Given current social and entertainment conditions, the question shouldn’t be “Why?” would Lastings Milledge record a vile rap song, but “Why wouldn’t he?”

Milledge’s lyrics are no less vulgar, racist and misogynistic than Jay-Z’s – and he’s an NBA-approved part owner of the Nets.Phil Mushnick, New York Post, May 18, 2007

Milledge is only 22 and heavily into hip hop. What did you expect him to rap about, the ecology, the way Marvin Gaye so eloquently addressed in œMercy, Mercy Me, one of the greatest pop music recordings ever? No, unfortunately, that era is gone and missing from the top of the charts and the minds of impressionable young people. Instead, their heroes are two individuals connected to the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Jersey Nets, who played last night in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. And in this case, the two individuals in question aren™t LeBron James or Jason Kidd.

One is Nelly, a part-owner of the Cavs, while Jay-Z has a piece of the Nets. They™ve got far bigger clout with young America than any player on those teams or any other team. These guys are music royalty, kings of the charts, worshipped on the gritty streets of Harlem as well as the lush green lawns of Oyster Bay. You ought to check out their lyrics, which kids can recite, word for word, better than they can recite Shakespeare. Nelly and Jay-Z have made enough money from their records to buy their way into the NBA, which means two people whose financial empires were built on such lyrics are currently sitting in the boardroom of sports.

Why knock Milledge, the symptom of the problem, instead of directing your frustration at those who helped cause the problem?Shaun Powell, Newsday, May 17, 2007

In Phil’s defense, Newsday is pretty hard to find. You might actually have to go to a newsstand or look at the paper’s website or something.