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I first heard the rapper Daniel Dumile (pronounced doom-ee-lay) when I was fourteen and hip-hop was just beginning to bloom. The music was not so much “CNN for black people,” as Chuck D would later dub it, as a lingua franca. I came up awkward in West Baltimore—a tall black boy with no jumper, no gear, and no game. But my mastery of the arcane verses of X-Clan, my sense that the decoupling of EPMD was an irreparable tragedy, and my abiding hatred of Vanilla Ice ushered me into the scowling ranks of my generation. [READ THE FULL ARTICLE]