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Can't, Won't, Don't Stop?

Is misogyny in rap permanent?

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With his documentary Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, activist Byron Hurt proves that you can both love and criticize a culture. Hurt has a strong affection for hip-hop but little tolerance for rappers who revel in their own violent machismo. In many mainstream rap videos, women are nothing more than props — just some scantily clad objects to drape across the hood of a Bentley — and "faggot" is the ultimate insult. Beyond Beats and Rhymes tackles questions about masculinity, misogyny and homophobia in hip-hop culture, and Hurt isn't going it alone: He's interviewed rappers (including Chuck D and Mos Def), social critics (such as Michael Eric Dyson) and hip-hop moguls (Russell Simmons). The documentary airs on Sunday, February 25, as part of PBS' Emmy Award-winning "Independent Lens" series, but you can catch a sneak preview this evening in the Des Lee Theater at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue). The free screening begins at 7 p.m. and is followed by a post-film discussion moderated by Craig Blac (of 104.1 FM) and featuring Montague Simmons from the National Hip-Hop Political Convention, M.K. Stallings from the Urban Artists' Alliance for Child Development and Bill Beene of the St. Louis American. Call 314-361-7229 or visit www.mohistory.org for more information.
Thu., Jan. 25

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