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Readers demand government accountability on Iraq, debate rap music's influence, and endorse the need for film critics.

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Does rap spur crime and violence?

Regarding Sara Libby's May 3 Opinion piece, "Hip-hop's bad rap,": While there are some songs that do exhibit positive messages, they are only a few among a sea of songs that promote misogyny and a life of crime. Just because Ludacris writes one song that spotlights domestic violence does not excuse him from the social irresponsibility he exhibits by producing some even more popular party tracks with blatantly misogynistic messages.

Although cop killing seems to have become passé, tales of exploits in the drug-dealing business still dominate.

It is doubtless that these artists have an influence on the younger generation.

Youths are subjected to these messages incessantly from Top-40 radio, which doesn't do its part to sift out the songs with immoral values that seem to pervade these playlists.

Let's only hope that when rap tries to reinvent itself, it does so by creating a sense of responsibility among its producers.

Andrew Tamayo
Charlotte, N.C.

In response to Sara Libby's Opinion piece in defense of rap and hip-hop: I applaud her comments and totally agree. I am 56 years old, and I, too, listen to some of the music she mentioned.

I knew Tupac Shakur through his mother, and he was a very sensitive and highly intelligent man. I also know Loon – aka Chauncey Hawkins.

These young men haven't killed anyone, nor are they the reason why black youths might go out and commit violent crimes – or at least they are no more causing violence than the heavy-metal groups cause violence and death with their lyrics.

Sybil Ward
New York

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