From Our Listeners

Letters: Hitmakers; Waka Flocka Flame

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Listeners respond to the latest in our series on pop music hitmakers, and a commentary on the popular hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame. NPR's Robert Siegel reads from listeners' e-mails.


Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: In the latest in our series on pop music hit makers, we explored how the incubator for Atlanta hip-hop is the strip club. Most of the major hits of the last decade have gotten their first listen at a club before going to number one in the charts.

Well, angry emails battered our inbox after that story. Kathleen May of Augusta, Georgia, wrote this: I absolutely could not believe that NPR would air such foul trash.

And Lucy Johns of San Francisco agrees. She writes: This was the most degrading program to women I've heard today, this week, in a long time.

But Malika Brown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, writes: I was ready to turn the dial until I listened. I think it was well reported and it became interesting. While you may not agree with the lifestyle or listen to hip-hop, it is a part of American culture. Deal with it.

Well, it turns out that many of you aren't fans of Waka Flocka Flame either.

(Soundbite of song, "Hard N Da Paint")

WAKA FLOCKA FLAME (Hip-hop artist): (Singing) I go hard in da - paint. Leave you stankin'. What da - thinkin'?

SIEGEL: Commentator Jay Smooth's musings on the popular hip-hop artist was another cause of listener anger.

Virginia Gaffney of Grand Blanc, Michigan, seethes: Waka Flocka Flame? For this, I donate part of my precious pension? Let me understand. I am funding stories to promote vulgar, obscene music which seriously degrades women?

Well, Dominique Brady wrote this from Atlanta: I think it's refreshing to see that NPR is taking a chance by challenging boundaries. It's unfortunate that this isn't done enough in hip-hop anymore.

Keep your letters coming. You can write to us by visiting and click on Contact Us.

(Soundbite of song, "Hard N Da Paint")

WAKA FLOCKA FLAME: (Singing) I'm a die for this shawty man, I swear to God. In the trap wit some - and some hood - where you at? Where you trap?

SIEGEL: Happy holidays from ALL THINGS CONSIDERED at NPR News.

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