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This is just a piece of a very, very long TRANSCRIPT of a Paula Zahn show on Hip Hop music. I'm not a Paula Zahn fan ... but somebody called me and told me to watch when it aired ... and I was actually very impressed! It was a good show that had as panelists folks like Russell Simmons, Michael Eric Dyson, Tim Wise, John McWhorter, Roland Martin, and others.

ZAHN: Now on to another "Out in the Open" panel, Michael Eric Dyson, humanities professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

We welcome you back.

Defense attorney Lauren Lake, and Roland Martin, host of "The Roland S. Martin Show" on WVON Radio in Chicago.

Now, you guys have got to admit, these images of these women are disgusting. Who can defend degradation of women like we have just seen in the video?

ROLAND MARTIN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE CHICAGO DEFENDER": Hugh Hefner can, the publishers of "Maxim," of "Stuff," of "FHM." And, so, they're the ones who defend it.

It is indefensible, because the images are being beamed across the world. And, so, an impression of black women -- of black women is being presented across the world.

But we have an issue with the degrading of women in this country. You go to a boxing match, you see a woman in a bikini walking around with a ring card. That's not hip-hop. That's boxing.

ZAHN: All right.

MARTIN: And, so, we see it in our society.

ZAHN: But isn't there a degree of offensiveness we're talking about?

We just saw in that video this man swiping a credit card on this woman's behind.

(CROSSTALK)

LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That is so ridiculous and so degrading.

MARTIN: Absolutely.

LAKE: And, I think, at a certain point, we just have to keep it real. It's gone too far, in many ways.

And what I implore, and what I'm begging my brothers to do, and my white rappers, and my...

ZAHN: Hispanic rappers.

LAKE: ... Hispanic rappers, respect the women who have birthed you. OK?

We are your mothers. OK? Everybody -- all men love their mama, but they'll talk about a girl like a dog. That's got to change.

We are the women of this culture. For you to degrade us in that way, and for the women to accept that kind of treatment, I think is irresponsible. And quit playing naive. You know you're not going up in there to model. You know what you're modeling.

ZAHN: All right. But you talk about women accepting responsibility for this. How about the guys that are making these records? And we heard in one of the last segments that you're not going to make any money off these records that have a social conscience message.

DYSON: Of course. And that's a great point.

ZAHN: It's off this naked stuff.

DYSON: Exactly right. They're both making a great point.

That is, first of all, misogyny and sexism are big business in American culture. The degrading of women is from time and memorial. So the hip-hop visualizes it and vocalizes it in a very violent fashion.

I have no defense for that -- misogyny, which is the hatred of women; sexism, sentiments expressed against women because they're women; and patriarchy, which assumes that the man's life supplies the norms to everybody else. So there's no question about that.

But here's the problem -- that if you go to an average church, that many of these people are standing up to talk about the degradation of women, they're hearing a gospel that says women should be subordinate to men. Now, they're not as violent, as vicious, or as vocal as hip-hop, but they're saying the same thing. And at the end of the day, you are not equal to this man right here.

What hip-hop does is put that on steroids. That message is made lethal, it's made powerful.

MARTIN: And it's utterly reprehensible.

ZAHN: Can you hold that thought right there?

We've got to continue our conversation on the other side. Please stay with us.

We also want to hear from you, our viewers. Go to cnn.com/paula. Tell us whether you think hip-hop is art or poison. We'll have the results at the end of the hour.

Coming up in the next half hour of our "Out in the Open" special, word that some rappers throw at gays.

--------------


ZAHN: In this hour-long special we're asking of hip-hop is art or poison. We're looking at the music, the culture, the money, and the controversy these create.

Before the break, our "Out in the Open" panel was discussing hip- hop's treatment of women, or mistreatment, as this panel decided.

With me once again, Michael Eric Dyson, Lauren Lake, and Roland Martin.

So we posed the question, just how disrespectful to women is it? Let's look at another example now from this video by -- you're going to be so proud of me -- 50 Cent.

Did I get that right?

MARTIN: You got it. You got it.

LAKE: Pretty good, Paula.

(MUSIC)

ZAHN: Do those lyrics make you sick?

LAKE: You know what? To be honest with you, you don't know how many times I'm right in my car and I'm singing that song. I have to call my nephew who's 13 and go, "What exactly are the lyrics?" Because you're so driven by the beat of it, and I think that's part of the problem.

As African-Americans, we are a rhythm-driven culture. You hear the beat, you start partying. The next thing you know, I'm like, I'm singing something I should not be singing.

That's my issue. If you are so creative as a rapper, if you really have that genius mind -- because there's some musical geniuses out there -- let's get a better message. Let's start talking about something that can empower us instead of constantly dividing us and degrading us.

MARTIN: Paula -- Paula...

DYSON: Do you think white record executives really want to hear about the deconstruction of white supremacy? They're not going to put that out.

LAKE: Oh, you're right about that. DYSON: They're going to talk about pimping. They're going to talk about ho'ing (ph). They're going to talk about playing around in the playground of pleasure and excess, but they're not going to talk about a vision or allow conscious rappers like Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def.

Mos Def said you can laugh and criticize Michael Jackson if you want to. Woody Allen molested and married his stepdaughter. The same press kicking dirt on Michael's name shows Woody and Soon-Yi and the playoff games.

So what I'm saying to you, those lyrics exist, but they will never get the radio play that they deserve. And white record executives and black ones...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Wait. Wait. He made a big deal about being white record executives. Aren't black record executives equally culpable?

MARTIN: No. No. Because, first of all...

ZAHN: There aren't many of them, I understand that. But...

MARTIN: No, because if you actually had a panel of record executives who make the decisions, the color of this panel would be flipped. You probably may have one black at the table and three whites.

Now, here's the problem. We have seen 50 cent, we have seen Jermaine Dupri, we have seen Russell Simmons, but let's talk about the shareholders who have shares in these publicly traded companies who are making money in their 401(k)s off of this music.

See, these are the same people who want to criticize it, but they're getting paid. The record executives are sitting there making $40 and $50 million a year off the music.

Now, I can hold the rapper accountable and say, here's the fundamental issue. I'm going to hold 50 accountable, but I'm going to hold that CEO accountable. But we don't do that.

Were they called here? Were they forced to have to answer the questions? Russell does not own Universal. He does not own these major companies.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: But hang on a minute. Are you telling me this is a concerted effort in a capitalist society to -- to purposely degrade women?

MARTIN: No, no, no. This is about money.

LAKE: No, this is beyond -- no, it's all about money.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: They don't care about the message?

MARTIN: If the rapper is trying to get paid, don't you think the CEO is trying to get paid or the shareholder wants to get paid?

(CROSSTALK)

DYSON: What somebody said in one of your bump pieces there is that, look, it reinforces prevailing stereotypes about black women. Black women are already seen as the dominant culture.

Hip-hop didn't even the degradation of black women. Black women were worth nothing less than shadow (ph) in this country. So I'm saying to you that the issue of slavery and Jim Crow and the entire system of white supremacy is built upon the denial of opportunity to black people, and the way in which black women's excessive sexuality is being portrayed.

I'm saying to you, what do you think? Of course record executives reinforce that consciously and unconsciously.

MARTIN: And I say you shut them down.

LAKE: We can change this by empowering ourselves to the same music. We have independent movements. We have sold crap out of our trunks. We can sell good music out of our trunks.

We can change.

MARTIN: But also shut them down.

DYSON: But it has to be great music.

MARTIN: Shut them down.

DYSON: The reason why you listen to 50 Cent, because the music is banging. Conscious rappers need to get some great beats so we can hear it and listen to it.

ZAHN: There you go.

All right. Michael Eric Dyson, Lauren Lake, Roland Martin, thanks.

We would like to know what all of you out there think. Go to cnn.com/paula. Vote on the question: Is hip-hop art or poison?

We'll have results a little bit later on. So vote away.

Some big acts in hip-hop have one thing in common, a word that trashes gay people. "Out in the Open," is the message being received really the message that's intended?

We'll be right back.
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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yes that was a decent exchange.

Until we change the way a entire network e.g BETprotrays Black women in music videos, until "nice rappers" record "slamming beats" that decent people want to rock to...how do we protect our children?

If we don't demand better treatment even via the record companies we are not going to recive it.

Perhaps a examination could be made of the advertisements on BET and the like.
The corporate sponsors could be made to understand that we are and have always beenoffended by the content of much of their broadcasts 4

btw Oprah is broadcasting a town hall meeting on this subject on 4/16.

This subject is LONG overdue for a open,and honest examination.

thanks for posting this.

M Dyson has always been curious in his support of rap
quote:
Originally posted by mirahjay:
M Dyson has always been curious in his support of rap


appl thanks Amen to that, mirahjay!!

As a "humanities" and "religious" professor, you would think he would want to see better treatment of Black women, instead of seeing no problem with how they are portrayed in some of these rap videos. sck But then again, I supposed the uplift of our people wouldn't sell as many books as promoting the degradation of them, huh?

Falling asleep to Headline News last night, it seems that there is a firestorm brewing about hip hop music and the images being portrayed by it. I can only hope it catches and that there will be real dialog and debate about it.

I think it will also be important to remember those who did not start that fire... but, will probably jump on the bandwagon after it starts to rolling! I agree with you that people have been protesting against this for quite a while now ... but their voices just weren't being heard. I can remember around the time that Tavis got fired from BET, there was also complaints about the videos being shown on it.

People/orgs like the NAACP, Sharpton, Jackson, and the artists themselves, have been silent on the issue thusfar. But ... knowing how they all fawn over attention-getting subjects, I was thinking it might not be such a bad idea to start petitioning and direct activism towards them to start having this be a matter of importance. Perhaps shame them into getting involved ... if that's what it takes. sck
I am really torn on this issue. If there is an "advertised" image of black women, through Hip-Hip, is it our responsibility to explain to those on the outside looking in that this is FICTION. FANTASY. If you think Hip-hop is vulgar or offensive, then what about porn. Hip-hop generates about a little over $2 billion per year statewide; porn generates $12 billion. Black women are indeed apart of this 12 billion dollar market; so if we think a hip-hop video is degrading, what do we think of some of the things that our women do in this porn videos?

I want to see the upliftment of black women, but I also want to see us direct an equal amount of responsibility on ALL parties involved, CEO, artist, and video vixens.

I think all rap video's should start with the disclaimer; "Hey stupid, this is Fiction".
I don't think the black community should engage in defending itself against rap. Do blacks abstract their view of white women from 'Girls Gone wild videos'? Why would any race choose to view one genre as representative of a culture? This is akin to going to the library, and skipping past all the history, biography, science, non-fiction, reference, sections, and going straight to the fiction section to learn about a culture. They are idiots, whomever they are that view black women as these women being portrayed in rap music and videos. This is ONE genre among many respectable genres of ONE entity... MUSIC. So we do not need to burn down the proverbial fiction section of the black cultural library, or start taking books off the shelves. We need to focus on why outsiders CHOOSE to view hip-hop as representative of a whole culture, or race, in America.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I am really torn on this issue. If there is an "advertised" image of black women, through Hip-Hip, is it our responsibility to explain to those on the outside looking in that this is FICTION. FANTASY. If you think Hip-hop is vulgar or offensive, then what about porn. Hip-hop generates about a little over $2 billion per year statewide; porn generates $12 billion. Black women are indeed apart of this 12 billion dollar market; so if we think a hip-hop video is degrading, what do we think of some of the things that our women do in this porn videos?

I want to see the upliftment of black women, but I also want to see us direct an equal amount of responsibility on ALL parties involved, CEO, artist, and video vixens.

I think all rap video's should start with the disclaimer; "Hey stupid, this is Fiction".


I'm no porn expert ... but it would be my guess that African American women are not predominantly featured in porn videos ... or in the industry as a whole. sck I don't think anybody is saying that other areas of "entertainment" where Black women are degraded should be overlooked. But, hip hop is almost completely generated around Black folks, male and female.

And FICTION or not ... I can't understand anybody defending the depiction of Black women as sluts, whores or golddiggers. Period.

Kresge started a thread regarding German soldiers being told to envision shooting Black men in the Bronx. Listener says that they get their depiction from Hollywood. That right there should tell you that such negative images, whether real or imagined, have an effect upon other peoples all over the world as their one and only image of Black people in general.

Even if the "thug life" is manufactured it is amazing to me how you have no problem with Black women being seen as half naked, chasing money, sex-crazed degenerates and having that freely distributed to every corner of the world. Roll Eyes

I certainly can't appreciate that the only point of reference or image somebody in Germany or Asia has of my beautiful Black brothas are gangsters getting out of their SUVs in the Bronx to go and do bodily harm to one another ... or sex up Black women ... or sell drugs on the corner! I have too much respect for Black men in order for that to be "okay" with me! And it's kind of hurtful to know that so many of those same brothas that I'd be willing to stick up for, don't/wouldn't have that same kind of love and respect for me or my beautiful Black sisters ... but instead would prefer to enjoy the "entertainment" value of watching them being slutted out on video for their own enjoyment purposes. sad

But, such is life, I suppose. Roll Eyes
Amos and Andy was fiction too. So were the other buck, mammy, and coon type of characters that used to dominate the U.S. media.

and btw: NO one is asking for the media to become prudes, lets stop distorting this issue.


But my question is if those making excuses for hip hop would also make excuses if white rappers started refering to black women/black men the same ways.

And I mean if there would be a surge of white male rappers, and they started making rap songs about black women being "ho's" and golddiggers. Would these same people say that it is just fiction/art??

Lets be serious. Imagine watching MTV and almost all the hip hop videos you saw had white guys parading around black women booty clapping and getting their asses smacked by white guys while they call them tricks. Also imagine the white rappers saying the n-word(using it as a term of enderament of course Roll Eyes Roll Eyes)

Would these same people honestly say the same thing??
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
I don't think the black community should engage in defending itself against rap. Do blacks abstract their view of white women from 'Girls Gone wild videos'? Why would any race choose to view one genre as representative of a culture? This is akin to going to the library, and skipping past all the history, biography, science, non-fiction, reference, sections, and going straight to the fiction section to learn about a culture. They are idiots, whomever they are that view black women as these women being portrayed in rap music and videos. This is ONE genre among many respectable genres of ONE entity... MUSIC. So we do not need to burn down the proverbial fiction section of the black cultural library, or start taking books off the shelves. We need to focus on why outsiders CHOOSE to view hip-hop as representative of a whole culture, or race, in America.



I understand what you are saying, but the problem is that hip hop is accepted racism. Plus porn is not shown/played in the daytime.

Of course I am not a prude. I am not offended by racy songs. I am however offended by racist lyrics.
quote:
And FICTION or not ... I can't understand anybody defending the depiction of Black women as sluts, whores or golddiggers. Period.



I am defending the black community's privilege to variety and complexity. I believe this whole witch-hunt is laughable. First of all it has no background, or basis, other than the rhetoric filled discussions of how hip-hop is an impression of how black women are viewed globally. What is the platform for this witch-hunt. In other words, WHAT DO YOU WANT?

These Pilgrims, I mean people, don't understand ECONOMICS, there is supply, hip-hop, and DEMAND. I wonder if these so called "sluts, whores, and gold-diggers" are part of that demand 19. You can try to cut off the supply, but what are you goind to do about the demand. There is a tremendous demand for club/dance music. Are we hoping that the demand will somehow disappear? That people will somehow realize... "Oh, I didn't like that music afterall". We need to get real.

The only real way to affect this demand is through supplying them with conscious alternatives. The best we can do is to keep the fight for pushing conscious rap into the mainstream. I'm a writer myself, and I plan on aiding in that fight. But again, I think we need to understand the difference between Fiction/Fantasy, and Reality.
quote:
Amos and Andy was fiction too. So were the other buck, mammy, and coon type of characters that used to dominate the U.S. media.

and btw: NO one is asking for the media to become prudes, lets stop distorting this issue.


But my question is if those making excuses for hip hop would also make excuses if white rappers started refering to black women/black men the same ways.

And I mean if there would be a surge of white male rappers, and they started making rap songs about black women being "ho's" and golddiggers. Would these same people say that it is just fiction/art??

Lets be serious. Imagine watching MTV and almost all the hip hop videos you saw had white guys parading around black women booty clapping and getting their asses smacked by white guys while they call them tricks. Also imagine the white rappers saying the n-word(using it as a term of enderament of course )

Would these same people honestly say the same thing??


This is straight up nonsense, and you know it. The white man isn't apart of the black cultural struggle; can't identify it, and just downright don't give a damn. So anything that they would depict along the lines of what you just stated would be flat out MOCKERY. I'm sure the black community is intelligent enough to understand when they're being MOCKED, well at least in 2007 we are Big Grin. Anyhow this double-standard nonsense is getting annoying. All these years we HAVEN'T been considered equal, and our interest have been consisered diametrically opposed. But now all of a sudden on the issue of hip-hop, blacks and whites are the SAME??? bang. Give me a break.
Interesting that

Hip Hop needed to be compared to PORN

to get a point about the imagery of black women across.

Maybe it should be treated like porn and relegated to "naughty status", legislated, and treated as an enemy of family values...

you know

something to be treated in an addiction center for...

so people can get the point that the images of black women in much of the music is harmful to black girls, and society in general
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
Were there any woman on paula Zahn's panel? Black women?



Yes, NS .. the "LAKE" in this part of the excerpt was Lauren Lake, an Black female attorney.

Also, there were clips of comments of some female hip hop artists throughout the whole transcript ... such as:

DANYEL SMITH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "VIBE": There was this idea that, finally, in rap music, we have the microphone, and we can speak.

MARY J. BLIGE, 2007 GRAMMY WINNER: The freedom to actually show people what it is that you have come from, how you have come through it, you know, and, if you're still in it, to share with people what you're living.

EVE, HIP-HOP ARTIST: It was a fad when it first started. And here we are, and it's winning Grammys and winning American Music Awards, alongside country music stars. That, to me, is the most amazing thing.

quote:
I don't know about Dyson....


Sometimes I wonder if Dyson knows about himself. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
Amos and Andy was fiction too. So were the other buck, mammy, and coon type of characters that used to dominate the U.S. media.

and btw: NO one is asking for the media to become prudes, lets stop distorting this issue.


But my question is if those making excuses for hip hop would also make excuses if white rappers started refering to black women/black men the same ways.

And I mean if there would be a surge of white male rappers, and they started making rap songs about black women being "ho's" and golddiggers. Would these same people say that it is just fiction/art??

Lets be serious. Imagine watching MTV and almost all the hip hop videos you saw had white guys parading around black women booty clapping and getting their asses smacked by white guys while they call them tricks. Also imagine the white rappers saying the n-word(using it as a term of enderament of course )

Would these same people honestly say the same thing??


This is straight up nonsense, and you know it. The white man isn't apart of the black cultural struggle; can't identify it, and just downright don't give a damn. So anything that they would depict along the lines of what you just stated would be flat out MOCKERY. I'm sure the black community is intelligent enough to understand when they're being MOCKED, well at least in 2007 we are Big Grin. Anyhow this double-standard nonsense is getting annoying. All these years we HAVEN'T been considered equal, and our interest have been consisered diametrically opposed. But now all of a sudden on the issue of hip-hop, blacks and whites are the SAME??? bang. Give me a break.


So because we aren't treated equal, we should not have standards?? We should except verbal assaults from "artist" because they have our skin color??
Would you be referring to ME?

quote:
Wow. People seem to be very patient when the racist images are being created by blacks, but don't have this kind of tolerance for when non-blacks spout racist/sexist things


had to correct that slight error. This is NOT about racism.

quote:
When a black person says racist things, people start talking about the market....


Again,
THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACISM.
Unless ofcourse you can explain HOW?
quote:
Originally posted by Sweetwuzzy:
Wow. People seem to be very patient when the racist images are being created by blacks, but don't have this kind of tolerance for when non-blacks spout racist/sexist things.

When a black person says racist things, people start talking about the market.... Mad Roll Eyes


yeah
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
Interested that

Hip Hop needed to be compared to PORN

to get a point about black women across


yeah
quote:
Interested that

Hip Hop needed to be compared to PORN

to get a point about black women across


Yeah

Interesting how hip-hop/Fiction, is compared to ANYTHING OTHER THAN FICTION.

And the comparison was drawn in order to show that SEXISM is a commodity that WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF FEEDING INTO. (excluding the conscious people, most people on aa.org) All, meaning, men AND women.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Would you be referring to ME?

quote:
Wow. People seem to be very patient when the racist images are being created by blacks, but don't have this kind of tolerance for when non-blacks spout racist/sexist things


had to correct that slight error. This is NOT about racism.

quote:
When a black person says racist things, people start talking about the market....


Again,
THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACISM.
Unless ofcourse you can explain HOW?


This was targeted towards everyone who is nonchalant(sp) about this. Not just targeted towards you.

The racism is the use of the n-word. I know a lot people don't have a problem with it or don't think it is racist, but I do and a lot of other people too.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:

And the comparison was drawn in order to show that SEXISM is a commodity that WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF FEEDING INTO. (excluding the conscious people, most people on aa.org) All, meaning, men AND women.


I'm not sure I understand your point. Is your point that WE ALL have an obligation to end the perpetuation of misogynistic, sexist images of black women and black male female relationships via hip hop? Or something else?
I think with this "movement" to stop certain images which is celebrated in mainstream hip hop, people need to realize that not all black people will be on board.

And that is okay.

But I think people need to now focus on how to "combat" the images. Obviously I am not defined by what some artist does, but then again neither did those "coon characters" back in the day, yet people still complained. So I will not be made out to be seen as oversensitive.

If anyone is serious about this, people need to research what advertisers/companies are supporting the artist which we see as offensive and pull out all the money we put into the companies.

This is the hard part. Unfortuntely the media is owned by a few, so by attempting to boycott a record company will leave you boycotting hundreds of businesses.
In short, yes that is a point I'm making.

But in large part, I believe that we can still maintain cultural standards without approaching hip-hop in a Quakerish fashion. I believe we are endowed with an artistic intelligence that can and should be the stimulus for our growth. We have the ability to mold the artistic global and communal demand. But going on an archaic salem witch-hunt is beneath us... IMHO.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
In short, yes that is a point I'm making.

But in large part, I believe that we can still maintain cultural standards without approaching hip-hop in a Quakerish fashion. I believe we are endowed with an artistic intelligence that can and should be the stimulus for our growth. We have the ability to mold the artistic global and communal demand. But going on an archaic salem witch-hunt is beneath us... IMHO.


To be clear, people are not attacking hip hop in general just the ones deemed racist/sexist.
In regards to poison...

Too much of anything can be lethal. But small dosages of "poison" can have healing aspects. Hip-hop heals. To know that there is a place where you can go, and enjoy music, with people intent on having a good time, is healing. The problem is over-usage. People going out 2-5 times per week. Then it becomes poisenous because we are in danger of having a cultural addiction to escapism.

But, Racist? Sexist?
NO
I take that back...
how about we say it's a "stretch"?
quote:
Originally posted by Sweetwuzzy:

And I mean if there would be a surge of white male rappers, and they started making rap songs about black women being "ho's" and golddiggers. Would these same people say that it is just fiction/art??


No, like Tim Wise says, "He's just "telling a story."

And speaking of Cash, the rush to blame rap is especially intriguing given the history of violent themes in country music--a genre that is never blamed whenever some white, NASCAR lover commits murder. Consider country legend Porter Wagoner, whose song "Cold Hard Facts of Life," tells of a man who kills his wife for cheating on him. Or better still, "The First Mrs. Jones," in which Wagoner's protagonist, speaking to his new wife--who has just left him--tells her how he stalked and murdered his former betrothed, after which killing he buried her body parts in the woods. In other words, unless the "second Mrs. Jones" comes back to him, she's going to join the first one, pushing up daisies in the forest. If Young Buck dropped a song like this, white America would be screaming about how he was encouraging violence against women. But for Wagoner, a revered member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, no such concern attaches. He's just "telling a story."

Glad he made the comparison. I don't get down with country music, so the analogies wouldn't have occured to me.

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