I just made my life’s final purchase from Tower Records. Perhaps it’s insensitive to be pondering economic puzzles while my favorite store is on its deathbed, but I can’t resist.

Here goes: How come the prices for Rap/Hip-hop were slashed vastly more than those of every other genre of music?

Back when other CDs were 40% off, Rap/Hip-hop was 70% off. Now that everything else is 80% off, every Rap/Hip-Hop CD costs $.25. Yes, a quarter.

Is rap so much more of superstar genre that there’s virtually no demand for rappers who are “five minutes ago”? Are rap fans who aren’t willing to pay full price inelastically married to downloading? Or what?

I suspect that my ignorance of rap, much like my ignorance of liquor, makes me uniquely unqualified to figure this out on my own. Help!