February 23, 2009

I see you don't quite get racism: Racism in Hip Hop

Wow, did you see that? I went a day without a post! Frankly I was busy sleeping.

...which has never stopped me before.

I just wanted to do a little post real quick, obviously I'm not dead if you've seen my Continuing Thoughts over there. Also my contact info is now at the bottom of the page in a lil box for your extreme inconvenience. Working on that.

So let me get to the meat of this. I'm going to try my damnedest tomorrow to attend a seminar the school's having about, well, Racism in Hip Hop. It has a really weak name like Racism in Hip Hop in our so called post racial era, I'll get back to you on that.

Let me just say that...I'm a punk. I don't know when, I don't know why, but when I was a youngin' I got sick of gangsta rap and the early onset of Lil Wayne (I SAW it coming but y'all didn't listen) and switched over to the local classic rock station. My life was changed. More Clash & Siouxsie Sioux than Sex Pistols, you'll often also hear me crying out, "BIRTH! SCHOOL! WORK! DEATH!" than the latest Diva Beyonce tune. I'm a punk in the deviant sense, I don't listen to the music black folks are supposed to listen to (don't get me started on how without black folks there would be no rock).

I like rock music. I like industrial, punk, classic rock. Even in the rawk & rolllll community I'm an anomaly for my tastes and, well, me skin color. It's kind of sad but what part of reality isn't. You'll hear many of my "alternative" (I'll get to that in a later day) black ladies & gents bemoan more or less this same fact: we're black, we listen to white music, white kids think we're cool in that token way, while claiming not to care. Ask your friends. I'm telling you.

So does that mean I don't know what's going on in hip hop? Nope, it does not. Recently, in the past few years or so I've more or less refound my connection with hip hop and R&B. I stuck to "old skool" but I eventually moved on up and realized that, while mainstream is garbage and always will be garbage, you know, if you look under the surface, hip hop deserves much more credit.

Hip hop embraced me much more than the rawk & rolllll community ever did and probably ever will. It seems that hanging out with the folks that shared the same musical interests as me, obviously, shared a completely different world view. Especially about the vile black hip hop which they decree as crap, racist, sexist & misogynist, and generally inferior to the Lawd Rawk & Rollllll.

Coming from both sides of the fence (did I mention I listen to baroque), I kind of laugh at the assertion that these rabid fans make about their hated nemesis, because...uhh...rock does a lot of the same things. It's misogynist, sexist, occasionally backhandedly racist, and a lot of it is crap. Don't front, yes it is. In any era. I don't care, turn on the radio right now and tell me you could stand it for three minutes.

Music differences kill me. So what do I mean when I say hip hop embraces me? I mean that hip hop can incorporate all of my interests: rock, trip hop, trance, eastern influences...as for whether or not the rawk and rollllll camp can do this as well, sure they can, but it never feels quite genuine. I suppose it's just my current reconnection with a music form I now love that's making me think this way, but I think it's true. Hip hop also, strangely enough, has a lot less annoying antagonistic "liberal progressive" head-scratching racists, and I get tired of those. Go fig.

So, the racism in hip hop seminar. I'm rather interested to see it because notice I didn't say racism doesn't exist in hip hop, but I'd like to see how the speakers address this and in what form & context. There's lots of problems with hip hop, even the underground/thinking person's hip hop and I'm curious in how we fix these things. With my long lost mistress, rawk & rolllll, I'm...less inclined, because, sometimes, some things just need to be left behind.

When/if I attend the seminar (it happens when I get back from work if I'm not exhaaaussteeed) I'll try to fix this up a bit, and I'll try to fix it up in general. I was afraid that if I stored it in drafts I'd forget all my awesome points, I'm not a good draftist :/

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