Archive for the ‘just a Thought’ Category

Not unlike many of my posts, this one will only apply to a small group of Black nerds and scholars 

Last night Some reflection (rememory, you could say) led me back to Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The famous (at least in my head) “stream of consciousness” chapter: “I am beloved and she is mine. I see her take flowers away from leaves   she puts them in a round basket” Beloved’s no so clear account of where she was before coming to Sethe in the woods. 

So, my mind was blown as I read the 2nd paragraph and it hit me, this is a toddler’s experience on a slave ship; the middle passage!  And the subsequent bridging of space and time, physical, temporal, “spiritual”  dimensions. 

Laying on the man’s back, loving his song 

The place where people are crouching “the man on my face is dead ” the “men without skin”  pushing the mounds of the dead into the sea. “the woman with my face” going into the sea “they do not punch her  she goes in” – suicide. 

A woman, like Sethe, who refused to live crouching and starving. 

 I prided myself on understanding this book (although  perhaps to a slightly lesser extent this particular passage). I took a class back in undergrad that I really appreciated because of our analysis and discussion of Beloved  (and other African and African American literature). I read it twice and revisited parts over the years.  And all of a sudden, I’m reading it with new insight and meaning. As much as I loved that class, I can’t say I never fell asleep in there (blame ADHD 😅). At any rate, I continue to appreciate this book perspective Love inspiration 

I lost a lot of respect for this guy a couple years ago when he said he’s a republican- But I was writing/brainstorming a little on the Hip-Hop Industry and remembered this video from my Watch Later list- figured I’d take a quick break, check it out to get a little insight…

He definitely made some good points in the 1st few minutes of the 1st vid

He’s really concerned about being forgotten (Him, the Getoboys and other Old School artists).

He expands on it in the second one

I can’t see Hip-Hop going the route that Rock & Roll went for several reasons- one major reason being that there’s a very obvious (and often exaggerated) sense of Black, urban identity attached to Hip-Hop.  And additionally, my understanding is that we’re a bit ahead of the curve relative to  how long it took Rock music to become largely white.  If Hip-Hop were to follow that same trajectory Vanilla Ice would be Hip-Hop’s Elvis and most rappers today would be white. Nonetheless I understand his concern over Corporate influence on Hip-Hop and Black culture.

He makes a great point in the second video too about Soul and R&B.  I asked myself the same question back in Grad school, “Who stole the soul?” What happened to R&B, it seems that R&B acts solo and (especially) group acts used to be much more popular, and popular among women and men.  I think that’s an issue worth exploring more on its own.  It’s as though singing, and subsequently the issues often discussed in song (Love, relationships) are less acceptable parts of Black masculinity now (excuse me if I’m romanticizing here).

I do however find it surprising that he seems so bewildered by white/corporate influence.  Being in the industry for twenty plus years, I’d think he would’ve noticed it years ago, and understand it better than he seems to.

He mentions Kendrick Lamar and that there’s a sharp divide between the garbage and the true talent- which I agree with. Kendrick, Black Hippy, J.Cole, Joey Bada$$, these artists give me hope for the future of Hip-Hop. I know there are a few white rappers growing in popularity over the past few years- I’ve only really heard a couple of them (MGK and Yellawolf).  The corporate control of Hip-Hop has been an issue since the 90s but I don’t think we’re in danger of going the route of Rock & Roll at this point.  If anything, we face a greater danger. Hip-Hop acts will likely remain predominantly Black (for the near future at least ) Hip-Hop consumers will continue to become increasingly white, and white consumers and record executives will continue to have a large influence on Black cultural production.

But it ain’t nothing new- been the same since like back in ‘92