Picking up the fifth hammer

There is a well-known conservative pundit who doesn’t believe that rap is music. To him, the statement “rap is not music” is a “fact” because he was told by his father — who studied music theory — that music has three elements: harmony, melody, and rhythm. Rap lacks harmony and melody and so ergo, it is not music.

Let’s put aside the absurdity that an application of logic can somehow invalidate the decisions of millions of people who have chosen hiphop to be the soundtrack of their lives. Applying logic to music feels absurd but there is historical precedent for the inclination to…