Rap is corny. What once was a vital, interesting subgenre of music has become little more than, in the words of Slate?s Sasha Frere-Jones, ?a retread of Mafia clich?s, letters to Penthouse, or Rolex commercials.?

There are some buzz worthy exceptions, including the rising star Kayne West, whose stylings are anything but ?corny?.

?West is a comedian, social critic, hedonist, and Christian?, an earnest satirist who seems to enjoy poking fun at himself as much as he does rap conventions.

From the other side of the pond comes East London?s Dizzee Rascal. Widely successful and a genre buster Dizzee is leading the way with a style called Eskimo Dance (or Eski, or more commercially, Grime).

Dizzee and his peers are descended from the U.K. garage scene. But garage, a light, syncopated blend of house music with flashes of American R & B and Jamaican music, is suited to the sweet and sincere?Sweet and sincere do not describe Dizzee particularly well?The tempos are faster than hip-hop's. Jay-Z, for example, favors the 100 beats per minute range. Grime lives around 130 BPM, a zone of urgency and movement. 50 Cent sounds like Simon and Garfunkel next to Dizzee Rascal.

Dizzee and West may be interesting but they are clearly different from what?s going on in hip-hop in general. Is there a way out of the artistic and stylistic morass mainstream rap has found itself in? Maybe it needs to embrace the fact that for now, rap is pop.
You can spread some sunshine to couples waiting to get married outside of City Hall in San Francisco; send them flowers!


A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.-Dr. Martin Luther King

Civil disobedience or just plain disobedience? San Franciso Mayor Gavin Newsom's stunning announcement to offer marriage licenses to same sex couples is causing some to wonder if he's not losing whatever moral high ground he held. His Hounour has made no bones about the fact that his intent is to force the legality of bans against same sex marriage, a law he clearly feels is unjust. While some argue that he's engaged in the sort of noble act that would make Dr. King proud others say he's actually usurping the will of the people he has sworn to uphold. Comparing Newsom to Roy Moore Rod Dreher wonders:

why was it wrong for Judge Roy Moore of Alabama to unilaterally declare federal law wrong, and defy it by installing a Ten Commandments monument in a courthouse rotunda ... but it's okay for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to unilaterally declare state law wrong in prohibiting same-sex marriage, and defy it by issuing marriage licenses to gay couples?