One person is living like it's three months ago: Kansas City Star sportswriter Jason Whitlock, who is still humping his moment in the spotlight as Imus' biggest name-dropper and rap music's biggest hater.
His argument: Why should Imus be pilloried for calling a few women "nappy-headed hoes" when black men routinely do the same in rap music and videos? Whitlock's stance has landed him multiple TV appearances, yammering to MSNBC's Tucker Carlson and Oprah about rap and the fall of the black male. Most recently, he trotted out the argument on syndicated sports-talk host Jim Rome's radio show, causing listeners to wonder when the subject would return to, you know, sports.
One local rapper has had it up to here. Stacy Smith, who delivers positive rhymes under the name Reach, has brushed off rap's detractors for years, but Whitlock's latest barrage is more than Reach can suffer in silence.
"Comin for You (feat. DJ Ataxic) by Reach, from Joys, Disappointments and the In-Between:
"He [Whitlock] contends that rap music is subjugating African-American culture entirely," Reach told the Pitch in a recent e-mail. "That's myopic, to say the least. Rap doesn't epitomize all of black America any more than the Sopranos typifies all Italian-Americans."
Reach agrees that artists can choose whether to make negative, hate-spewing music, and rap fans can be selective about what they buy. But Whitlock doesn't like to spread the blame to the corporate radio executives who choose what songs make the airwaves. That annoys Reach, who knows all too well that plenty of positive hip-hop is never broadcast.
Instead of hamming it up with Carlson and Rome, Reach says, Whitlock should take his message where it belongs — to radio hosts such as Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey, whose audiences are mostly black and urban.
Besides, Reach asks, is Whitlock really the best person to preach this sermon? "He's torn the seat of his pants time and time again as a sportswriter," Reach writes, citing Whitlock's ouster from ESPN and his two-week suspension from the Star for taunting New England fans from the press box, calling the team's then-quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, gay.
"I might still forget what I know of his spotted career if he were providing a more holistic view of hip-hop culture," Reach writes.
If Whitlock wants to test his theory of rap as "cultural genocide," he should come see Reach perform real hip-hop this week at the Peanut and the Grand Emporium.