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Ben Shapiro’s hip-hop hypocrisy and white male grievance lands him on top of pop music charts for a brief moment

A.D. Carson, University of Virginia, The Conversation on

Published in News & Features

For instance, in the late 1990s, Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, and Talib Kweli released their first album, “Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.”

The critically acclaimed project was filled with lyrics focused on Black consciousness, the perils of mainstream hip-hop and a kind of Pan-Africanism.

Their label, Rawkus Records, was known for recording and signing several underground rap acts including Eminem, Pharoahe Monch and Common.

But Rawkus was just as much a part of the music industry as any other record label.

It was co-founded and financially backed by James Murdoch, a son of the media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The label was eventually bought by Murdoch’s News Corp.

Over the past five decades, rap music and hip-hop culture has come to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

For Bey, though, the question goes beyond the money or popularity.


“Where’s the message that I can use?” he asked during a 2024 interview.

I would love to believe that racist, sexist, white male grievance rap isn’t where the zeitgeist is in America.

But Ben Shapiro and his conservative followers are betting that it is – at least for a brief moment.

This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization bringing you facts and trustworthy analysis to help you make sense of our complex world. It was written by: A.D. Carson, University of Virginia

Read more:
Hip-hop professor looks to open doors with world’s first peer-reviewed rap album

After ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ hip-hop went global – its impact has been massive; so too efforts to keep it real

Hip hop and Pan Africanism: from Blitz the Ambassador to Beyoncé

A.D. Carson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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