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Is there really anything else? As I've said before, in the hey-day of Whitney I was in full hardcore hip-hop revanchist mode. Anything that smacked of jheri juice, color contacts, or mass acceptance by white people was rejected on principal. Oh, to be young and stupid again. It is true that Houston's image was gilded by Clive Owens. But these are the pipes of God--and no juvenile raging against "imaging" can obviate that. You will have your favorites. Of course this is mine.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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