In her new book, All That Is Bitter & Sweet, Ashley Judd takes a little time — between jabs at her family — to make some disparaging remarks about rap music. In a rant criticizing YouthAIDS for including Diddy and Snoop in their PSAs, she goes as far as to say that "most rap… is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny," and used the phrase "rape culture." I was ready to completely ignore her statement, seeing as her rap-music expertise probably extends about as far as my Ashley Judd expertise. But then ?uestlove of the Roots fired back, and it suddenly got a lot more interesting.
?uest, a member of the group that essentially brought real instrumentation to mainstream hip-hop in the '90s, answered Judd's claims via his Twitter, pointing out that "EVERY genre of music has elements of violence." You can't really argue with that. This isn't to say that what Judd said has zero merit, but it has very little purely because of how broad a generalization she made. To say that hip-hop artists aren't fit to advocate for AIDS awareness is ignorant, at best. After being called out on the internet, she tried to write it off as a mistake in her writing. I'd call it more a mistake in her thinking, but maybe I'm splitting hairs.