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The Pulitzer Prize winning emcee Kendrick Lamar recently asked a white fan to refrain from rapping the n-word. A video recording of the incident has reignited a controversy that gained wide attention last year. In this 2016 file photo, Kendrick Lamar performs in New York. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP, File)

White people should never rap the n-word: A linguist breaks it down

At one of his shows, rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a white fan to refrain from rapping the n-word. A video of the incident has reignited a controversy: can white people ever rap the n-word?
Stormzy performing at Glastonbury Festival, 2017. Nigel Roddis

Grime is the new punk – here’s why

Grime could provoke the most disruptive cultural transformation of the British music industry in decades.
Paddy McAlloon, in his more recent guise as a pop eccentric in dress as well as attitude. PR handout

Why pop needs its eccentric characters

The great eccentric characters of the past have given us great art, literature and music – and they should be welcomed today.
David Bowie performs on his 1974 Diamond Dogs world tour. Hunter Desportes/Flickr

My favourite album: David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs

David Bowie was the tasteful thief and practised faker, and his 1974 album Diamond Dogs borrowed from everything to create a sublime post-apocalyptic soundscape.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote Give Peace a Chance in a ‘bed-in’ in Montreal. Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia

Giving peace a chance? Music can drive us apart as much as it unites

Ahead of International Peace Day celebrity musicians like Yoko Ono have released music for peace. But the same qualities that bring us together around music can also inflame conflict, from the Yugoslav civil wars to Northern Ireland.
Ok, which one of you is trying to get attention? I can hear it in your voice. karavai/shutterstock

When girls are in the audience, choir boys sing for attention

Did we evolve the capacity to produce sublime music simply to get more sex? Or are we driven by higher ideals related to living together in harmony? Maybe it's a bit of both.
Shirley from Skyhooks in Countdown. ABC

Countdown - just nostalgia, or still breaking new ground?

Audiences of a certain age still gush about Countdown, the ABC’s music show that ran between 1974 and 1987. The ritual of sitting down to watch the ABC at 6pm on a Sunday (and maybe again for the Saturday…

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