There's never been a time when rap didn't have to defend itself. The culture perpetually generates criticism and accusations from every corner: from the political establishment; from proponents of other types of music; and, most crucially, from itself.

Luckily, rap is particularly well equipped to absorb all the criticism it invites, because rap, by its very nature, is a culture in which almost nothing is impermissible. Pathological narcissism, poor taste, and criminal behavior are punishable traits by the standards of the mainstream culture. But within rap, even the most shameful acts are defensible, if only because rap is meant to be a melting pot of egregious behavior and reckless judgment.

Still, beyond the clichéd array of indictments lobbed at rap each year—“It glorifies violence!" "It is not kind to women!" "That terrible music is dumbing us down!”—the culture must take responsibility for a handful of monumental errors for which there is absolutely no defense. So leave your formulaic complaints behind, because we’re offering you ironclad artillery.

Written by Sam Sweet 

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