities, in rap or pseudo-country (What kind of music is Taylor Swift anyway?) But who cares? They are entertainers- not angels of divination. And after awhile, it's just not entertaining... and I don't care what they think. I don't need them to tell me how to vote or how to feel, and that seems to be a big move for redemption from being a pig at some point OR when they have ceased to entertain.

THEY ALL SUCK! :) And racism? Please. Poor things are still making millions in the worst economy of my entire lifetime, and probably my mother's too, and what have they done for it? If racism does co-exist in their industry, it is what made them so filthy stinkin' RICH.

The Muffin Man
The Muffin Man


Watch this video. It demonstrates how complex rap can be. Eminem does not just rhyme the ending words of his sentences; he rhymes almost every word with at least one other. Think about that. He manages to tell a story while pulling off one of the most complex rhyme schemes imaginable. And you call this talentless?

Judging by some of the comments you made, I assume you are a classic rock snob. I once feel in a similar trap and loathed the pop music of my teen years. Then I realized that there was a wide world of music I was denying to myself because of a few bad apples.

Some rap music is terrible. No doubt about that. But, acting like the whole genre is trash? The world is a beautiful place with eyes wide shut.

Ralph Pootawn
Ralph Pootawn


Watch this video. It demonstrates how complex rap can be. Eminem does not just rhyme the ending words of his sentences; he rhymes almost every word with at least one other. Think about that. He manages to tell a story while pulling off one of the most complex rhyme schemes imaginable. And you call this talentless?


Honestly, I feel bad for people whose perception of the world is so narrow that they fail to appreciate art due its lack of eloquence. Perhaps socializing as a means of discovering humility would be a much better use of your time.


hTheGeisha,Eminem isn't AS GOOD AS A PIG!!!!!!(Like most other (c)rappers,propogating a misanthropic "gangsta" lifestyle,replete with nineteenth-century
"Zip Coon" minstrel criminal imagery which tends to confirm white racists' worst anti-black male stereotypes!!!!


Ralph Pootawn,you can't even spell!!!!!!!!(Oh,wait,you're a rap fan;it figures you'd excuse its thuggery!!!!!)

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything. Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person. Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.