When the Post-Dispatch Sports Section Attempts to Write about Hip-Hop

Idolator tipped us off to yesterday's column in the Post-Dispatch by sportswriter Dan O' Neill. In it, he takes Rams running back Steven Jackson to task for asking reporters to ask the powers-that-be to play "more lively music" at games -- with the insinuation this would help the team.

O' Neill then writes the following:

How can the Rams expect to turn things around without a change in music application? What are these stadium people thinking, not playing more hip-hop with a predominantly middle-aged audience in the stands? How can these Souljas Boys be expected to perform when the commercial interludes aren't jumping, yo?

The road to the Super Bowl starts with a clef, a five-line staff, and a bleeped-out rhyme. If you want players to be entertaining, you have to entertain them. You need to turn The Ed into The Club and give the crew a more inspiring musical format in which to work.

Jackson suggested the situation be addressed with a write-up, so here it is, Dawg. We're calling on the stadium DJ to pump it up, and we thought these 10 titles might be most appropriate for our 2-9 posse.

While I realize the article's intent was to point out how futile it is to think that changing the music will help the Rams, the execution was simply embarrassing. To wit, the story:

*Mistakenly calls Akon "Akron." The latter is a city in Ohio; the former is a rapper -- who was born in St. Louis.

*Credits "Keep the Car Running" to Arcade. Not the Arcade Fire.

*Mis-uses the slang when he refers to the team as "these Souljas Boys." The phrase refers to Soulja Boy, a 17-year-old rapper who had a monster hit song (and accompanying dance move) called "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" this year. Besides, plural would be "Soulja Boys," not "Souljas Boys."

*Spells noted producer Babyface as "Baby Face."

*Capitalizes "Dawg." If you want to talk about the Cleveland Browns, do so; otherwise? Don't. Better yet, don't use it.

Post-Dispatch pop music critic Kevin Johnson generally does a solid job covering rap and hip-hop in St. Louis, so it's embarrassing that other sections of the paper can't do the same.

[Edit: Ha ha, I wish this blog had spellcheck, I totally didn't even see I missed a "t" up there. But I'm the sole copyeditor of this; the P-D ostensibly has fact-checkers and copyeditors for their stories.]

-- Annie Zaleski