The ascendancy of rap music to the point where it has taken over the entire pop music industry is the most demoralizing cultural narrative of my lifetime, if not the dreariest event ever to occur in the history of the known universe. Rap began as a niche phenomenon, giving expression to an authentic, albeit debased, black sensibility – or, rather, to the sensibility of a subculture of young black violence-worshiping misogynistic alpha males plus their admirers among the girls and the omega males. The original rappers knew how to "keep it real" – they glorified the criminal life in their songs, and then committed serious felonies, up to and including murder. But, disastrously, hip-hop was adopted by white boys who envied the possessors of this authenticity and liked to ape the macho posturing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. First they listened to rap, then they co-opted it and domesticated it.Open PDF
For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.