chapter  12
But It's Not a Rap CD
Pages 16

During the summer of1992, it seemed as though hip-hop rnusic and culture were on trial, as black rauth cultuee was under indictment for aseries of incidents, including the so-called L.A. Riots. While hip-hop was not dirccdy implicated in the insurrections that occurred in the aftermath of the acquittal of thc fouf police officers accused of heating motorist Rodney King thc year befaee, it was dcar that thc rnusic of artists such as l ee Cube, NWA, and Public Enemy reflected the rage that many black yauth felt in response to issues of police brutality and political disenfranchisemenr. In the wecks shortly after the riots, rap activist Lisa Williamson (known in rap ciedes as Sister Souljah) reflected on the "eiots" with thc controversial statement that "if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people," adding that white folks were "well aware of the fact that black people were dying every day in Los Angeles under gang violence. So if you're a gang memher and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person ."1 Sister Souljah's point was that in the aftermath of the "riots" it seemed as though the lives of white people-Reginald D enny as one example-were of more value than the black lives that were lost every day in the context of gang violence and at the hands of the LAPD.