- Chuck K
: Chuck K
tonight in Philly. Should be fun.
- Trapper Juan
: My dude Drew moved his blog from myspace
. Good job, my friend. Looks way nicer.
- Pimp My Ride UK
: Tim Westwood is like a fucking paradoy of himself. Peep this shit
. Dude is so awkward and cheeseball. If you let the screen idle too much on that web page, Westwood gets all hype and says “Yo, let’s get busy! Click the mouse, baby, let’s go!” Jesus.
- Eddie Bo Discography
. Hot discography (and probably about as exhaustive as its gonna get) for that illy funkster from N’awlins.
- Fish and Walker
posted some yucky lookin’ fish things
and links to Walker Texas Ranger flicks
from Conan O’Brian. I can’t believe there are people in this world who think Jay Leno or David Letterman or any of those late night jack-asses even hold a candle to Conan. Don’t say “The Daily Show” because that doesn’t count. While, I’m here I might as well drop a link to her most recent radio show. So, linkage has been dropped
the tracklist. Her summary of the Metallica movie
is fucking hilarious.
- Post-Rap vs Post-Colonial-Rap
: My boy Aaron
reviewed Buck 65’s record on Coke Machine Glow
. I haven’t heard the entire record so I will refrain from commenting on the quality of the music. I will say two things about the new record though: (1), from the two songs I’ve heard, one I rather like, one I think stinks; (2) the best that I could possibly
say about this record at this point is that I’m really not interested in hearing it. I’m still really biased against dude and think he’s pretty much a jack-ass. At the very least, he has a problem expressing himself and enjoys putting his foot in his mouth, saying wildly ignorant things about rap music (like “Why is Jay-Z quitting? Why doesn’t he learn to play an instrument or something?” and “I hate hip-hop” etc).
I don’t mean to rehash all the shit that was said about Buck being an ignoramus and an idiot in the wake of those comments. He’s subsequently apologized for those comments and, fuck it, we’ve all said dumb shit before. I’m sure if somebody had a mic on me at a particularly bad time, I’d be saying stupid shit, too... granted, not as stupid as that shit, but his girl-friend is some classical music snob. What the fuck do you expect? Anyway, truth be told, his dumb comments really shouldn’t have too much of an effect on how I view his music, but the only reason I’m bringing this up is because I think it’s germane to something Newell brings up in his review.
Newell wants to define Buck 65’s new music as “post-rap” (a la Simon Reynolds and “post rock
”) and to a certain extent, I can understand the desire to re-define music in terms like that (after all, google the term “post-rap,” it’s been used quite often in reviews, especially with respect to Anticon artists). But, I wonder, first of all, is a white journalist really in a position to be defining “rap” in any sense? And, secondly, why is it always white rappers that are getting terms like “post rap” thrown at them? Are there any “post rap” black rappers? Should we consider the “experimental” offerings of folks like Cee-Lo, Common, and Q-Tip “post rap” or that something different? I’m really not trying to call out anyone here, I’m simply wondering if there’s an implied whiteness in the adjective “post-.” Similarly, I’m wondering if there’s an implied sense of REJECTING
“black rap” in “post-rap.”
I just think it’s important that we’re careful with these terms and not forget that when we talk about hip-hop, we are necessarily talking about race. Frankly, I think a more apt term would be “post-colonial-rap” (where “post-colonial” isn’t a reference to actual historical colonization, but the potential cultural colonization occurring as we speak). That’s probably the most clever thing I’m going to say all week. Anyway, this brings me to something I’ve been thinking about recently regarding Frederic Jameson’s definition of “the pastiche” in postmodernity.
In “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
,” Jameson describes “pastiche” as similar to the technique but at odds with the intent of “parody.” I don’t have the text in front of me so I’m going off of memory right now, but the basic argument is that “pastiche” is neutral appropriation where “parody” appropriates and re-performs with the intent of mocking or providing some sort of commentary. But, again, “pastiche” is the “neutral” form of a similar appropriative technique where styles and techniques are appropriated and re-employed for different affect/effects. This is a simple enough differentiation as far as I’m concerned, and I really didn’t have any problem with it until I started thinking about it in terms of race. The problem when race enters the picture is that this supposedly “neutral practice” cannot help but lose its apparent “neutrality.” For example, when a white rapper like Buck 65 appropriates rap music and sort’ve re-defines it and then ultimately re-deploys it in his unique way, it’s too simple to say that this is “neutral” postmodern pastiche. Certainly, Buck 65’s intentions might be “neutral”—even though he’s said a bunch of ignorant shit about rap, you still get the vibe that he loves it and respects it and has no intention of really disrespecting it—but, intent isn’t perfectly equitable to effect. And, given Jameson’s insistence that context is king in postmodernity, one would think that he would agree with me when I say something like this:
given that this type of appropriative movement (the white rapper constructing his musical identity as a pastiche of “black rap,” Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious, indy rock, beat poetry, and whatever else) is ultimately performed in a society that is still, to a very large degree, “white supremacist,” it seems to me that this pastiche can never be “neutral” and is necessarily going to embody the dominant political unconscious--which is institutional racism.
Therefore, white appropriation and pastiche might be “neutral” in intention, but it almost certainly won’t be neutral in affect/effect.
Again, I don’t have the text in front of me and it’s more than likely that Jameson is really only
speaking in terms of intention when he describes the difference between “parody” and “pastiche,” but I think my point stands: the relationship between the “white experimental rapper” and the typical “black rapper” is a complicated one—one that might be “neutral” in intent, but might have much more dubious effects, regardless of what the rapper or reviewer intends.
So what? Where does this leave us? Frankly, I don’t really know. All I do know is that it’s somewhat dangerous to use terms like “post-rap” when talking about “white rappers” without really discussing the issues of race that inevitably surround the issue. It’s just an extremely slippery slope in all directions and to throw these terms around without pointing out the racial elements that abound seems to me a bit irresponsible. That’s why I think “post-colonial-rap” is better (and way more clever): it at least contains the suggestion of race in it and points out the potential for cultural imperialism, oppression, and domination—which is of course what we mean when we talk about “race.”
Sorry for the mini-dissertation.
I should probably get to work now.
By the way, I just found this
for those interested in the Jameson piece.