Sacramento says: No rap music

In sixth grade, our teacher let us to bring music to school, which we'd play loudly on the speakers during P.E. class. But no rap music.

Around that time, I was at Target with my mom and wanted to buy the new LL Cool J cassette. But Mom wouldn't have it. No rap music.

And let's not forget those radio billboards here in Sacramento, for Now 100.5 FM: The station's slogan reads “Today's best hits, without the rap.”

So, when there was a shooting after a local rap show earlier this year, it didn't surprise me that businesses and residents pressured venue owners and promoters to cut back on rap shows. Rap and hip-hop are the easy blame. Always have been.

Is it racism? That certainly comes into play. What else explains the knee-jerk response to a shooting that occurred outside a venue and after a show, and despite a robust law-enforcement presence. The shooting had nothing to do with the music.

Yet, no rap music.

Of course, hip-hop and rap don't really do themselves any favors. When Lil Wayne raps on Drake's new album that he will always pack a gat, despite how famous he becomes, some teenaged fan is going to say, “Hey, I want to carry a gun, too.” Right?

Or, to put the spotlight on gender relations: When a popular Big Sean song begins with the lyrics “You lil' stupid ass bitch, I ain't fuckin' with you”—well, we're going to have young kids out there with scant respect for women.

But there's violence and misogyny in other musical genres. What gives?

Anyway, Raheem F. Hosseini's cover story this week explores the history of Sacto's bad rap. Give it a read here.