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Books: These are the Breaks

In his collection, These Are The Breaks, Idris Goodwin addresses race, class, culture and rap in essay and prose poetry. He takes a sprawling and diverse topic and does what this sort of work does best: filters it through the lens of the human I.

The I in “I like rap” isn’t like it used to be. There are plenty of rap fans going to work as cops, lawyers, teachers and civil servants every day. Hard to believe that there are many but, statistically speaking, it’s inevitable there are rap heads who are also dedicated Republicans. It used to be it was a lot more monolithic, what rap was. It was conscious, or gangsta, or radio-friendly pop and that was about it. Those were your options. As the genre has matured, there has come to be a lot of what some would call bloat and others would call diversification. […]

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Crude Caution

The images of oil-covered birds, fish and marine mammals haunt us. The tar balls wash up onto formerly pristine beaches, the dispersants seep in long tendrils under the surface. Wetlands and estuaries are threatened, and the government and BP only just now seem to have some sort of grasp on managing the spill.

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'95 'TIL INFINITY: A Personal Narrative of Hip-Hop and Place in Iowa City

Features: March 2010 – Where they were from was just as important as what they were saying, almost from the beginning. To be down was to be in the house. Location in Iowa City was and is the same—while rappers can and will rap anywhere, and come and go, it is the places that get […]

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SHOW REVIEW: DMX at The Coralville Marriott, 12/11/2009

DMX was a non-stop growling and barking hit factory back in the nineties and into the new millennium. The fifth best-selling rapper of all time? Five back to back #1 albums on Billboard? When local promoters Amaza Show brought him to the Marriott in Coralville to head up a bill, I was excited. Memories stirred […]

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The Hops: Backyard Brew

The ability to chug a whole bottle of PBR in one mighty draught only impresses your peers for so long. What was formerly an athletic display of swilling prowess becomes something sad, a little desperate. It is a sign of the need to grow up, difficult as that can be to accept. So how is […]

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