Militarization of Police

SWAT Meets Copyright

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Supporters of SWAT tactics often argue that the number of times a SWAT raid ends in gunfire is extremely low—I guess inferring that SWAT raids aren't all that dangerous. In the past I have responded with something along the lines of, "That misses the point. We could start using SWAT teams to apprehend copyright violators or parking ticket scofflaws, too, and the percentage of raids ending in gunfire would be even lower. That doesn't mean it's a good use of SWAT teams."

Looks like I can't use that bit of hyperbole-for-effect anymore.

Last night, a federal SWAT team assisted the RIAA in a raid on the studio of Atlanta musician DJ Drama.

This local news report says the locally famous mixtape DJ is under investigation for piracy. But Drama's supporters say the DJ is a mix artist, not a bootlegger. They say news footage of the raid shows RIAA officials boxing up only recordable CDs filled with mixes, not bootlegs of retail CDs (the local news reporter seems to conflate the two as well).

Assuming for a moment that RIAA and federal officials do indeed know the difference between a mash-up DJ and a bootleg operation, and that they did find evidence of actual piracy in the bust, there's still the problem of why RIAA officials were participating in a police action, and why a SWAT team was used to raid a professional studio under investigation for a nonviolent, white-collar crime.

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47 responses to “SWAT Meets Copyright

  1. bagge sort of called this one in his latest cartoon, too.

  2. This is what happens when an industry pays a lot of money to a lot of crooked politicians. They get their own police squad. This is just another example of the RIAA’s suffocation of innovation and creativity. Their business model? (1) Use thugs to intimidate the competition. (2) Then shout, “it’s stealing” until you (a) believe it and (b) can’t hear anything else. (3) Ignore more modern business models, then repeat step one.

  3. You can’t be too careful. Those mash-up DJs play hardball, you know.

  4. “why a SWAT team was used to raid a professional studio under investigation for a nonviolent, white-collar crime.”

    Um, was the DJ perhaps black? Black men are dangerous, don’cha know.

  5. What part of “illegal” do you people not understand! He was breaking the law! The law! The law! L.A.W.! Only the guilty have reason to fear! Our Declining Morals Demand Tough Enforcement of Rightness! I have strong opinions about this that I share from my fat ass in front of my computer. Then i tsk tsk and spend the rest of the day feeling superior to you libertine, moral relativists. Good day to you sir. God bless America.

  6. “why a SWAT team was used to raid a professional studio under investigation for a nonviolent, white-collar crime.”

    Um, was the DJ perhaps black? Black men are dangerous, don’cha know.

    I especially enjoyed this quote:
    “Fulton County police officer Major E. A. Platt said, ‘In this case, we didn’t find drugs or weapons, but it’s not uncommon for us to find other contraband when we execute a search warrant.'”

  7. Granted for the sake of argument:

    The RIAA are assholes.

    The SWAT involvement was almost certainly overkill.

    Now, does it surprise anybody that Da Copz would expect that hippity-hoppers hanging out at a studio called Gangsta Grillz might be…I dunno… gangsters?

    Now, how are mix-CDS not infringement? Did DJ Dynasty Handbag have permission from the original performers to mess around with their work? Do the record company staff leak the tracks to him, in order to generate underground buzz and thus help sales? Are the record execs winking at the practice? Are there licensing agreements? There didn’t used to be for samplng, but that got worked out. Are these mixes just played on the radio or at clubs by DJs*, or are they selling them to consumers? Have they been posted on the intertubes where anyone can grab them? Depending on the answers to those questions, I could be pro- or anti-RIAA on this.

    Kevin

    * In which case, ASCAP and/or BMI will want their cut.

  8. It’s well-established that remixing is a gateway crime for other, more serious offenses such as jaywalking, shoplifting, carjacking, suicide bombing, baby eating and maybe even pot smoking.

    So they not only did us a favor, but DJ Drama too. Thanks, Police State.

  9. kevrob,

    The guy was not bootlegging or creating a device to outwit copy protection. There was no colorable claim of a crime here. He was apparently doing mash ups, which are probably illegal (it’s hard to say ‘definitely’ in copyright law). There was a possible civil infraction (though we don’t know). The cops seemed very interested in using the pretext to “get this guy” on any rap they could.

    I agree, you can be pro- or anti-RIAA, but using a SWAT team to go after a civil infraction is silly. We don’t even need to go into the retarded business acumen of execs from the RIAA companies. How many law suits do you see where discovery is aided by the proverbial jackbooted thugs? Oh, that’s right, you only see it when multi-billion dollar industries pay off Congress.

  10. If they think this warrants a SWAT raid, I’m sure they will want to use a SWAT team next time they are investigating a corporate crime.

    Right. And pigs will grow wings and fly.

  11. It’s well-established that remixing is a gateway crime for other, more serious offenses such as jaywalking
    In Atlanta, jaywalking is a serious offence. I am suprised this guy didn’t have a full on SWAT team called in on him.

    When the author of 19 books reached the other side of the street, he was met by Leonpacher, who asked him for identification.

    “When I questioned who he was, he said something to the effect of ‘When I give you an order, you obey it,’ ” Fernandez-Armesto said. “I asked him what his authority was because I didn’t see a badge. Where I’m from, you don’t associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides.”

    Fernandez-Armesto, a former professor at Oxford University, was unable to produce proper identification. “I had left my green card in my hotel room. I was puzzled. I was baffled, at a loss, really,” he said. “While I was hesitating, he lost patience.”

    At that point, the slightly built historian said, the officer kicked his legs from under him and pinned him to the ground, causing his glasses to fall off. Two other officers assisted in holding him down, said Fernandez-Armesto, who said he suffered a gash on his forehead and a bruise on his wrist as he attempted to break his fall.

  12. Up next: SWAT tactics used to pull some british online gabling executive off an airplane.

  13. Considering this, why should I give a rat’s ass the next time the RIAA is whining about illegal downloads and the need to protect artists? Well, if this is what copyright protection means, then I don’t want it.
    STEAL A SONG FOR JESUS!!

  14. So, any dogs shot during this one?

  15. Goddammit, we spent all this homeland security money on SWAT teams, and by golly, we’re gonna use ’em.

  16. Whatever the merits of RIAA’s action may or may not be; copyright infringement is a civil violation. Hence the RIAA sueing teeagers and aging widows for having MP3’s on their hard drives.

    The action by SWAT is a fundamental abuse of government authority for a civil matter.

  17. I think it should be noted that these weren’t your run-of-the-mill mixtapers. These were major guys who brought a lot of hype to a lot of regional hip-hop acts. And not only did they make those tapes from some major talent, they often worked with said talent outside of the tapes on their albums and tours. So while we can question the legality of the mixtapes, it wasn’t like these guys were just a bunch of thugs bootlegging Jay-Z albums and selling them, they were actual DJs making sets and promoting a lot of new talent as well.

    So yeah, why was the SWAT team called again?

  18. “The action by SWAT is a fundamental abuse of government authority for a civil matter.”

    Seems like it to me too. Anyone know who would be accountable for authorizing SWAT for this raid? I’d just like to know.

  19. “The action by SWAT is a fundamental abuse of government authority for a civil matter.”

    Seems like it to me too. Anyone know who would be accountable for authorizing SWAT for this raid? I’d just like to know.

    B Unit, haven’t you realized by now that NOBODY is held responsible for the misuse of SWAT forces?

  20. There may be a small terminology confusion here with the word bootleg here, as a lot of mash-up artists refer to their creations as “bootleg.” See, eg A PLUS D.

    Of course, unless someone has started referring to cute puppies as “SWAT teams,” there’s no confusion of terminology in this raid being complete bullshit.

  21. Kinda reminds me of the old “hacker wars” from the last century. You know, when guys like Kevin Mitnick would get arrested and held in pre-trial detention for almost five years because they prank called a NYT reporter a few times and posessed software source code that is given away to universities for $100/copy.

    “This is what happens when an industry pays a lot of money to a lot of crooked politicians. They get their own police squad.” my ass, try the Leftist press has had their own police squad for quite some time.

  22. “the Leftist press has had their own police squad for quite some time.”

    Um, gotcha bud.

  23. I’ll say it again, it should be spelled SSwat.

  24. “the Leftist press has had their own police squad for quite some time.”

    what?

  25. 1 –Assuming for a moment that RIAA and federal officials do indeed know the difference between a mash-up DJ and a bootleg operation…

    2 – He was apparently doing mash ups, which are probably illegal

    3 – There may be a small terminology confusion here with the word bootleg here, as a lot of mash-up artists refer to their creations as “bootleg.” See, eg A PLUS D.

    Can a professional DJ offer some help here? You are all a tad confused.

    There are

    a) Bootlegs =

    copies of full-length, major label, recently-released albums, usually with same artwork reproduced on cheap paper inserts, usually sold on the street ( as in NYC) by Latinos or West African immigrants on blankets spread out on a streetcorners. (so you can grab and bounce if the rollers show up) Bootlegs have no creative input from the bootlegger, who is just selling a cheaper version of someone else’s product. Bootlegging is a crime.

    b) Mixtapes =

    custom ‘sets” a DJ puts together and distributes – sometimes for money, sometimes free for promotional purposes, subsidised by a few different participating labels/promoters in order to generate awareness/highlight/test market new talent, or to release ‘alternate versions’ of tracks that weren’t featured on LPs (often nastier raps). Mixtape DJ’s – the higher level guys that work with major labels – will often include their own remixes of already well-known tunes in order to keep a track alive, maintain the artists street cred. They may also include other custom content – stuff where the DJ produces a beat and guest/cameo rappers just freestyle and bullshit on it, often giving shout outs to their crew members and their protege rappers. They also might have advance copies of tracks that are going to appear on a forthcoming LP – labels will leak these to the Dj’s to see what kind of reaction it gets to assess how hard they should promote it. Mixtape DJs are fundemental to the story of hiphop, and how it grew and developed, and still are extremely influential in local urban markets, and are often considered King Makers as far as new talent. This guy Drama seems to have played that kind of role in the ATL scene, which is seriously productive and competitive – lot of big people coming out of there and blowing up in recent years.

    c) Mashups

    Mashups are a relatively recent phenomenon, and arent really so much from or part of Hiphop per se. Its often confused with basic mixing/blending, which every DJ does (with greater or lesser skill) in mixtapes to segue tracks. (some ignoramus will go, ‘aw, nice mashup’ when it’s just a simple blend.) The term “mash up” also comes from Jamaican Dancehall, where it generally means, “kick ass/blow up/succeed/kill a party” Mash ups started being called a “genre” when a british group called 2-many-DJ’s released a mix where they’d take 2 different songs and force them to play at the same time. With newer digital technology, this is REALLY easy to do. Things like ACID and Ableton Live can let any dipshit try their hand at seeing what ironic Barbara Streisand a Capella would match well with, say, Enter Sandman by Metallica. As you would guess, most mashups are FUCKING TERRIBLE, and only survive one giggling listen before they are too annoying for words.

    The link dude provided above to “mashup artists” (‘rebelDJs.com’) is a case in point. Look at them carefully, and ask, are these DJ’s? or or are they fruity San Fran trend grabbers who think pressing play on laptop means ‘dj’ing’, and latch on the newest latest ‘mashup craze’…Cher vs. AC-DC! Oh my god! Thats so cute! I have to text my friend!!! Oh my god!! If they can rock a party, fine, more power to them, but they seem like typical image-centric knuckleheads to me. Everybody thinks they’re a #@*(*# DJ.

    The only genuinely good mashups out there, good enough that people will pay money, and relisten many times – are generally done by people who would rather be shot than be called ‘mash up artists’ – best examples are =

    MIA/Diplo – Piracy Funds Terrorism V1
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_Funds_Terrorism

    DJ DangerMouse (now 1/2 Gnarls Barkley) – the Grey Album
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grey_Album

    DJ Cosmo Baker & Dj Ayers (The Rub) -Its the Motherfucking Remix
    http://www.itstherub.com/mp3s.htm

    Whether mashups are legal or not depends. In some cases – like Diplo/MIA – the mixtape was a partnership intended to set up the street market for her forthcoming album. It did, and MIA had pretty good US launch. Ironically, the mixtape ended up getting better reviews than her LP 🙂 The NYT called it like the 3rd best album of 2005 or something. in other cases, like with The Grey Album, it was an internet-only release at first, and it was hard to control afterwards. Since the guy wasnt ‘selling’ it, it was hard to go after him there. But he was fucking with Jay Z and the Beatles, and their respective lawyers, which is never entirely a good idea. EMI did try to halt distribution of the thing but it was a futile effort. The thing made the dude famous either way.

    I see piracy funds terrorism (ironic name, no?) in stores all the time now, and there is argument that it contains tracks they had no right to use, but no one sweats it apparently.

    Anyway, hopefully that should clarify that dude Drama was not a Mash Up Artist (aka loser), but an established local mixtape DJ who probably did 90% of his stuff in concert with artists and labels. Doesnt make sense why labels would encourage RIAA to go after him, when they’re just goin to seek street marketing help from others. Maybe he pissed off Lil Jon or something. Bad news for the industry. Hiphop would be shooting itself in the foot if they kept this up.

    I think it should be noted that these weren’t your run-of-the-mill mixtapers. These were major guys who brought a lot of hype to a lot of regional hip-hop act

    Yeah, my long-winded point exactly.

    the Leftist press has had their own police squad for quite some time.

    ?….What the….. Say what now? (‘Swat now?) 🙂 Dude oh… it’s the MORE AMERICAN THAN YOU guy again. How you doing there. God Bless America buddy. No leftists here.

  26. Great post, GILMORE. The only thing I have to point out is that “bootleg” also means an unauthorized or unreleased copy of a work or performance. This would include a tape/MD recording of a live show or a stolen demo tape. It’s a similar definition to yours, just expanded.

    My first experience with a mashup was the Gray Album. Anybody?

  27. Lamar =

    Yeah, i didnt bother mentioning ‘concert bootlegs’ (e.g. Dead/Phish concert tapes and their ilk) because I didnt think they were relevant to the story in question, but your point is noted. The term is used broadly in referencing knock-offs or any iffy-merch.

    But I think it was clear that this DJ guy ISNT hawking bootlegs, which is a crime frequently prosecuted, while selling mixtapes is not.

    JG

  28. “Bootleg” is also a synonym for “mash-up”, especially overseas. I figure the ratio of shitty mash-ups to solid ones is about the same as for self-styled “DJs” (a/k/a “Guys Who Play Their New Order 12″s For Beer Money At Frat Parties”) to actual DJs you’d want to listen to, meaning about 50:1 or so.

    If you don’t count “Doctorin’ The Tardis” and Plunderphonic (both of which could probably be excluded on technicalities), the first mash-up I heard was likely ECC’s “Whipped Cream” Herb Alpert/Public Enemy mix.

  29. Another additional comment on Mashup, and why the term is pretty gay and not really used in the DJ community at all, only picked up on by younger people who dont know anything about hiphop or dj music in general =

    there’s already a been a word for it thats been around for 20+ years, called “remix”

    When you put Big Daddy Kane a capella rhymes over a Temptations verse instrumental, chopped and looped, it’s always been a remix. Maybe a ‘nostalgic’ remix, but a remix nonetheless. Sometimes remixed beats are just different producers take on the same song (e.g. 12″ singles will have the radio track, the dirty version, the instrumental, sometimes an a capella – for Live remixing a tune – and sometimes a remix.

    Classic example would be the (hot as fuck) Large Professor remix of Nas, ‘It Aint Hard to Tell’ – which uses a loop from Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, and an additional programmed beat.

    e.g.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_of_Nas

    Now, it’s not a remix vs. mashup just because it’s rap music. Remixing is the same in any DJ genre, and can involve making new tracks from older sampled tunes, or composing whole new tracks of music, or just chopping the shit out of the original recording and resequencing, a la Kid 606 or whatever *(who’s take on Public Enemy and Britney Spears is some of the best example of just how much you can destroy and reprocess music)

    The fact that the new ‘genre’ of Mashup usually uses an ironic a capella from Rock/Pop, and an ironic backing track from Rock/pop does not make it a new idea any different than traditional remixing. Its just a fad amongst white kids with laptops because there’s tons of simple, cheap/free software that you can use to try things yourself. Once the unwashed masses had the tools to remix audio in their hands, is it any surprise that kids would make Disco vs. Death Metal tracks? Cock Rock vs. Boy Bands? It’s so low-hanging fruit i can’t believe people still find it amusing. But a ‘genre’, it aint, and there’s no such thing as a Mashup artist. You’re just remixing tracks. You’re Not even a remix DJ, because being a DJ is about knowing how to rock parties, and being able to remix on the fly with vinyl, not in your bedroom with a computer.

  30. ps. to hear some of the best DJ’s in the world doing ‘mashup’ style (read: ironic) remixes of popular club tracks (read: rap), check out The Rub “It’s the Motherfucking Remix” page =

    http://www.itstherub.com/mp3s.htm

    Personal faves – most of Diplo’s stuff, and some of the hip-house and baltimore club remixes of thuggy raps.

    Yaz+pitbull? pretty cute. I’d rock this out.
    http://www.djayres.com/MP3/remixes/Ying%20Yang%20Twins%20&%20Pitbull%20vs%20Yaz%20-%20Shake%20(Ayres%20Remix.1).mp3

    If you’re ever in new york and want to go out with your girl, or with someone elses girl, look these guys up and see where The Rub might be at in the area. Best party in new york for a while. Be prepared to sweat.

  31. Fuck the RIAA.

    I just challenged my GF to come up with an obscure song that I couldn’t download in 30 seconds. Her choice was “Arrow Though Me” by Paul McCartney.

    Less than 20 seconds I am listening to it right now. Thank you USENET.

  32. correction = the Nas/Large professor mix was actually the album cut i think… 🙂 anyway, the point holds

  33. i would like to recommend the hollertronix comp “never scared” (with the aforementioned diplo and his partner low budget) as a, uh, good thing to give people who like bad music to make them like good music a little bit better.

    also, guy, explain this left wing terror squad (a decent band name, btw) thing before i lose some apendages due to anticipation.

    i like doing destructive remixes myself, but only out of contempt for a song.

  34. The fact that the new ‘genre’ of Mashup usually uses an ironic a capella from Rock/Pop, and an ironic backing track from Rock/pop does not make it a new idea any different than traditional remixing.

    What distinguishes a mash-up from a remix is that the entire point of the mash-up is to combine two or more works in a way that intentionally calls attention to the juxtaposition — as opposed to remixing, which can incidentally incorporate bits and pieces of other material, but where that incorporation is rarely the reason the remix exists in the first place.

    Mash-ups are distinct from remixes in the same way that beatmatched live DJing is distinct from what Alan Freed used to do (or if you aren’t afraid to start a really nerdy fistfight, how remixes from the 80s are distinct from the “Ableton Live plus five seconds of the original” tracks that get pumped out by the double-12″-promoful nowadays).

  35. Har…

    in interests of full disclosure it should be noted that Dhex and I both are music geeks/DJs of different stripes (he put me on to H&R… one love)…I have his Slunt record label sticker on my decks….and Diplo used to be our chum from another BB/mailing list thing, which is partly why we bump his repetoire quite so much. The neighborhood kid done good!

    I was recenly listening to the Dhex/Grillyade (sp) mix mike did and I had to put an icepack on my brain. I like body music, mike likes brain music i think. We should do a mash up! Deep funk vs. Coil.

    No, let’s not, actually.

  36. What distinguishes a mash-up from a remix is that the entire point of the mash-up is to combine two or more works in a way that intentionally calls attention to the juxtaposition — as opposed to remixing, which can incidentally incorporate bits and pieces of other material, but where that incorporation is rarely the reason the remix exists in the first place.

    I dont feel that, really. Remix ‘juxtopositions’ of samples/tracks arent ‘incidental’ – they’re all about making the track ROCK, and if they dont, and are just sending some ‘contextual point’ about ‘isnt that odd/ironic?’, the difference is not one of Kind, but simply of Degree. Putting Cher and AC-DC in a mix is cute, but no one listens to music just because it’s a cute novelty – it’s still gotta bump, so in the end, the choices about what kinds of blends work, and what dont, are stylistics concerns that dont differ much in their agenda.

    The comparison of Alan Freed vs. Club DJing is totally irrelevant to the discussion – radio DJs and Dj/Producers and Club Dj’s are all different jobs… no one’s confused about that. I’m just pointing out that if you were structing this in a taxonomy, REMIX is the family, and Mash Up is just one stylistic variant of that family, a subset, not a different animal.

    ta

  37. what dude, i put that ridiculously long gujaratti soundclash shit on there! and fuck man, how about secret chiefs? that shit is hot! lightning bolt is the best two man live band you’ll ever see (though i’m sure you’d rep the black keys right here for that). the alec empire track is body music (for 1998) and the speedy j and aphex (analord) tracks are totally there4u2groove.

    ok yeah, mostly nerd brain music.

    “No, let’s not, actually.”

    i must heavily agree.

  38. p.s. Lazlo, if you’ve got record shop guides on your website, then I think we’re probably on the same page 🙂 I went through a 12 step program a few year ago and now I’m clean and sober, and hardly feel any pangs of addiction when walking by scrungy vinyl shops anymore. The Ikea 5×5 wall unit is apparently enough for me… well, that and 8 or so milkcrates. And the shit in storage. yes, now i’m just a normal guy with 3K records. I even debated selling the techs a year ago. Luckily some friends had an intervention. They’d seen the MPC go on ebay and started to worry.

    Niggling differences of mash up v. remix as terminology is generally dismissed in DJ circles because the point is, ‘is it a good track??’ If it’s a good track, and it will rock a room, then it’s a good track. The fact that it’s more ‘mashupy’ has little impact on how you think about it. There arent very many good mashup tracks that rate as good DJ tracks in the first place…. some – e.g. Diplo’s “Missy+Clash (rock the casbah)’ on the hollertronix mix / Kleptones – ODB+Queen(another one bites the dust) – are tracks that work, for example. Some of the stuff on the Rub site mentioned above are great too (Diplo’s ‘Still Tippin/PJ Harvey’ thing is GREAT)… but if you’re saying, ‘no it’s got to MOSTLY about being ironic and drawing attention to the contrast’ – I really disagree. If you listen to the Mike Jones/Pj Harvey thing, few people actually catch the fact that it’s a PJ harvey tune being used with the Swishahouse. Because it’s just GOOD.

    Which is kind of the whole point why i diss on ‘mashups’ that are more about irony than about being music. If the point of mashups is simply to make a joke about contrasting styles independent of being musically interesting, then fuck that.

  39. I will also note that Mike (Dhex) was the only musician who i’ve ever known who proved in 1997-1998 that Total Eclipse of the Heart was a very remixable tune. We were mashing shit up before the world had a word for it. Hindsight massive: always ahead of the game! 🙂

  40. i still have both 12’s!

  41. Mike =

    I still have 50+ of the old hindsight record. One day the Swat Team might come for me.

  42. One last point that i’d add re: irony w/ genre mixing being something unique and new to ‘mash up’

    Watch the movie “Scratch” to learn about the history of DJing and how Afrika Baambaata was injecting 50’s bubblebum tracks into his sets, and how Jazzy Jay would mix P.Spector girl-group a capellas over beats for the mood changing ‘irony’ effect. Layering history over the new, creating layers of music that evoke different responses… The whole ‘mash up’ thing has been an element of hiphop for 30 years and isnt at all new just cause some kids with laptops get to post crappy mixes of their own all of a sudden. Anyone who calls themselves a mashup artist is a poseur.

  43. Gilmore & dhex:

    I think you’ve answered my questions. The cooperation of record industry insiders with DJ Drama and his like seem to make charges of piracy ludicrous. There’s still the possibility that the Record Label Weasels are cheating their acts and songwriters out of royalties by leaking tracks, rather than licensing them.

    Now, do any of you genius musicians sing or play an actual instrument? 🙂

    Kevin

  44. “Now, do any of you genius musicians sing or play an actual instrument? :)”

    gilmore does. i can fake a keyboard thing if i need to. but i will mpc-battle anyone who wants to step (except pete rock, that guy is fucking insane)

  45. FYI – The NYT coverage of the same event: a bit more detailed

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/18/arts/music/18dram.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    They’re actually charged under RICO??

    (for the numbskulls – Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization laws – meant to nail mobsters who had few direct connections to crimes but directed them)

    Kevrob: yes. Some professional schooling as well, although sight reading is fucked. Few summers at berklee and 20yrs of independent study. Many DJ/producers come from the traditional music school background. It’s people outside the music world who assume that DJ/hiphop related musicicans are all idiot savants. It’s the same shit. Sorta unfairly biased to assume otherwise, but you’re certainly not alone.

    Funny, one of my rapper friends once dropped on me that he also played the hammer dulcimer. My jaw dropped. I was like, the *what*??! Hammer dulcimer motherfucker. Mad skills on the dulcimer. Here, let me show you…. ‘pling, pling, plplingpling, pling… uhh….. what…..plingpling plpling pling….are you feeling me….plplingpling…’

  46. It is very interesting how the information in this article seems to be written so as to support your cause. I noticed that neither you or your supporting readers did not ask if there were any other circumstances surrounding this raid that led to the use of a SWAT team. It is very dissapointing to see someone who seems to be so intelligent, say things without first verifying your information.

  47. For the record, I love listening to the hammered dulcimer, even if I, myself, am not hammered.

    My only bias regarding much of hip-hop is against melody-free music. I can only take so much …rhythmrythmrythmrythm… it’s so BORING!

    Kevin

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