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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
12/22/2003 10:25:36 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Ludacris.

A columnist for the Naples Daily News in Florida was forced to grovel as an apology after dozens of readers wrote to complain that a column he penned in a hip-hop dialect was racist and offensive.

Brent Batten wrote in early December what he described as an explanation of why a hip-hop festival at the local fairgrounds didn’t go over as planned. He explained that the column was "written for fans of the genre" with an English translation added.

It included sentences like: "See, da brotha had some phat new school playaz lined up. Cris was in da house but 5-0 came down hard, wit Macs an' dogs sniffin fo' bud so da peeps all bailed."

Following its publication, he said, he was accused of being a racist, of "reaching back to the days of blackface minstrel shows and Amos and Andy routines to find language belittling the black community."

But he said that wasn’t his intention. He said he used language in the column drawn from the lyrics of the rap singer Ludacris, who was supposed to perform at the concert, and online glossaries of hip-hop slang.

His insensitivity brought distress to good people, he writes. "I should have looked beyond the obvious and seen that while hip-hop artists and their diverse fan base have a singular means of communicating, it too closely parallels the racist vernacular."

*The links in the article show the entire article in question and the apoligy.

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