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411 Music Fact or Fiction 06.27.14: Let's Cool It With The Racism Malarkey
Posted by Joseph Lee on 06.27.2014

Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.

This week we have myself against Mark Radulich.

1) Jay Z is the most overrated rapper today.

Mark Radulich: FICTION. I asked my 19 year old cousin this question and she said he was in her opinion. I also asked my 30 year old wife and she disagreed. What I gathered from this study is that it's all a matter of opinion and how old you are. My wife just coming up when Jay Z was at his peak and to this day she gets pumped listening to his music. However, someone just coming up now might regard Jay Z as passe in favor of newer, hipper artists. It's all a matter of perspective obviously. Now I'm 38 years old and have almost no opinion on the matter. I can only say that for a time he was one of the biggest acts in music so it would be hard for me to say he was overrated. It would be like saying Elvis or the Beatles were overrated.

Joseph Lee: FICTION. These comments originally came from 50 Cent, who mentioned that Jay Z himself may agree. I don't. I think there are other rappers out there who are overrated either due to being mislabeled as a genius or simply coasting off of a couple of good songs from back in the day. Jay Z is above them all and wouldn't be where he is today if he didn't have the talent to back it up. Unless of course you're one of those nutjobs who thinks the Illuminati are real.

Score: 1 for 1

2) Even though he's British, Tom Hiddleston is a good choice to play Hank Williams.

Mark Radulich: FACT. Though it's hard for me to imagine Loki as The Hillbilly Shakespeare, one cannot argue that Tom Hiddleston is a bad actor. He's damn good and I think he will do a great job as Hank Williams.

Joseph Lee: FACT. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about Hank Williams or his era of country music, but I don't see why he wouldn't be. Hiddleston's a great actor and that should be the only thing that counts when he takes on the role. Well that and making sure to put on a good American accent.

Score: 2 for 2

3) You enjoyed Ed Sheeran's song "I'm A Mess".

Mark Radulich: FICTION. It's OK but nothing to write home about. I don't feel like there's a lot going on in the song and frankly it was just kind of there for me.

Joseph Lee: FICTION. I like to pretend I'm not getting older but then I hear music like this, completely don't get its popularity and wonder when I became that guy. It's not that Sheeran doesn't have any talent. He's clearly able to play a guitar and sing. But I guess the right word I'm looking for, for this particular song anyway, is personality. It has none. It's boring and if it's an indication of Sheeran's other work then I don't know how he got to be popular.

Score: 3 for 3


4) Metallica's new song "Lords of The Summer - First Pass Version" was good.

Joseph Lee: FACT. I remain a fan of Metallica even though it's not the popular thing to be these days. Are they as good as they used to be? No, but what band is? What matters is if they're still putting out good songs and I think "Lords of the Summer" is an example of a good song from Metallica. I'm not sure why they have to release multiple versions of it but whatever gets them to put out another album.

Mark Radulich: FACT. Thankfully Metallica seem to be staying firmly entrenched in the sound they were producing for Death Magnetic. Lords of Summer continues the trend of Metallica playing thrash metal, similar to the ...And Justice For All;days.

Score: 4 for 4

5) Miley Cyrus has a good point about Justin Bieber "needing time to grow up".

Joseph Lee: FICTION. I'm going with right and wrong here. She's right that he needs time to mature and grow as an adult. However, she's wrong in that people need to leave him alone. Just because he is immature, and probably because of it, is a reason he should be criticized and mocked. If he's breaking laws and being insensitive to others, then he should be called out on it. If he never knows what he's doing is wrong, how will he have the opportunity to learn and grow from it?

Mark Radulich: FACT. She's not wrong. Bieber does need time to grow up but I find it ironic she's the one delivering that message.

Score: 4 for 5

6) The claims that Body Count's "Talk Sh*t, Get Shot" video is racist are ridiculous.

Joseph Lee: FACT. You know, Gary Oldman has a point about political correctness. Not so much in what he said (which was stupid) but what he was trying to say. People walk on eggshells now more than they used to. Another thing people do more than they used to is look for controversy when there is none. It comes from the fact that we live on the internet and if someone expresses a thought, it quickly spreads like wildfire without anyone actually thinking about it. In this case, Body Count's music video. Why does it suddenly have to be about race? Have you heard the same song? "Talk shit, get shot." The people being shot are being shot because they're talking shit, not because of the color of their skin. It's still not a reason to shoot somebody but let's cool it with the racism malarkey.

Mark Radulich: FACT. First of all, the very first person attacked in the video is black. Granted he doesn't get shot, just tied up on stage but still. Is there some sort of quota or rule that says all races must be represented equally in all media? There are three shooting scenarios in the video and they involve exactly the kind of people likely to put down Ice-T and Body Count. Furthermore, Ice-T already addressed this issue on TMZ and said that the director, Frank Nasso (Caucasian) set up the video. There was no racist intent here.

Score: 5 for 6

Thoughts? Comments? Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Reply in the comments below to give your own take on this week's topics!


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