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NY Times: Critics of sellouts ‘discourage outsiders, innovation and difference’

I accept that selling out is no longer vice. Still, this is depressing.

He has previously derided “Starships” as “the most sellout song in hip-hop history,” as if selling out were still an issue. The idea that art and commerce are at odds is a remnant of an old culture war: dogma presented as forward-thinking but really just protecting an outmoded status quo …

But to reject “Starships” is to reject the idea of hip-hop as a big tent with room for multiple ideas and micromovements and polarities. That creates the sort of boundary designed to discourage outsiders, innovation and difference. It is the kind of tactic once deployed to keep hip-hop as a whole at arm’s length from the mainstream.

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