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Queering Hip Hop

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Kim Katrin Milan

on 23 September 2015

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Transcript of Queering Hip Hop

Who Benefits?
Writer Mark Anthony Neal explains that for many young rappers, the most important thing is to land a record deal: “What they are hearing from the record companies and what the record companies are hearing from these video stations is that there are only certain examples of blackness that we are going to let flow through this space. And when it comes to hip-hop, there are certain conventions that we want to see. We want to see kind of the hard core thug performing hip-hop, we want to see booties shaking in the background, and when hip-hop videos don’t fit into those conventions, they don’t get played.”
Another explanation of the commercial palatability of conventional hip-hop is that it plays into stereotypes of race, gender and class. White consumers—who make up the majority of commercial hip-hop consumers—buy into stereotypes of blackness based on violence and caricature, while people of color also consume images of black manhood commodified as one-dimensional and devoid of social responsibility. Activist and educator Jackson Katz says, “If the KKK was smart enough, they would’ve created gangsta rap because it’s such a caricature of black culture and black masculinity. Yet young people of color are being presented with this idea that somehow these people represent us, and they’re cool and they’re going to stand in for ‘us’ against the white power structure, while they’re completely subservient to that white power structure. It’s really an ironic, sad reality.”
Queering Hip Hop
"to remain exempt from perpetuating social inequity"
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
Systems Of Advantage
interlocking structures of policies, culture, institutional powers invented in order to control and manipulate wealth and resources.
Replete with Indian medallion, black girl hair cut and color, black men flank her on all sides, lending their cool and legitimacy as she talks stealing bitches, smoking blunts, and realness. Catchy with no substance and ample “I’m so different from them other black girls,” Kreyashawn is the perfect accoutrement to the tortured misogyny of her friends and co-signers Odd Future. For her, calling women bitches and hoes is funny, a category she is somehow exempt from via her whiteness and sometimes queerness. She’s got swag because she fucks bitches too, though she’s quick to point out she’s “not a raging lesbian.”

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