I say this as a proud member of the hip hop generation, the behemoth zeitgeist born and developed in the Bronx, where I was raised. Other girls rock out to talented assholes when they’re young, before they know better and leave it alone. Maybe it’s my allegiance to an indelible symbol of black masculinity superimposed over rap artists that has kept me locked in an abusive relationship with the delicious music and culture that has usually devalued and confused me. This is like when someone bad mouths your cousin, let me make it plain: it’s OK if you say Chuck is not the sharpest crayon in the box, but let someone else utter a word and it is OVER.MEN's JD Samson talks about bodies, unfunded babies, and the perilous pleasures of pop (Pop & Hiss)
“I guess in a way I could tap into the moment and be able to push my politics, art, activism and community a bit further into the mainstream. But I have no intention of doing so unnaturally,” she said. “We want an audience of good people that care and understand our work and why we do it. So we want to be huge, but we want to be huge to the right audience.”Blacking It Up: Hip Hop, Race and Identity (PostBourgie)
Not long ago I had the pleasure of seeing a documentary released by California Newsreel entitled Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity by filmmaker Robert Clift. The film opens by taking us on a kind of behind-the-scenes look at white american suburban culture in a way that mass media rarely does. We see high school dance team routines that include bandanas and hip-hop-inspired choreography. We’re introduced to white people who have dealt with harassment from their white peers for allegedly “acting” black. We hear from personalities of different occupations and opinions (from Paul Mooney to Russell Simmons) concerning their thoughts on race in hip-hop and the ways in which white participation plays into the racial history of music in America. It is basically an entertaining and very well-thought-out exploration of the racial, residential and historical aspects that influence how we begin to consider the complex and ever-enduring question of where to “draw lines” when discussing white enjoyment and/or consumption of black cultures.