David Segal has a fun piece in today’s NYT about the parallels between right wing talk-radio and gangsta rap. It seems to me that the analogy is more illuminating in what it reveals about rap than it does about talk radio, maybe because the motivations and ideological structure of talk radio is much cruder:
Even beyond simple matters of style, rap and conservative talk radio share some DNA. Once you subtract gangsta rap’s enthusiasm for lawlessness — a major subtraction, to be sure — rap is among the most conservative genres of pop music. It exalts capitalism and entrepreneurship with a brio that is typically considered Republican. (Admiring references to Bill Gates are common in hip-hop.)
Rappers tend to be fans of the Second Amendment, though they rarely frame their affection for guns in constitutional terms. And rap has an opinion about human nature that is deeply conservative — namely, that criminals cannot be reformed. The difference is that gangsta rappers often identify themselves as the criminals, and are proud of their unreformability.
UPDATE: Gawker is less impressed with these ‘nilla musings.