Our firt letter came in after an election story. Mapleton Public Schools, a small district just north of downtown Denver, was trying to convince voters to raise property taxes to pay for classroom improvements. Zachary Barr’s story included two of the proposal’s critics, Charles and Dolores Champion.
Charles Champion: We’re already paying overboard for our property tax now. You think I’m going to vote to raise it again? I don’t think so.
Dolores Champion: We’ve lived here 51 years. Our children have already gone through the school system. In 51 years, don’t you think we have paid our part?
Paul Franke of Littleton wrote us to say the Champion’s comments didn’t sit well with him. He writes, “50 years ago another family paid their taxes and likely voted for a tax increase so Champions' kids could get a decent education. [The] Champions' views are shortsighted.”
The Champions’ were in the minority on election day. Voters approved the measure by a 15 point margin.
Another story that got listeners’ attention was our conversation with CU English professor Adam Bradley. He’s co-editor of a new book called “The Anthology of Rap.” It contains the lyrics to hundreds of songs. Bradley hopes readers will see the poetry in rap. The interview prompted Matt Smalls, of Ft. Collins, to write, “From the perspective of a huge rap enthusiast, this was a fantastic segment. It was clear on one hand that Ryan Warner lacks some fluency in the language of hip hop, but he conducted the interview in a very insightful, genuine manner. I believe this is the first time I've ever heard an honest intellectual discussion about hip hop on the radio. Thank you.”
Bradley’s book has generated buzz beyond our in-box. A writer for the online magazine Slate has wondered why the book contains transcription errors. Paul Devlin has found what he says are 18 mistakes. During our interview, Adam Bradley talked about the difficulty of getting the lyrics right:
Adam Bradley: The primary challenge of the book was transcription. Anybody can go online and find these lyrics, but 98% of the time they're wrong. So the first thing we said is that if we're going to do this book we're going to do it right. And we're going to take the time and make the effort that we need to make the lyrics as accurate as possible.
Responding to Devlin on Slate, Bradley defended his methodology, which he described as “an exhaustive process.” He said "The primary source was always the recorded song," and points out the book contains more than 300 songs and 25,000 lines of lyrics. Bradley concluded by writing that his book is “the most polished and most thoughtfully edited collection available.”
Finally, listener Marie Spilsbury Rotter, of Broomfield, blames our interview for getting a rap song by The Fugees stuck in her head. She shared that on our Facebook page. Thanks for the comments. We always welcome them. You can find us on Facebook or Twitter, or write us through our website, cpr.org.