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Once upon a time, hip-hop reflected — and reflected upon — the urban experience: It was another black art form akin to jazz. These days, its purpose appears to be to give suburban white teenagers a vicarious thrill. In the commercially driven dichotomy of contemporary hip-hop, the gangstas and their ilk too often subsume those artists still creating vigorous, transformative sounds.

Ursula Rucker’s new album “Supa Sista” strikes a blow for the more intelligent manifestation of the genre. Rucker is first and foremost a poet — one whose words dance off the tongue.

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