I'm highlighting the value of rap music, particularly its combination of artistic expression and disciplined identity. A sample:
Do today's youth have their own Bob Dylan or John Lennon, someone who inspires an interest in the English language and its potency? The answer, for the Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney, is Eminem, who'll perform in Australia this week.
“He has created a sense,” Heaney told a journalist in 2003, “of what is possible.” Arguably the English-speaking world's finest living poet praising the “verbal energy” of a rapper: how things have changed.
When rap first hit the charts in the '80s, it was censured almost universally by conservative critics. They objected to violent or sexual lyrics and profanity, arguing that rap's gritty portrayal of "ghetto" life led, among other things, to crime, misogyny and the demise of family values.
But over the past 20 years, rap music has become more mainstream.(Photo: WhiteBoyzCantRun)