The Hip Hop Generation…

…it seems to be a topic that has come up every year since I have been in the NBA.

The question that has been raised, mostly by middle aged white men, is whether their perceived connection between Hip Hop and the NBA is a bad thing. (No one ever seems to ask if it’s a good thing).

I have heard the question in NBA meetings. I have heard it in discussions with the media. I have never heard it in discussions with customers or with fans at games.

In any event, the answer came while watching Arthurwith my daughter. Turns out it was episode #608. Arthur #608

“Rhyme for Your Life”
While struggling to write a poem for his mom, Binky falls asleep and gets trapped in Verseberg …where it’s a crime not to rhyme! After tangling with the big purple orange and meeting poet William Carlos Williams, Binky finally escapes this curse but will he be able to stop speaking in verse?? related activity:kids rap some colorful rhymes of their own

My daughter loves the show. My daughter loved the rhymes. My daughter loved it when two 10 year old kids came on in the interstitial and talked about how their 5th grade teacher taught them how cool poetry was by using rap. Like they said, “Poetry with beats.”

Arthur wasn’t the first show I have seen with my daughter that included rap in one form or another and it won’t be the last.

Every kid today. Your young sons. Your young daughters. Your nieces. Your nephews. They are all part of the Hip Hop Generation. They don’t have to like all Hip Hop music. They could like Alt rock, punk, R&B, Opera, Musicals, whatever. But somewhere along the line, they sang along with a rap song. That’s just the way it is.Hip hop songs were 4 of the top 5 titles on BillBoards 2004 charts. It’s todays pop music. Talking about kids and talking about the Hip Hop Generation are interchangable.

The NBA? we always have, and always will appeal to kids. Whatever music kids like, that is the generation the NBAwill be attached to. If classical music makes a comeback in 20 years, todays 25 year olds,then45, will condemn the NBA as being too closely associated with the classical music generation. We will read condemnations about how our latest stars hang out with Ozzy Bach and Eminem’s grandson,Marilyn Mozart (who of courseputs a stuffed bat, whose head he bit off at a concerton top of his violin case while playing).

Columnists will writehow music without words is just plain wrong because no one knows what kids are thinking about while they are listening. Old time rappers will complain of the lost art of social discourse that rap brought to the country. Only Eminem will be proud of his grandson.

Thank goodness for the Hip Hop generation today, and the classical generation of the future. They make and will make their parents take them to games. They do and will understand and relate to our players far better than the commentators and even some of their employersdo. Our kids will keep the NBA fresh and relevant while their parents play chicken little.

It says it all when Arthur, the animated rodent, is inclusive and has a better understanding of today’s culture then media commentators who get paid to pretend to know.

55 thoughts on “The Hip Hop Generation…

  1. you remember when mtv2 was created for just rock music look at it now it’s ran by hip-hop thats why on the mtv awards show last year green day accepted their award and said “nice to know mtv still has a place for rock n roll” LOL WELL cant deny the inevitable resistance is futile hip-hop love it or leave it alone GET DOWN OR LAY DOWN LOL.

    Comment by mic check -

  2. Hip hop is a boom in this era. Everywhere you can hear hip hop musics, even in movies soundtracks.
    Especially in urban areas hip hop sounds in every corner.

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    Comment by dave -

  4. With the attention span kids have today Hip Hop will be secondary. I am 28 years old and Hip Hop was primary for me. If you look at the statistics today you will see “Techno” which is House music, Acid, Drum and Bass, Break beat, and etc on a rise in the next generation. Just to keep kids attention you have to have a thousand beats per second. Watch how many camera angles are on an MTV video next time!! It is amazing.

    The Best NBA commercial ever in my opinion was 2 years ago when Jason Kidd and others (I think (jason Williams) were dribbling to a beat with sophisticated moves.

    Comment by JB -

  5. I have enjoyed sports and hip hop since I was a child…I happen to be the first b-girl (“break or boogie” girl from Dallas and Chicago)and I’m a computer tech. I use to enjoy (and still do) going to the neighborhood park or the Boys and Girls Club in Chicago to watch basketball pick up games (with a radio blarring somewhere nearby). I use to drop onto the the best floor there is to bust some crazy footwork and windmills on..a beautiful shiny glossy court. Funny how in 1979 I danced, knew all the words, and use to sing along the rhymes of Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight..”i got a color tv so i can see the knicks play basketball” and Kurtis Blow’s 1984 jam “Basketball” which I hear everywhere now.
    My boyfriend is a NY basketball, baseball, and football fan..who is suprised when I can recognize Rolando Blackman, Spudd Webb, or Steve Kerr and whom I recently bought a Walt Clyde Frazier jersey for. I happen to buy him a jersey for every occasion, that one was for Valentine’s fellas! It cracks me up to hear him talk to his dad in NY everyday about sports, the swear the agents or scouts, talking about who needs to get traded, who needs to work on what.. just hillarious.
    In February I attended “Chicago Rocks” a 2-day event thrown by Molemen, Inc. (www.molemen.com) a group of producers, DJs, MCs and my sis the “Mark Cuban” of the group who does all the graphic design, maintains the business and runs the annual show single handedly which showcases and support Chicago area Hip Hop Artists. Well, alot of “Chicago” sports gear was worn, I represented both days with Cubs and Bulls gear. I’ve worn sports gear to Hip Hop shows for years I still have ADIDAS track suits from the 80’s that I still wear.
    Not that this makes a difference at all, but…I’m a 34 yr. old LATINA FEMALE…whom even mangement in corporate America call me “ILL” because of my first name….

    Comment by Illy -

  6. hip-hop is traditionally a black music form. think about what’s really going on…tough ghettoes, tough players – chi-ching for owners. these kids grow up hard, and are conditioned hard. a lot of times ego is mandatory, because in order to come out on top, you need that something special to conquer. and sometimes, this can lead to a simple assault. this is prevalent in hiphop communities (ghettoes – where hip-hop came from – not talking about suburbs).
    so, really, the question is: do you want harder, tougher, egotistic players playing ball, or do you only want college kids, who are educated and actually have another way through life?
    it’s simple: black = invented hip-hop. won’t let it go. but they are some of the best basketball players, and that hip-hop attitude will come with….white = hip-hop generation is only by inheritance. that fight is not there, and most whites do not really want to represent that fight – not much of an attitude.
    and why are fans throwing cups anyway? is it like a gladiator-type event where someone is supposed to fight? it’s a taunting, and usually a taunt results in a confrontation. you wouldn’t taunt someone that is 3 times bigger than you on the street, would you?
    to be totally honest, i’m tired of people trying to be tough (throwing a cup at someone), and not being tough enough to face a consequence as simple as an ass-whoopin’. quit watching tv.

    Comment by emonic -

  7. Hi, I am a Christian rapper,I really rap about God and Jesus Christ, I preach faith,repentance and baptism in my first rap song called baptizing my folks .I was wondering if anyone could help me out that reads this .I am trying to get Gods word out to the world in this rap cd I have made .If you can post to one of your blogs for me and show people my web site I would be very thank full. Peace http://www.purekanerap.com/

    Comment by Pure Kane -

  8. Hip Hop gets attention by the beat. The lyrics are secondary to almost everyone who generically listens. Basketball is the same. To those who watch and don’t know it just looks like a pretty bunch of formations like the fountains at the Bellagio. To those who care and learn and know and love, it is much deeper. The rhythm catches the attention of the masses, but the subtle nuances catch the eyes and ears of the prolific who will gift our future. I believe the prolific are Devin the Dude, Devin Harris, Paul Wall, Josh Howard, Lil’ Wayne, and Marquis Daniels. JET and D-Strong go hard, Damp and Stack finish at the rack! SwishaHouse!!!

    Devin AKA The Dude
    http://www.herecomesthedude.com/
    Paul Wall
    http://www.djpaulwall.com/
    Lil Wayne
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00027JYPI/qid=1107597663/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/002-4381631-6476811

    Hip Hop is never dead!!!

    Comment by okie diesely doke -

  9. Hip Hop gets attention by the beat. The lyrics are secondary to almost everyone who generically listens. Basketball is the same. To those who watch and don’t know it just looks like a pretty bunch of formations like the fountains at the Bellagio. To those who care and learn and know and love, it is much deeper. The rhythm catches the attention of the masses, but the subtle nuances catch the eyes and ears of the prolific who will gift our future. I believe the prolific are Devin the Dude, Devin Harris, Paul Wall, Josh Howard, Lil’ Wayne, and Marquis Daniels. JET and D-Strong go hard, Damp and Stack finish at the rack! SwishaHouse!!!

    Devin AKA The Dude
    http://www.herecomesthedude.com/
    Paul Wall
    http://www.djpaulwall.com/
    Lil Wayne
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00027JYPI/qid=1107597663/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/002-4381631-6476811

    Hip Hop is never dead!!!

    Comment by okie diesely doke -

  10. For the perspective of a woman of the so-called hip hop generation, check out http://nakedcartwheels.blogspot.com/

    and scroll down.

    Lot’s there, if I do say so myself. FWIW, the NBA has no choice but to embrace hip hop. Probably 80% of the players do.

    Anyway, the Mavs are cool, but as far as I’m concerned, Go, T-Wolves!

    Comment by Danyel -

  11. I say hip hop and hoops dont mix..

    http://www.pvrx.com

    Comment by brett -

  12. Parscel: “For the middle-class and lower families, sometimes both parents hussle to provide for their family and the opportunity cost is not having time to teach or guide their children and that’s when television is an inevitable subsitute. Instead of playing the blame game, we should all try taking responsibility. It takes a community to raise a child.”

    No, it takes parenting.

    I’ve grown up in and around poor and middle class people my whole life. The common thread between ones with well raised, together kids?

    Terror.

    I legitimately did not know if I was gonna wake up several mornings, after some antics of some sort (including a minor bout as a would-be arsonist). Between the endless, unconditional love of my great aunt and the unthinking, wholehearted terror of my great uncle, I turned out OK.

    Looking around my immediate family, same story, even in single parent households where people worked full time and struggled to find child care. They _made_ time for what was really important, and that was raising their kids (although some said it was to “keep them damned hooligans off the street,” but the point survives).

    Or, in the words of Chris Rock, I want people to go home and parent their kids so the little bastards won’t try and rob me in ten years, when I’ll be slower and less able to defend myself. That goes equally for poorly supervised Jared in Woodland Hills as it goes for my neighbor’s son Dante in what some call gang territory in LA.

    If it does take a whole village to raise a child, how did parents seem to get along so well for so long in this country?

    Comment by Hannibal Tabu -

  13. leroy-

    see posts 13, 22, and/or 28 for a definition of hip hop.

    dan

    Comment by dan -

  14. RE: Hannibal Tabu,

    For the middle-class and lower families, sometimes both parents hussle to provide for their family and the opportunity cost is not having time to teach or guide their children and that’s when television is an inevitable subsitute. Instead of playing the blame game, we should all try taking responsibility.

    It takes a community to raise a child.

    Comment by Parscel -

  15. I object to the insinuation (“middle aged white men”) that many who question the NBA’s association with hip hop are racist. Such an insinuation has the practical effect of stifling debate.

    When Mark Cuban came into the NBA, he questioned many many thing which had never been questioned before. He was the victim of an entrenched corporate mentality which stereotyped him, and used their stereotype as an excuse to dismiss his ideas without fully considering them.

    To me, it looks like Mark is doing that same type of stereotyping to a bunch of “middle aged white men” who very likely have the NBA’s and society’s best interests in mind, and are trying to have an exploratory dialogue about an area which is admittedly not their area of expertise.

    Comment by Greg Cotharn -

  16. Dan- actually I agree with you about Sevendust. I’m not a fan of theirs but i was pointing out that if black people want to listen to music simply because it’s done by black people, Sevendust is a rock band that includes a black person.

    Can you be more specific about what “real” hip-hop is? I believe I’ve heard all kinds of hip-hop, definitely not just what’s played on tv, and it all equally insults my intelligence.

    Leroy

    Comment by Leroy -

  17. leroy… sevendust as immensely talented both lyrically and muscially? are you insane? you dont need to reach for lajon…. you’re better off using KSE and their new singer….

    but anyway, i fear you entirely missed the point about hiphop, what it is, or, more specifically, what it’s not limited to.

    i’ll forget about your implication that hiphop — oh, by the way, as is my obligation, i’m 24, white, and listen to metal, but not BAD metal — so i’ll forget about the implication that hiphop doesn’t take any talent and doesn’t produce anything unique or interesting. because surely you didn’t mean that, did you?

    and people like hiphop because that way they can fit into the crowd they want? is that like how i like the deftones so that the hot girl who likes them will like me too? or is it like how i like the samsung phones offered by TMobile, and TMobile in general, because i want to fit into that group of people who don’t like Cingualr and Verizon?

    don’t you realize that what you’re talking about – or so it seems – is the completely commercialized and bastardized branchlet (like a piglet but without the legs and ears and curly tail and stuff) which bares only a slight resemblance to HipHop? it is far from HipHop itself (whatever that might mean).

    so, i dunno, saying that hiphop is an embarassment….well, just be clear about what you’re talking about. because, sure, some of the nonsense on MTV and BET is embarassing (lindsey lohan has an album? what?) – but that stuff is as close to pure as the drinking water in indonesia.

    so, in addition to throwing away your sevendust collection, clarifying your writing, listening to some “real” HipHop, why dont you donate to the red cross or some org that’ll get those people some clean water…. nature is awfully ironic sometimes….

    Comment by dan -

  18. Hip-Hop culture is more then just another music genre, as you state. Hip-hop is a music genre that is specifically tied to a specific group of people. That group of people is the urban blacks. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the merging of NBA and the hip-hop culture, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But “middle aged white men” as you put it, aren’t questioning this merger out of racism as you imply, but because of genuine concern. The urban black community does have a really bad reputation, the unemployment, drug abuse, violence, crime, ect., ect. It goes on and on. If you were an average middle aged white man, wouldn’t you be scared?

    Comment by Jeffrey -

  19. I think people complain about the NBA and its association with Hip Hop largely due to the fact that they can no longer “relate” to the players. Fact is, with the amount of money the players make today there is no relevant relationship with the players anyway.

    I’ve been a season ticket holder for the Mavs the past 5 seasons and am a 35 year old white male. I spent high school listening to Run DMC and the Beastie Boys so I confess that rap is part of my life. However, I find the games entertaining because of the athleticism and competitiveness of the game, the variety of music played during timeouts (albeit extremely loud Mark), and the plethora of beautiful women that the Mavs games seem to attract. It’s a great environment to take a date, a business associate, and even your 8 year old nephew. What other activity can that be said for?

    The Hip Hop generation isn’t ruining basketball, it’s the tolerance of off-court activities by the players that is. Then again, we still cheer for the Cowboys after watching that team party their way through the 90’s, winning championships and front-page articles with their off-the-field troubles.

    Comment by Jody Brothers -

  20. In fact another band to check out for pure God-given talent is Dream Theater…

    Comment by Leroy -

  21. I am a 26 year old African American man and would like to say that while I love basketball, and have played it most of my life, I despise hip-hop. I am a rock music fan because what they do takes musical talent and the ability to create something unique and interesting. Since hip-hop tends to be focused on the lyrics rather than interesting music, I find it to be mostly inane and totally uninteresting. I also think that many people like hip-hop music because they think it makes them cool, or just accepted into whatever crowd they want to be in. There are so many musicians and bands in rock music that show amazing talent, a craft that they’ve worked at their entire lives. Hip-hop music is essentially poetry. While I can appreciate poetry, I do not find music created around poetry, mostly as background music to make someone want to dance, to be the least bit interesting or entertaining. In fact I find most hip-hop music to be an embarrassment to the black race. If you want to hear interesting, talented, professional MUSIC, that also has interesting lyrical content, check out Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, etc. In fact, if you want to check out rock bands with black members because you feel that you should listen to music performed by black people, check out King’s X, Living Colour, and Sevendust. All have black band members, and all are immensely talented both lyrically and musically. Hip-hop just gives the black community something to agree upon, and I don’t think that’s enough reason to consider it “good music”.

    Comment by Leroy -

  22. Brenton — I agree with you 150%. Don’t blame professional entertainers any more than you’d blame Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt. Blame parents who let their kids run loose. Fine work, sir.

    Comment by Hannibal Tabu -

  23. I like the way Nathan put it that everyone has a story to tell but hip hop just happens to be a different mode of expression. Though sometimes I wish they would be more creative in how they present themselves in videos instead of the usual scantily-clad women and throwing away money (in asian culture that is actually a sign of weeping for the dead) and be more concerned of the visual messages they are sending out to impressionable youth. Perhaps tell more of a straight-forward or intricate story and people who usually don’t listen or watch hip-hop videos would be intrigued as well.

    Comment by Parscel -

  24. It isn’t about the music, or the violence, or the video games, movies, etc… those are just the villains of the week.

    It is about parenting. Step up, spend some time with your children, and teach them right from wrong. Make yourself available to them for questions and discussions about ANY topic – even if it makes you uncomfortable.

    “Kids today” (or basketball players) are not the way they are because of the music they listen to. Blaming any form of entertainment for your failings to be a parent is just weak.

    BIG kudos to Mark for spending time with his daughter – he is very busy, but he makes the time for the most important thing in his life.

    Comment by Brenton -

  25. Hey Mark — good call on me as a posturing purist. As far as hip hop goes, I do posture and I am a purist. I’m also the same way about jazz — if it ain’t straight ahead, I’m likely to mentally tune out.

    The following may be way too deep in the topic for some, so I apologize if so.

    Anyhoo, I appreciate your comments on Eminem, but I would disagree to an extent. If you had time to check out the recent VH1 special about the founding days of hip hop (I was very sad VH1 did it and not BET, but sadly that’s par for the course), the members of Sugar Hill Gang talked about how they were basically roped into doing the record, in some cases doing other people’s lyrics.

    To relate this to your defense of Eminem, on 8 Mile he was hip hop. On “Just Lose It,” I’d say “not so much.” On “Like Toy Soldiers” that’s certainly hip hop, but on the likes of “The Real Slim Shady,” he’s doing a kind of posturing of his own — sensationalized goofy music for monetary purposes. Which is fine, I don’t have any problem with it, but it’s no more “hip hop” than a Kenny G album is straight ahead jazz.

    Your mileage, as always, may vary. That’s my personal stance on it.

    You also said:
    “Everything I pointed out was either self-serving, or rooted in violence. You’re gonna tell me the ‘A-Town Stomp’ is not rooted in stomping someone’s face in?”

    When I was growing up in Memphis. everybody with two friends and fifteen free minutes had what was called a “step routine.” It involved dancing that was heavily based on stomping the ground. Fraternities seem to have a monopoly on it outside of the south, but in ol’ Dixie — and certainly in Atlanta — _everybody_ grows up incorporating stomping into dancing, and for the A-Town Stomp to develop, it would probably have the same historical roots.

    As for “self-serving,” one of the most enduring images of my childhood is Michael Douglas saying “Greed is good” from that ’80s movie “Wall Street.” Self serving is the modus operandi of modern culture, from Carson Daly to Carson, California. That’s not a hip hop thing, and not even exclusively a “thug” hip hop thing. In the words of H. Rap Brown, it’s as American as cherry pie.

    You asked:
    “how many other frat boys feel it necessary to do that whenever prompted?”

    The fraternities have always noted that the members of Omega Psi Phi are well known to be the rowdiest, most drunken, most dangerous frats known to man (until I met Alpha Tau Omega members at USC, a white fraternity chapter that makes Omegas look like choir boys). On the other hand, they also tend to develop a lot of engineers, chemists and basketball players. Who knew? The are, to my knowledge, the only frat with a really visible “sign” that they can do — none for Alphas of Sigmas, and the Kappa sign is really kind of diminutive. The others don’t do it because it’s not a part of their culture … such as it is. (Growing up in Memphis, you also learn a _lot_ about Black fraternities whether you care or not)

    Finally,
    “as I type this I realize the undercurrent in this is race, and what you versus I find acceptable. We all have our bounds, and I think the “thug hip hop” guys have turned away the older white fans. Of course ticket prices have turned some away, but whenever I mention I’m an avid NBA fan to some other white guy, they proceed to tell me how they don’t even bother with it anymore.”

    I think the dangerous lack of fundamental basketball playing and the Sportcenter Clip culture of showboating have more to do with it than the influences of NWA or Notorious BIG. It’s a very different game, and it’s a very different world. Where you see racial undertones, I see more of what John P talked about (and what a lovely place to segue …)

    I also agree with John P about it being generational. I didn’t intend to place any racial bias on it (although I did kind of _perceive_ some), but I recognize it in myself, listening to stuff my nieces enjoy and frowning (Cheetah Girls? Hillary Duff? Argh). But that’s for them as much as X-Clan and Brand Nubian were for me. No harm done, I say.

    But I’m not going around saying Darius Miles looks like a threat (now, I’d avoid Hillary Duff, but for reasons that have nothing to do with my own personal security).

    Finally, Rob said:
    “I am a high school teacher in Irving, and so I’m constantly surrounded by kids from this “hip-hop” generation. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the music because I know it’s just artistic expression, but my problem is that kids always try to imitate what they see on TV. In this case, they are imitating the rap stars they see on MTV and BET. The guys act like the rappers, and the girls act like the dancers in the back of the video. Praise the movement all you want, but I want you to promise to chaperone your daughter’s homecoming dance when she’s in high school, and then tell me if you love watching her grind her ass into a boy’s crotch while they dance to a song that promotes everything you’d never want her to do. That’s the reality I’m stuck with every day.”

    One of the retail clerks at my comic book store is also a schoolteacher during the day, and he talks all the time about how frustrated every educator he’s ever met is. It’s a brutal business, and I so respect your decision and/or masochism in sticking with it.

    That said, the points you made “what they see on TV,” “rap stars” and “videos” says nothing about hip hop. It talks about a crass entertainment industry (shocker) and poor parenting skills. My nieces have never heard a Petey Pablo record, despite every single one of their parents loving his work. Because Petey Pablo is for grown ups, and the kids have been very powerfully trained to avoid that, even when outside of their parents immediate environs. That’s parenting. The problems you have are largely with parents who allow their children to sit in front of videos, not the videos themselves.

    Every single “beef” I’ve read here with hip hop has more to do with external societal causes, commercial pressures or personal prejudices than anything that ever, ever happened on a record (even though I even think Eminem went too far on “Dead Wrong,” but that’s just me). I’m happy to talk about real problems, but if I wanted to point fingers at the innocent and lay blame where it doesn’t belong, I’d call my ex-wife and listen to her.

    Maybe it’s just me.

    Comment by Hannibal Tabu -

  26. I have to laugh at the comments. Suddenly its a flashback to 1955 and a bunch of white, republican, boring old farts are wringing their hands about that evil rock’n’roll. Get over it folks – part of the appeal of hip hop is that the kids know you hate it. History repeats itself. And for the record, I’m 44, white, and love hip hop. There is no other music worth listening to anymore. Eminem is Elvis to this generation. Rob, the teacher (comment no 23) – wasn’t he in “Fast Times at Ridgmemont High”?

    Comment by Owen Byrne -

  27. Mark, 99% of the time I agree with you, but in this case I’ll have to disagree. I am a high school teacher in Irving, and so I’m constantly surrounded by kids from this “hip-hop” generation. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the music because I know it’s just artistic expression, but my problem is that kids always try to imitate what they see on TV. In this case, they are imitating the rap stars they see on MTV and BET. The guys act like the rappers, and the girls act like the dancers in the back of the video. Praise the movement all you want, but I want you to promise to chaperone your daughter’s homecoming dance when she’s in high school, and then tell me if you love watching her grind her ass into a boy’s crotch while they dance to a song that promotes everything you’d never want her to do. That’s the reality I’m stuck with every day.

    Comment by Rob -

  28. So in light of the discussion heretofore in this thread, perhaps the question should be rephrased: should “the current popular black aesthetic” (as poster Mark call’s it) be promoted within the NBA. That is, is the NBA using the same marketing focus as other businesses in promoting only a small, currently profitable segment of hip hop without considering wether the content of this material is socially responsible.

    Also, referencing Hannibal, hip hop has been around for thirty years, so it’s obviously not a fad. But perhaps the NBA is using a certain segment of hip hop which is a fad, and when this fad fades, so too will the revenue the NBA is deriving from it.

    Comment by Bob Mapplethorpe -

  29. Posted by max (who incidentally has an interesting blog)

    “Perhaps you should post something about donating or just shut up for a week. Sorry, but occasionally American callousness just gets me fuming.”

    Um, where is your post about donating and why in this time American callousness are you even taking the time to read and respond to this blog? Shouldn’t you be busy with the relief effort?

    And to Hannibal -> great, great post. I was (notice the past tense) pretty cynical of the hip hop genre but have since broadened my view a little bit. Thanks.

    Oh I forgot, apparently I need to post my race and age…

    I’m white and > 30 years old.

    Comment by one kidney -

  30. Hey Hannibal, it’s nice to know that you did your homework. (Well it’s not really homework to you or me, since we live it) But if you’re done posturing purist, I would like to point out something blatantly wrong about your assessment of what is and isn’t hip hop. Eminem is hip hop just as much as Aceyalone, Jurassic Five, Kool G Rap, Crazy Legs, Cold Crush. You want to know why? Hip hop is a tree buddy. It has branches. Yes there are 4 major bows of this tree, which I don’t need to name for you, but will for the other guys: breakdancing, graffiti as you may call it, MCing or rapping, and my personal favorite, DJing. If one practices any part of this, they are hip hop. KRS-One can’t deny this, no one can. Each bow of hip hop has it’s extended branches, like MCing has “gangster rap” or “backpacker rap.” DJing has “turntablism” and “mixtape DJ’s.”

    Now for you older guys this is probably going way too deep. But let me explain what I believe Hannibal was a little pissed about. The small unit of hip hop which is the current thug rap, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, etc.; this small extension of hip hop is what someone on the outside of hip hop defines it as. Yes it is prejudiced. Hip hop is more than a du-rag and a bible scripture tattoo on your forearm. So Hannibal has issue with the current popular black aesthetic being labeled “hip hop.”

    Well, it is part of hip hop, but it is not the whole of hip hop. Enough on that though, back to sports.

    In defense of my disdain for end-zone/dunk celebrations, I know the origins. I don’t need a history lesson. But you fail to see my logic. Everything I pointed out was either self-serving, or rooted in violence. You’re gonna tell me the “A-Town Stomp” is not rooted in stomping someone’s face in? I can cut you some slack on the Q Dog thing, but how many other frat boys feel it necessary to do that whenever prompted? None. It’s a just self promotion to me. But as I type this I realize the undercurrent in this is race, and what you versus I find acceptable. We all have our bounds, and I think the “thug hip hop” guys have turned away the older white fans. Of course ticket prices have turned some away, but whenever I mention I’m an avid NBA fan to some other white guy, they proceed to tell me how they don’t even bother with it anymore.

    Comment by Mark -

  31. Mark, it’s easy to understand why you think that all that matters is to embrace what the latest generation, or what the majority of the players are into – your team is somewhat successful. But when your franchise goes bad (and it will) and you’re wondering why half the arena are people disguised as an empty seat, and nobody is buying your merchandise, remember who and what concepts you aligned yourself with during your good times. You cannot cram the latest fads down the throats of long standing fans and expect them to say OK. These fans are far more valuable to you in passing on the concept of supporting a team to the next generation, in good times and bad, as opposed to latching on to the latest fad as a means to sell your product. Yet you seem to relish in turning your back on them in favor of making sure you look hip with the current generation – most of which are forced to rely on someone paying the freight for a ticket to one of your games. Your supporting majority go to games for the sport of the game – not to be entertained and led to believe that what’s hot is what the game is all about. Try selling the game for a change.

    Comment by Chuck -

  32. // 34-year-old white male //

    Props to Hannibal for taking the time to clear things up!

    Using commercial Hip Hop to promote the NBA seems like a perfect union. Both “organizations” are willing to pimp themselves out for commercial interests and sell more product. Be it more liquor, deoderant, soda, or shoes.

    There are so many versions of Hip Hop out there… it is dizzying. Why not even consider abstract christian hip hop? – Soul Junk

    I would think about how to expose kids to “better” hip hop. Yet, it is all about money. It all depends on what business industry is manipulating the NBA and “Hip Hop” culture.

    As Cuban stated: “It says it all when Arthur, the animated rodent, is inclusive and has a better understanding of today’s culture then media commentators who get paid to pretend to know.”

    What Would Arthur Do?

    Comment by Paul Goode -

  33. Mark — There’s a simple reason why you haven’t heard complaints from fans about hip-hop. The people complaining have already turned their back on the game, and you’re only hearing from them now that you’ve opened up the subject to comment on your blog.

    Wander the streets for a while and talk to people who aren’t going to NBA games, especially those who have some interest in college basketball. Ask them why they’re not going to games.

    No, the problem isn’t all hip-hop — there is plenty of worthwhile music in the genre. But the perception, somewhat justified if you ask me, is that the players are emulating its worst aspects. The gangsta poses. The “me-first” attitude that is ruining the game itself (ask Jason Whitlock, who wrote a great column recently in which he saw a future with an NBA dominated by European players).

    You have a nice blog here at times, Mark, but you fall on your face a bit when you oversimplify a problem and then claim that the media don’t understand it. (Disclaimer: I’m a peon in that industry.) I’d be curious to read your thoughts after you put a little more effort into them.

    That’s the trouble with blogs — your first impulse isn’t always your best, as you know from the fines you’ve paid.

    Comment by Beau -

  34. hannibal-

    nice post, i enjoyed reading it. however, i wonder why my prejudice of avoiding darius miles’ or paul tuttles’ (american choppers) is anymore prejudiced than you not trusting suits or law enforcement? you seemed to exonerate yourself because you admitted it was a prejudice that you had, i did the same thing, why is it different for you?

    whether eminem or snoop dog or any of the other top rappers in the “game” are hip-hop is probably a valid debate. however, it is understood by the vast majority of the public because that is what we have been told. i understand your point and agree to a point, but i am not sure how many of the players in the nba have a tribe called quest cd in their ipods, or common, or talib kweli. its more like pastor troy and devin the dude, or some other “rapper” rather than “hip-hopper.” would you be more comfortable if i referred to the nba as a bunch of rappers, than hip hoppers?

    it sounds as if you are defending hip hop, and not rap? if that is the case, great we agree. i can identify the difference.

    you also say that i overgeneralize about rappers being all about themselves and telling their fans how much they floss. i didnt get that from a snippet of tv, i got that from a cash money millionaires cd, or a fabolous record. if you watch a string of rap videos in a row, i would be willing to bet that in the majority of them at some point in the video the artist will throw money around or hold it up and fan themselves with it. or talk about his bentley and how “hot” they are.

    it seems that you probably agree with me more than you think. you were degrading the same thing as me: rappers, however you explained the difference between hip hop and rap and i did not.

    finally, i am sure your cousins are good human beings.

    Comment by cosmo -

  35. Hip Hop is all about violence. Pop Rock is all about teenaged sex symbols. Punk Rock is all about angry anarchy. Classic rock is all about sex and drugs. Alternative Rock is all about suicidal depression. Reggae is all about drugs and laziness.

    Every generation many people think that the next’s is awful. Just realize it isn’t. It is just different, like yours was from your folks.

    Oh and it is generational. It is not urban, or black, or poor, or what ever other stereotype you want to put on it. Funny, those are the same stereotypes put on rock in its original form as well.

    Comment by John P -

  36. I’m a 17 year old white girl from West Texas and I like hip-hop in the NBA. Whether it be real Hip-Hop or just Eminem either way it gets me excited about the game. I think it just creates energy for both players and fans to feed off of. Though I’m not a fan of all the language used when I buy the CD’s of these artist I usually get them edited. Besides, Kanye West just released a Christian rap song, so you cant stereotype all Hip-Hop.

    Comment by Allison -

  37. Hannibal, that was a most articulate post. I enjoyed it enormously. As a 47 year old white guy that is a major NBA fan and someone who has been a music fan my whole life, I couldn’t agree with Hannibal more. I can’t stand the negative gangsta rap (which, apparently is what everybody else associates with ALL hip hop), with its misogynist, violent lyrics, but that is only a subset of hip hop as a genre. I’m not a huge hip hop fan, but I don’t dismiss a whole genre of music just because of one subtype. I HATE “Death Metal”, but I don’t hate all rock music because of that. ANd Mr. Cuban is right. Whether we like hip hop or not is not the point, the point is, it’s here, and it’s going to stay, until something else grabs the kids’ attention and they go in a different direction. As far as marketing the NBA with hip hop, they’d market the NBA with Chilean folk songs if that was what’s popular with the youth. Every generation has their own music that they can annoy their parents with. Isn’t that half of the fun?

    Comment by KGOS-FM -

  38. “Let’s go by the numbers: Scott Griffith said:

    “Hiphop is closesly associated with violence, drugs, and crime thanks in part to the lyrics. I don’t think you can cut it any differently. Hiphop looks bad on the NBA when they are associated together, though it seems their is not much they can do about it.”

    Nuh uh. Ask Mos Def is hop hop is about violence, drugs and crime. Ask Common, Talib Kweli, Aceyalone, or even the wildly complicated LL Cool J, or any of a score of hip hop artists I can name off the top of my head.

    You’re making the same generalizations your parents heard (or maybe you did, hell, I dunno how old people are) when Elvis swerved on TV screens, and they claimed that rock was devil music. That the “jazz” generation heard when their music was decried by their parents. You’re basically saying, “I’m the same kind of overgeneralizing, prejudiced person they were, as unwilling to think and research and learn due to fear or ignorance.” Do you really wanna be _them_?”

    No one denies that there are “good guy” rappers and hip hop artists, but as with everything, the greasy wheel gets the oil and the worst gets the most pub. The most extreme examples are always used as the standard examples. What are the odds that if you flip on BET, you will see something mysogenistic, racist, drug promoting or violent? From my general channel flipping, I’d say pretty high.

    There are definatly hip hop artists who fight against those stereotypes, but the problem lies in those artists who embrace them and as so long as the NBA is associated with hip hop, elements of these aspects that many hip hop artists ebrace will also be associated with the NBA.

    Comment by Scott Griffith -

  39. I’m thirty one years old. I’m of African descent, and I grew up in the US (in Memphis). I barely remember a time when hip hop wasn’t a part of my life. As well, I’m a college graduate, a professional journalist (newspaper editor now, formerly editor then freelancer for national urban music publications), a published poet, and an uncle to a horde of the most wonderful kids you could ever wanna meet.

    One of my contemporaries, another journalist named Adisa Banjoko, told me he was “giving up” on hip hop, after he had a son. I’ve read similar sentiments in numerous pieces, most recently in the October 2004 issue of Essence.

    I mock these people relentlessly.

    I told Adisa that Snoop Dogg is not hip hop. Eminem barely is, and only on certain days. Ninety nine percent of what you hear on the radio, and the musicians involved would and often do say the same, is not hip hop. It’s rap music, true, which is a subset of hip hop, but it ain’t it. This distinction may be too fine a point for older pundits and the uninitiated to discern, but it’s a fact.

    When I was in eight grade, I sat at a lunch room table, before school started, with about six other young men (and two young women), nodding our heads as one beat out a syncopated rhythm on the table. In turns, each of us performed an improvised original rhyming piece, each trying harder to scan our juvenile vocabularies and impress the others. That’s hip hop. As long as there’s lunch tables and kids and rhymes and somebody pounding out a beat, there will always be hip hop, regardless of Jay-Z or the FCC or Tipper Gore, and that’s a fact, just the same was as there’ll always be rock and roll as long as somebody somewhere can pick up a guitar and jam.

    I swear I’ve written this exact same thing a hundred times.

    Let’s go by the numbers: Scott Griffith said:
    “Hiphop is closesly associated with violence, drugs, and crime thanks in part to the lyrics. I don’t think you can cut it any differently. Hiphop looks bad on the NBA when they are associated together, though it seems their is not much they can do about it.”

    Nuh uh. Ask Mos Def is hop hop is about violence, drugs and crime. Ask Common, Talib Kweli, Aceyalone, or even the wildly complicated LL Cool J, or any of a score of hip hop artists I can name off the top of my head.

    You’re making the same generalizations your parents heard (or maybe you did, hell, I dunno how old people are) when Elvis swerved on TV screens, and they claimed that rock was devil music. That the “jazz” generation heard when their music was decried by their parents. You’re basically saying, “I’m the same kind of overgeneralizing, prejudiced person they were, as unwilling to think and research and learn due to fear or ignorance.” Do you really wanna be _them_?

    Mark said:
    “Mark, is this really so important? I know I should not be moralizing here, (bad netiqette, w/e), but as a regular reader of your blog I find the choice of topic trivial a day after 20 going on 50K fellow humans got wiped out like this. Perhaps you should post something about donating or just shut up for a week. Sorry, but occasionally American callousness just gets me fuming.”

    Whoa, major netiquette faux pas. It’s a blog. The man posts about whatever’s on his mind. To say otherwise is not only unfair (as you could start your own blog and say what you want said) but kinda freakin’ rude.

    Cosmo said:
    “one of the biggest aspects of hip hop is rappers talking about how great they are, how much money they have, how much stuff they have and how much respect they get. i think that attitude rubs of on players which in turn, turns off the general public who watch the games.”

    Really? That’s one of the biggest aspects of hip hop? You say this based on what evidence? Snippets of what you’ve seen on TV? Flipping channels on a radio? Again, this kind of wild overgeneralization is why _every_ generation thinks its parents are stupid.

    One of the biggest aspects of hip hop, in its going-on-thirty-year history (yeah, thirty years pal, and that’s without going back to the griot tradition, boot dancers in South Africa and the scores of other clear cut historical precedents) is self expression. Say what you want. Do what you want. Be what you want. Now, what some people want is stupid (in my opinion) — that’s why there are, say, Seahawks fans or people who buy Britney Spears records, or, yes, want to be criminals. Because criminals — ask the Bush administration — seem to be making a killing. The _business_ community found a way to successfully market and proliferate a certain brand of rap music, to the exclusion of most other types. Superhero comics dominate the comic book world in the same way. Reality shows are starting to do the same thing to TV. Does that make, say, Love and Rockets any less a comic book? Does it make Scrubs any less a TV show?

    Again, really, seriously, you do your self a major disservice speaking in such broad terms.

    Continuing:
    “another thing is the rampant tatoos. do you really need 50 of them? i think this comes from the hip-hop lifestyle (or metal if you are cherokee parks) as most rappers have a ton of tats as well.”

    I host a karaoke show in Torrance, CA and see tons of people with tattoos all over their bodies. Most of them drive large Harley Davidsons. Are they suddenly rappers? Come on, now.

    Finally, Cosmo said:
    “it was easy to identify with bird and magic or jordan or drexler. you could see hanging around with them. however if you see darius miles walking down the street you figure out ways to avoid him. that may be prejudiced to say, but it is the truth. i would say the same thing about a group of bikers. maybe it is age. a lot of these players are just kids.”

    Yeah. That’s prejudiced. Especially since I have two cousins who could be stand-ins for Darius Miles at a moment’s notice. So the way somebody dresses — biker or braids, leather chaps or jerseys — is suddenly reason to avoid somebody? That’s a really limited way to live your life, don’t you think? I know a former Pulitzer nominee who considers herself “hip hop.” Is she suddenly someone to avoid? Wow … and people wonder why Black people get so paranoid around you guys …

    Mark said:
    “The hip hop generation is part to blame for the decline in NBA fans, especially, the middle and upper-aged guys.”

    Really? You don’t think the shift to higher priced tickets and mostly cable broadcasts have anything to do with it? I believe that was the big band generation who made most of those decisions.

    More:
    “The hip hop generation is very in your face, and very ‘I’m gonna do for me.'”

    So are Republicans. Ask Karl Rove.

    Boggling my mind with this one:
    “t makes sense that if you are turned off by hip hop, you will be turned off by the NBA today. It’s essentially the same thing.”

    Or, perhaps, one brand of criminal imagery doesn’t show up on your radar, and another does? Personally, I avoid law enforcement professionals and I’m incredibly wary of men in suits. Bad personal experiences. Is it prejudiced? Sure, and I acknowledge that, and try not to let it make me overly unfair to people like that. What I see — here in particular — is people so comfortable with their prejudices, so entrenched with them, that they consider an alien perspective to have something wrong with it.

    “Giving the Q Dog sign after a dunk=corny
    Signing a ball and giving it to someone who’s gonna give it back=stupid
    Doing the Atlanta Stomp after a TD=stupid”

    The Q Dog thing is based on members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a college thing. Are rowdy Black college students suddenly a problem? Most of the problematic rap artists in question have no idea what that means.

    I dunno what the ball signing bit is about, but in my mind any form of TD celebration that doesn’t involve violence is all right.

    I am saddened and disappointed to read a lot of this,

    Comment by Hannibal Tabu -

  40. Unrelated as always , I read this and your comment about your child TV show😉 and I remember the privilege I add to have a public library in my area.

    Steinbeck’s Hometown to Close Libraries

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20041227/ap_on_re_us/salinas_libraries

    “But a top library official said the prospect of a white knight emerging to cover the roughly $3.2 million in annual operating expenses is remote. ”

    This made me think of “The Benefactor!”😉

    -Happy hollydays and Happy New year and may this year bring everyone the hapiness and health everyone deserves.

    Comment by Moulinneuf -

  41. I only care in that it means that my NBA Basketball video games tend to only have music I dislike blaring when I play…

    Comment by Stephen Duncan Jr -

  42. I really have a problem with professional sports using music videos to create a pop culture persona. One reason is that this could fail. Professional sports should stand on its own.

    Comment by mike bertelsen -

  43. Mark, my career is hip hop music. I’m a 28 y/o WHITE BOY recording engineer. I would love for you to read this.

    I have been an NBA fan since 3rd grade. My favorite team was the Celtics for a long time. (NH native) Now I’m an avid Pacers fan. I like the Pacers because they play a team brand of ball, based around the true principals of the game. (Insert Artest joke here) These guys going around throwing up “Q Dog” signs or “Bullhorns” (Quentin Richardson) when they score make me sick. The Pacers do the job. Yes they celebrate. They don’t go overboard.

    The hip hop generation is part to blame for the decline in NBA fans, especially, the middle and upper-aged guys. The hip hop generation is very in your face, and very “I’m gonna do for me.” I see it every day. The music guys and the sports figures want to be eachother, so they act like eachother. The sports boys go and get their tattoos and their $100,000 chains. The music guys put on their extensive throwback collection. It makes sense that if you are turned off by hip hop, you will be turned off by the NBA today. It’s essentially the same thing.

    The NBA guys need to realize something though. They are being held to a much, much, much higher standard than musicians. Musicians are creative people, who specialize in expressing themselves. They constantly evolve and push the envelople of what is decent and acceptable. This applies to all music. Athletes are different. Athletes generally follow in tradition. They are bound by rules. They represent cities, states, and even countries. Musicians do not. Athletes get paid way more than 99.44999% of all musicians. There is a reason for that. It is to uphold these traditions, perform at your peak, and represent your team. NBA players should really think about that.

    It makes me sick, as much as a hip hop fan I am, to see athletes trying to celebrate with the newest dance move, or any other outrageous celebration.
    Signing a ball and giving it to an unexpecting fan=great
    Just giving a ball to fan=great
    A pumped fist after a dunk=great
    Standing on the scorers table and hyping up the crowd after a come from behind win=great

    Giving the Q Dog sign after a dunk=corny
    Signing a ball and giving it to someone who’s gonna give it back=stupid
    Doing the Atlanta Stomp after a TD=stupid

    Athletes, we hold you to high standard, you should think about that. You are not musicians, stop acting like them. The hip hop generation has come a long way, but it’s never going to be accepted by everybody.

    BTW-My favorite player of all time was Larry Bird.

    Comment by Mark -

  44. I love hip hop and R&B! But I don’t think that all young people today are into the music. Hip hop goes with NBA because most of the players are black. Look at the NHL; Most of the players are white and most of the players listen to some form of Rock. You don’t hear many hip hop songs blasting at NHL games (unfortunately, because it IS the best genre of music)

    Comment by Tino Buntic -

  45. A far bigger problem for the NBA is pricing the middle class out of attending its games in favor of the much coveted corporate dollars — at least in Boston — can’t speak for the rest of the country.

    If you give the middle class a good reason to stay away, they’ll eventually lose interest, which has happened in this town.

    Marketing to kids, on the other hand, is smart business for a professional sports league and if pop culture embraces hip hop, rap, acid rock or classical, so be it. This is one thing, in my opinion, the NBA does pretty well.

    Comment by Scotbo -

  46. i am not sure that hip hop hurts the game, but i dont think it helps it. one of the biggest aspects of hip hop is rappers talking about how great they are, how much money they have, how much stuff they have and how much respect they get. i think that attitude rubs of on players which in turn, turns off the general public who watch the games.

    just like hip hop music, a lot of nbaer’s are about me. its not like college where a coach can mold a player and sit him if he has a bad attitude. the players are making way more than the coaches and they dont respect them as much.

    another thing is the rampant tatoos. do you really need 50 of them? i think this comes from the hip-hop lifestyle (or metal if you are cherokee parks) as most rappers have a ton of tats as well.

    what all this does is disenfranchise the fans because they cannot identify with the players any more. they are not like the majority of us. in the past they were just taller and richer than us, now they are not even close to someone that most of us would hang out with.

    it was easy to identify with bird and magic or jordan or drexler. you could see hanging around with them. however if you see darius miles walking down the street you figure out ways to avoid him. that may be prejudiced to say, but it is the truth. i would say the same thing about a group of bikers.

    maybe it is age. a lot of these players are just kids.

    Comment by cosmo -

  47. whether eminem or snoop dog or any of the other top rappers in the “game” are hip-hop is probably a valid debate. however, it is understood by the vast majority of the public because that is what we have been told. i understand your point and agree to a point, but i am not sure how many of the players in the nba have a tribe called quest cd in their ipods, or common, or talib kweli.

    Comment by runescape money -

  48. You want to know why? Hip hop is a tree buddy. It has branches. Yes there are 4 major bows of this tree, which I don’t need to name for you, but will for the other guys: breakdancing, graffiti as you may call it, MCing or rapping, and my personal favorite, DJing. If one practices any part of this, they are hip hop. KRS-One can’t deny this, no one can. Each bow of hip hop has it’s extended branches, like MCing has “gangster rap” or “backpacker rap.” DJing has “turntablism” and “mixtape DJ’s.”

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  49. I agree with this comment: “Whatever music kids like, that is the generation the NBA will be attached to”

    Comment by acomplia -

  50. http://WWW.RAPCULTURERADIO.COM CHECK IT OUT FOR THOUGHT PROVOKING ARTICLES ABOUT HIP-HOP

    Comment by mic check -

  51. (sorry if this reposted – I am not sure if posting from Thunderbird worked)
    Mark, is this really so important? I know I should not be moralizing here, (bad netiqette, w/e), but as a regular reader of your blog I find the choice of topic trivial a day after 20 going on 50K fellow humans got wiped out like this. Perhaps you should post something about donating or just shut up for a week. Sorry, but occasionally American callousness just gets me fuming.

    Comment by max -

  52. Yo MC,
    I saw that episode of “Arthur” w/ my 2 year old daughter. I thought it was wack, but she thought it was phunky fresh. To David and Scott – don’t hate the playa, hate the game. Keep it real brothas.

    Comment by JT Money -

  53. Mark I belive you right with your observation, the funny thing is it also has to do with what an indivduals personal music preference is. I have been on a few video game forums and seen where people bash a great game like Def Jam: Fight for NY because all of the music in the game is hip-hop.

    I personally like hip hop but I don’t mind having my mind opened to new and different things. I have actually come to like certain songs of other genres simply because I gave it a chance in different enviorments. One thing I have noticed thru it all, is that all of these artist are basically saying the same things. Some talk about money, some a lack there of, some speak of love or love lost. But you can find them in all genres its just a matter of opening your mind to accept them.

    Comment by Nathan -

  54. As a 24 year old white guy, I guess I am appart of the hiphop generation, though I detest most of what the genre produces. You can keep your racism and mysogeny and homophobia thank you. I enjoy the classical and opera stations on Spinner (now Netscape radio).

    It’s not a problem with being associated with one thing or another, it’s what that thing is also associated with. Hiphop is closesly associated with violence, drugs, and crime thanks in part to the lyrics. I don’t think you can cut it any differently. Hiphop looks bad on the NBA when they are associated together, though it seems their is not much they can do about it.

    Comment by Scott Griffith -

  55. Here’s the opinion of a 35 year old, white male, with a 4 year old son, who resides in a city that lives for college basketball, but who follows the NBA all the same.

    If the question is whether associating Hip Hop with the NBA is a bad thing, I would say that while it’s not the worst thing they could associate themselves with, I think it certainly doesn’t help them. If you have determined that your target market are those people who enjoy Hip Hop music, then I think that’s a bad decision, as their spendable income is not that great, and that group (commonly referred to as Gen Y) is but a small percentage of the total audience that you could target.

    Should you ignore them, heck No! And I don’t think that Hip Hop is “killing” the NBA like some pundits suggest. But I don’t think it is wise for the NBA to embrace one genre, expecially when that genre has some questionable aspects.

    Comment by David from Cincinnati -

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