Interesting documentary on PBS this month: Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. In it, film-maker, hip-hop fan and ex-footballer Byron Hurt examines issues of misogyny and homophobia in rap. The website above also has more information including a rap time-line and articles about the industry. Though he included a critique of popular film culture that also promotes a hyper-masculine ideal, it would have interesting to also hear a comparison of other types of music and how they deal with these issues.
Also instructive is this article from the Tennessean: Music Row Says Grammys Snubbed Country, Like Always. Though I didn’t realize it after watching them, in retrospect, it did seem that this genre was pushed aside during awards night, especially considering its ongoing strong sales. The article notes that the two big features were Carrie Underwood toasting Bob Wills and then later joining Rascal Flatts to toast the Eagles- they didn’t get to perform any of their own material. That got some industry people pretty upset and going as far as suggesting that country acts should boycott the ceremony in the future. And though they brush it aside, you also can’t help but feel that Music Row wasn’t happy to see that the act that was honored the most happened to be the one that they themselves had snubbed and was slapped back on the band’s next release- the Dixie Chicks.