Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-09-24 23:29Z by Steven

Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America

SUNY Press
April 2018
194 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6945-4
Paperback ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6946-1

Kyle T. Mays, Assistant Professor
Department of African American Studies and American Indian Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Argues that Indigenous hip hop is the latest and newest assertion of Indigenous sovereignty throughout Indigenous North America.

Expressive culture has always been an important part of the social, political, and economic lives of Indigenous people. More recently, Indigenous people have blended expressive cultures with hip hop culture, creating new sounds, aesthetics, movements, and ways of being Indigenous. This book documents recent developments among the Indigenous hip hop generation. Meeting at the nexus of hip hop studies, Indigenous studies, and critical ethnic studies, Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes argues that Indigenous people use hip hop culture to assert their sovereignty and challenge settler colonialism. From rapping about land and water rights from Flint to Standing Rock, to remixing “traditional” beading with hip hop aesthetics, Indigenous people are using hip hop to challenge their ongoing dispossession, disrupt racist stereotypes and images of Indigenous people, contest white supremacy and heteropatriarchy, and reconstruct ideas of a progressive masculinity. In addition, this book carefully traces the idea of authenticity; that is, the common notion that, by engaging in a Black culture, Indigenous people are losing their “traditions.” Indigenous hip hop artists navigate the muddy waters of the “politics of authenticity” by creating art that is not bound by narrow conceptions of what it means to be Indigenous; instead, they flip the notion of “tradition” and create alternative visions of what being Indigenous means today, and what that might look like going forward.

Table of Contents

  • Preface: A Note on Language: Black English and Uncensored Mode
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Can We Live and Be Modern and Indigenous?: Toward an Indigenous Hip Hop Culture
  • 1. #NotYourMascot: Indigenous Hip Hop Artists as Modern Subjects
  • 2. The Fashion of Indigenous Hip Hop
  • 3. Indigenous Masculinity in Hip Hop Culture: Or, How Indigenous Feminism Can Reform Indigenous Manhood
  • 4. “He’s just tryna be black”: The Intersections of Blackness and Indigeneity in Hip Hop Culture
  • 5. Rhyming Decolonization: A Conversation with Frank Waln, Sicangu Lakota
  • Conclusion: “It’s bigger than Hip Hop”: Toward the Indigenous Hip Hop Generation
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index
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Mixed Remix: Mixed race voices in Hip Hop and the Complex Territory of Hip Hop Masculinity

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2017-09-27 03:45Z by Steven

Mixed Remix: Mixed race voices in Hip Hop and the Complex Territory of Hip Hop Masculinity

September 2017

Wayne Martin Freeman, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado, Boulder

With its multicultural origins and ethos, as well as concerns with race and racial justice, Hip Hop music and culture has been at the forefront of describing and critiquing the latest forms of racial struggle and racial formations. Hip Hop continues to serve as a “political battlefield” with rap as an important sounding board or counterpublic sphere, one that includes multiple philosophies regarding mixed race identities and multiraciality. However, the male, heterosexual, centeredness of Hip Hop also means that most of its louder voices are invested in particular conceptions of masculinity, often characterized by performances of hypermasculinity. Through analysis of rap songs and albums, this paper explores the diversity of philosophies regarding mixed race identities and multiraciality found in rap music, as well as theorizes upon the unique intersections of mixed race identities and Hip Hop hypermasculinity.

Read the entire article here (by permission of the author).

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Review: Vic Mensa, ‘The Autobiography’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-28 15:41Z by Steven

Review: Vic Mensa, ‘The Autobiography’

First Listen: Hear Upcoming Albums in Their Entirety
NPR Music
National Public Radio
2017-07-20

Rodney Carmichael, Hip-Hop Reporter


Vic Mensa’s new album, The Autobiography, is out July 28.
Courtesy of the artist

When history ranks 2017 among hip-hop’s wonder years — and from the sounds of the previous six months it certainly qualifies — Vic Mensa’s long-awaited full-length debut will be a big part of the reason why. The Chi-town native has created a work in The Autobiography that’s equal parts confessional and confrontational, gut-wrenching and uplifting. Steeped in a personal story arc that envelopes Mensa’s hometown, it echoes with the pain of a generation.


Courtesy of the artist

It only makes sense that the LP is executive produced by No I.D., who’s already responsible for another of the year’s more revelatory LPs in Jay-Z’s 4:44

Read the entire review here.

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Princess Nokia In Conversation at Brown University

Posted in Arts, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-06-29 19:54Z by Steven

Princess Nokia In Conversation at Brown University

Brown University
2017-04-27 (Published on 2017-05-16)

Facilitated by Sofia Robledo Rower ’18

Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, also known as Princess Nokia, is an Afro-Latina Boricua artist and musician based in New York City. Her music tackles the intersection of gender, race, class, urbanism, and age in captivating sonic and linguistic medleys. This public conversation will focus on spirituality, feminism, and race in her artistic process and performances.

Presented by Women’s History Series 2017

Watch the discussion here.

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Princess Nokia Is Ready to Reign

Posted in Articles, Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-29 00:54Z by Steven

Princess Nokia Is Ready to Reign

The Village Voice
2017-03-29

Ivie Ani


ioulex

I meet up with Destiny Frasqueri — the 24-year-old Nuyorican alternative hip-hop artist known variously as Princess Nokia, Wavy Spice, or simply Destiny — in the East Village. I’m running late; she’s even later, so I get to the Astor Place cube first. Fifteen minutes later she walks up, dressed, as she’d indicated in a text apologizing for being behind schedule, in a beige duster coat and sweats to match, carrying a cherry-print Louis V bag. She’s wearing oversize shades, no makeup, just a touch of mascara. Her dark hair blows in the breeze, caressing a diamond-studded choker.

Frasqueri has appeared in Vogue, modeled for Calvin Klein, and had her song “Tomboy” used for an Alexander Wang runway show. But what makes her a figure of fascination for music aficionados in their teens and early twenties is the way she celebrates the beauty of imperfection, building a hero’s identity out of being a self-described “fucked-up kid.” She’s stunning yet still rough around the edges, rhyming about wearing dirty sneakers, smoking blunts in the stairwell, and proclaiming the power in her heritage. For her followers, her attractiveness lies in her contrasts. “Eczema so bad I’m bleeding,” she raps on “Bart Simpson,” the first track on 1992, the album she put up on SoundCloud last September. Sure enough, I look down and her irritated hands are bleeding slightly.

“I’m just ghetto as hell,” she says once we’ve settled in at San Loco for some chicken nachos. “That’s the only way that I know how to just be myself.”…

…Frasqueri’s mom passed by the time she was nine, and she grew up living in various homes across the Bronx, Harlem, and the Lower East Side. She experienced abusive foster care, life in the projects, and brief escapes to camp with wealthy kids from the Upper West Side. She’d skip class but bury herself in books, digging deep into the Black literary canon. (“I am Black Harlem Renaissance,” she says. “I am Walter Dean Myers and Langston Hughes, baby.”) She taught herself, studying Kemetic philosophy, practicing brujería and Santería, claiming her inheritance of Yoruba and Taíno cultures, and falling in love with New York City. Pissy project elevators and breezy summer barbecues in the street suffuse Frasqueri’s memories. She represents a specific kind of New York, what she describes as her own “urban realism.” “What makes life beautiful?” she muses at one point. “The ghetto makes life beautiful. Black people make life beautiful.”…

…“I’m a Brown Afro-indigenous woman. That makes people uncomfortable as it is. The folks that have a problem with me and say, ‘You still live with privilege. You not fully Black.’ I can’t win and I can’t lose, so I’ma just keep going.” She smiles. “Yes, I’m mixed-race. There’s girls who look like me and glorify being exotic. I have a responsibility to my Blackness.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Where Hip Hop Fits in Cuba’s Anti-Racist Curriculum

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-08-02 20:13Z by Steven

Where Hip Hop Fits in Cuba’s Anti-Racist Curriculum

The Atlantic
2016-08-01

Erik Gleibermann

The country’s education leaders confront deep-seated discrimination in the classroom through rap.

I was sitting with the Afrocentric rapstress Magia López Cabrera in her modest Havana walk-up in June when Cuba’s prominent black-history scholar Tomás Fernández Robaina showed up for a café con leche. Her tiny living room was filled with African folk art and images of women with 1970s-style Afros. It felt like the Cuban equivalent of Cornel West dropping in on Queen Latifah. Two nights later at an anniversary celebration for López’s rap-duo Obsesión, Fernández Robaina sat discussing racial profiling in the U.S. with Roberto Zurbano Torres, widely known in the U.S. for his writing on Cuban racial issues.

Since arriving in Havana several weeks before to investigate Cuba’s work to eliminate racism, I had discovered a collaborative, tight-knit movement that’s gone largely unpublicized in the U.S., including in its six-time-zone, decentralized academic world. In Havana, community artists like Lopez, academics like Fernández, and members of the National Ministry of Education are collectively exploring how to integrate Afro-Cuban history and related gender concerns into the primary-through-university school system. It’s hard to imagine a U.S. parallel, such as Secretary of Education John King officially asking teachers to teach students a song like “Le Llaman Puta” (They Call Her Whore)—López’s critique of how Afro-Cuban women are driven into prostitution—to fulfill the Common Core standards.

Efforts to combat racism in Cuba—which is widely believed to be majority nonwhite—through education have emerged quietly over the last several years. The National Ministry of Education officially leads the way through the Aponte Commission, where Fernández has served, exploring how to remove traces of racially denigrating language and imagery from, and include more Afro-Cuban history in, school textbooks. But the bold efforts are coming from below. A few semi-independent universities in Havana, and regional centers like Matanzas, Santiago de Cuba, and Camagüey, are taking the initiative, along with grassroots educators and activists involved in a hip-hop movement spearheaded by Obsesión…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama and hip-hop: a breakup song

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Barack Obama, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2015-10-01 00:50Z by Steven

Obama and hip-hop: a breakup song

The Washington Post
2015-09-25

Erik Nielson, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts
University of Richmond

Travis L. Gosa, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Erik Nielson is an assistant professor of liberal arts at the University of Richmond. Travis L. Gosa is an assistant professor of Africana studies at Cornell University. Their book, “The Hip Hop & Obama Reader,” will be published in October.

In 2008, Barack Obama flipped the script on more than three decades of conventional wisdom when he openly embraced hip-hop — a genre typically viewed as politically radioactive because of its frequently controversial themes and anti-establishment ethos — in his campaign. Equally remarkable was the extent to which hip-hop artists and activists, often highly skeptical of national politicians, embraced him in return. As a result, for the first time it appeared we were witnessing a burgeoning relationship between hip-hop and national politics.

As we approach the 2016 election, however, this relationship is all but gone. Ironically, Obama — often called the first “hip-hop president” — largely is to blame.

This is especially disappointing in light of Obama’s 2008 run for office, when he encouraged artists such as Jay Z and Sean “Diddy” Combs to campaign for him, referenced rap music in his interviews and speeches, played rap at his events and openly contemplated a space for hip-hop in an Obama White House. In one of the lasting images of the campaign, Obama stood in front of an audience in Raleigh, N.C., and referenced Jay Z’s 2003 track “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” to raucous applause. In that moment, voters had every reason to believe that hip-hop indeed would have a seat at the table in an Obama administration…

Read the entire article here.

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The Hip Hop & Obama Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Barack Obama, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2015-09-17 01:23Z by Steven

The Hip Hop & Obama Reader

Oxford University Press
2015-10-14
336 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199341801
Paperback ISBN: 9780199341818

Edited by:

Travis L. Gosa, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Erik Nielson, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts
University of Richmond

  • Offers a comprehensive, scholarly analysis of the relationship between hip hop and politics in the era of Obama.
  • The first hip hop anthology to center on contemporary politics, activism, and social change.
  • Features contributions from distinguished scholars, award-winning journalists, and public intellectuals.

Barack Obama flipped the script on more than three decades of conventional wisdom when he openly embraced hip hop–often regarded as politically radioactive–in his presidential campaigns. Just as important was the extent to which hip hop artists and activists embraced him in return. This new relationship fundamentally altered the dynamics between popular culture, race, youth, and national politics. But what does this relationship look like now, and what will it look like in the decades to come?

The Hip Hop & Obama Reader attempts to answer these questions by offering the first systematic analysis of hip hop and politics in the Obama era and beyond. Over the course of 14 chapters, leading scholars and activists offer new perspectives on hip hop’s role in political mobilization, grassroots organizing, campaign branding, and voter turnout, as well as the ever-changing linguistic, cultural, racial, and gendered dimensions of hip hop in the U.S. and abroad. Inviting readers to reassess how Obama’s presidency continues to be shaped by the voice of hip hop and, conversely, how hip hop music and politics have been shaped by Obama, The Hip Hop & Obama Reader critically examines hip hop’s potential to effect social change in the 21st century. This volume is essential reading for scholars and fans of hip hop, as well as those interested in the shifting relationship between democracy and popular culture.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • About the Contributors
  • Foreword Tricia Rose, Brown University
  • Introduction: The State of Hip Hop in the Age of Obama / Erik Nielson, University of Richmond; Travis L. Gosa, Cornell University
  • PART I: MOVE THE CROWD: HIP HOP POLITICS IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD
    • 1. Message from the Grassroots: Hip Hop Activism, Millennials, and the Race for the White House / Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, University of Connecticut
    • 2. It’s Bigger Than Barack: Hip Hop Political Organizing, 2004-2013 / Elizabeth Méndez Berry, New York University; Bakari Kitwana, Author and CEO, Rap Sessions
    • 3. “There Are No Saviors”: Hip Hop and Community Activism in the Obama Era / Kevin Powell, Author and Activist
    • 4. “Obama Nation”: Hip Hop and Global Protest / Sujatha Fernandes, Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
    • 5. “Record! I am Arab”: Paranoid Arab Boys, Global Cyphers, and Hip Hop Nationalism / Torie Rose DeGhett, Columbia University
  • PART II: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN? THE CONTESTED DISCOURSE OF OBAMA & HIP HOP
    • 6. Obama, Hip Hop, African American History, and “Historical Revivalism” / Pero G. Dagbovie, Michigan State University
    • 7. “Change That Wouldn’t Fill a Homeless Man’s Cup Up”: Filipino-American Political Hip Hop and Community Organizing in the Age of Obama / Anthony Kwame Harrison, Virginia Tech
    • 8. Obama/Time: The President in the Hip-Hop Nation / Murray Forman, Northeastern University
    • 9. One Day It Will All Make Sense: Obama, Politics and Common Sense / Charlie Braxton, Author and Activist
    • 10. “New Slaves”: The Soul of Hip-Hop Sold to Da Massah in the Age of Obama / Raphael Heaggans, Niagara University
  • PART III: REPRESENT: GENDER AND LANGUAGE IN THE OBAMA ERA
    • 11. YouTube and Bad Bitches: Hip Hop’s Seduction Of Girls and The Distortion Of Participatory Culture / Kyra D. Gaunt, City University of New York
    • 12. A Performative Account of Black Girlhood / Ruth Nicole Brown, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    • 13. The King’s English: Obama, Jay Z, and the Science of Code Switching / Michael P. Jeffries, Wellesley College
    • 14. My President is Black: Speech Act Theory and Presidential Allusions in the Lyrics of Rap Music / James Peterson and Cynthia Estremera, Lehigh University
    • Afterword: When Will Black Lives Matter? Neoliberalism, Democracy, and the Queering of American Activism in the Post-Obama Era / Cathy J. Cohen, University of Chicago
  • Subject Index
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Interview with Brazilian Journalist and Activist Daniela Gomes

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Interviews, Social Science on 2012-07-05 17:03Z by Steven

Interview with Brazilian Journalist and Activist Daniela Gomes

The Husslington Post
2011-12-04

Amil Cook, Correspondent

In this interview, Husslington Post correspondent, Amil Cook, goes in depth with journal/scholar/activist Daniela Gomes about her fight against racism in Brazil. This is the first installment in what we hope will become a series of interviews by Amil.


How influential is Hip-Hop and African American culture in Brazil?

For a long time Afro Brazilians didn’t have access to information about the black leaders in our history. The myth of the racial democracy created an important issue in our country, where a lighter skin person didn’t consider him/herself as black. So for many years for mixed people in Brazil to be black was a shame. In some cases this still happens. So after a long time we were without any understanding about black consciousness but during the 1970s some cultural and political movements started to be inspired by Afro American movements and heroes such as: the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others. And Hip Hop is a part of this because of its cultural influence.

What is racial democracy for those who may not be familiar with this term?

Racial democracy was a theory created in the early 1900s. The main creator was Gilberto Freyre, who used to affirm that Brazilian society was totally different from other countries because it was a racially mixed country and as a mixed country there wasn’t racism here. He taught that we should value our three races [indigenous (native), African and European] that formed our society because it made us better, made our slavery less painful and things like that. It is important to explain that before Freyre the theory that used to be adopted in Brazil, was the ‘whitening theory’, it was used to affirm that if we started to mix the country we could clean our race and it was believed that in little time black people would be extinct in Brazil. The main thinker of this theory was Nina Rodrigues, a doctor who used to see the black population as a shame. Gilberto Freyre was Rodrigues’ student, and “improved” Rodrigues’ racist theories when he decided to hide the racial issue in Brazil. These two theories are fundamental to understand racial thought in Brazil. The first one [Rodrigues], made Brazilians believe that if they are mixed they aren’t black and the second one [Freyre] made them believe that we are special because we are mixed; there isn’t racism in our country so we don’t need to fight against it. And although the black struggle in my country never stopped, ideas like that made our mission harder…

Read the entire interview here.

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MFNW 2010: We are all MOsley WOtta

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2012-02-14 02:23Z by Steven

MFNW 2010: We are all MOsley WOtta

Oregon Music News
2010-09-09

Aaron Brandt

Jason Graham is MOsley WOtta. So are you, and so am I. That core message of commonality is one good reason why MOWO is quickly gaining such a vast following–that, and tracks full of realistic humor, a bit of brain, and some rump-shakin’ beats.
 
Fresh from achieving local greatness by winning Last Band Standing and being voted the Best Local Band in Bend, MOsley WOtta will join an all-star lineup of Pacific Northwest acts–Shabazz Palaces, Champagne Champagne, Cloudy October, and THEESatisfaction–at MFNW on September 11th at Jimmy Mak’s. As if that pace weren’t hectic enough, he’s somehow found time to release Wake, a compilation that features the song “Boom For Real”–if you haven’t heard this one yet, check out the video below.

Let’s dive into the world of Wake and MOWO with a little Q & A, shall we?

Wake is chock-full of diverse material. We hear everything from party beats to nasal solos to interlude comedy skits–if you were given only two choices, which two “popular” artists does your music sound like a mix of?

MOWO: Somewhere between Saul Williams and Weird Al, or maybe Spearhead and Aesop Rock…

Read the entire interview here.

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