I listen to all types of music. And not just in the "I want to impress people with a Kanye West or a Tribe Called Quest CD out on top of the CD player when company comes over" kind of way, either. If you can't get behind this premise, then don't bother with the rest of the post. Anything short of shoving my iPod in your face won't change your mind and I'm OK with that. Also, you can go to hell. Just trust me that I have Keith Urban and Rodney Crowell in the same iPod with Public Enemy and Guns 'n' Roses.
I just love music and my preferred vector for adding it to that magical little box is to buy the CD, rip it and set it aside. If I need to take a road trip with someone who has a CD player, I'm covered. If the iPod or laptop crash and erase the collection, I'm covered.
When discussions arise over the music industry and people who want to buy CDs over digital-only media for the cover art and lyrics and such, I'm one of those people. Not Hugh Fidelity level snobbery, but I enjoy an obscure inside joke in the liner notes as much as anyone else. I also like the security involved with a hard copy that can be ripped over and again.
One thing I've noticed however is the level of security as it relates to genre (that's the sugar-coated euphemism). Let me rephrase that - one thing I've noticed is that music (or video games) with a predominantly black audience has security strips inside, while music (or video games) with a predominantly white audience do not. I've had enough of this.
This isn't a conspiracy theory, I can show you the strips embedded in Kanye West jewel cases and the lack of any security on a Lyle Lovett CD. Almost all have come from Best Buy, so it shouldn't be a retailer preference. If it's a label decision - ie. Roc-a-fella and Def Jam made these decisions to secure their products, I don't know what to make of it. Something tells me that's not the case though.
Same thing in the gaming world. A $50 PC game, City of Heroes had no strip, but Def Jam: Fight For New York did. Same for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It's just not adding up as anywhere logical, but is adding up as offensive.
I'm betting there are shoplifters in Hog's Holler, Ark., who are nicking Tim McGraw and Hank Williams CDs, so maybe there are strips on country and rock down there while the rap and R&B are left untouched, but I doubt it.
George Bush may not care about black people, but the record industry seems to be pretty interested.