Letters

Letters from the week of January 13, 2005

Hip-Hop Brouhaha

The proper use of the N-word: Great article on the hip-hop war in town ("'Nigga,' Please," Joe Watson, December 23), but let me make a considerable point or two. Isn't it funny when scumballs from that world collide? I used to be into the whole culture and its music back in the gangsta rap days, but now I find all of it disgusting. And, nigga please, only black folks are allowed to use the N-word to each other! Everybody with half a brain knows that.

It's one thing for House of Furious Styles Crew to mouth the N-word lyric [while listening to hip-hop music], or in the songs he [dances to], but it's another for him to argue that he, as a non-African-American, has the right to use it otherwise. Darryl Khalid should have kicked his Latino ass.

The racist slang "nigger" is probably the most racially charged word there is. There is no worse racial slur around; what could you possibly say to a white person that has the same sting? I was even offended when I saw the term "nigga" on the inside of New Times. I notice that you had the good sense not to use it on the front of your magazine.
Kelly Richardson, Phoenix

It's been done to death: Who is this guy Darryl Khalid trying to fool? Is he some naive idiot, or what? From the earliest days of rap music, you can't listen to a song without hearing the word "nigga" used repeatedly. Every kid singing along is saying the word in unison to the lyrics, and hip-hop fans aren't all black, don't ya know?!

Khalid must be a fucking moron to insist that House has somehow violated some racial manifesto. I might agree with him if the word were "nigger" and a white person were using it derisively in any way. But the charge has been taken out of the word "nigga" by all the hip-hop artists using it to death in their music.
Daryl Duncan, Phoenix

Mixed signals: Concerning the article about the supposed "rivalry" between House of Furious Styles Crew and Darryl Khalid of FootKlan: First, let's get the race issue out of the way. According to FootKlan, "nigga" is an offensive word that its members "know how to use . . . behind closed doors." Why, then, do they choose to perform in front of all ages and races to Jay-Z and other "street hop" songs with countless "nigga" references in the lyrics?

This article isn't about the N-word; it's not even about hip-hop. This is the story of [Khalid], who crisscrosses the Valley trying to coerce respect that will never come.

If House is a leader, it's because he has vision, plus a love of the hip-hop culture, and that's what people follow. I don't know him very well, and I don't presume to speak for him, but I think it's safe to say he doesn't care what you, me, or Darryl think of him. He's not concerned with being a leader.

He does, I'm sure, care what twisted impression of hip-hop a casual reader might come away with after having read this article.
Name withheld by request

Looking for enrichment: It's kind of disappointing that on the eve of Christmas Eve, New Times does a cover story about the personal drama [between two hip-hop crews]. I thought you might print a story about something positive or enriching.
Lindsay Shaw, Phoenix

Restaurant Row

A series of unfortunate events: Hey, you guys . . . what's up?! First you run a cafe review saying that the food at the Bada Boom restaurant in Scottsdale is terrible ("Bada Bomb," Stephen Lemons, December 16), and then I see an ad a week or two later saying that the place is great. Which is it? Never mind, I already know.

I had seen the full-page ad, with the quote from Stephen Lemons' review, only the ad spelled the name of your cafe guy as Stephen Lemon (pun intended?), and then I went to the restaurant. Hey, I thought it was pretty clever to use the same name as the bar in The Sopranos for a restaurant name. I figured it would be a fun place to take a date. And it was fun -- until I tasted the food. It was purely out-of-the-bottle. I could have bought a jar of pasta sauce, poured it over some noodles at home and had almost the same dining experience.

As I said, I thought the interior of the restaurant and the music playing were cool, so the night wasn't a bust.

Anyway, I have a question: Does the right hand at New Times know what the left hand is doing? How can you advertise that the place is great an issue or two after your critic levels the cuisine of said place?

Here's one of many negative comments that Lemons -- or Lemon -- wrote in the review: "'Pathetic' and 'embarrassing' are two of the adjectives that best describe Bada Boom's Caprese salad." Here's what it said in the ad on page 55 of your [December 30 edition]: "I preferred the Shrimp Scampi wrapped in Pancetta . . . It's only $10 for a nice-size portion, and the Calamari were of far better quality than I've had lately."

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