“American Culture”: Is it an Art or Appropriation?

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Hello Readers! Ok this might be my last post of 2014 so to that I say Happy New Year! On the 1st or the 2nd I might write a post about my New Years Resolution (cause I can’t ever keep them & I need you guys to help keep me accountable).

Anyway here is something I have thought about a lot as it keeps coming up in music, media & life. White music, media & culture and the taking and cultural smudging of POC culture. *Now disclaimer I am not about to go on a white people diss rant as I have a lot of white friends and have French & Irish ancestry.*

Now I know this issue is nothing new this is just how I feel about it.

So they have that new movie out called Exodus about Moses and the Egyptians (or Kemits) and the main cast is white with black servants. Problems? Number 1 there in Africa! Really? And these actors are white not even olive-skinned or with a tan but white. Number 2 how long are we going to keep this lie alive. If you are going to say that these people where from Africa than hello?! Those are blatantly obvious! It really pisses my dad off the most being an Egyptologist and having gone to Egypt and seen the real ruins.

Another way I have noticed it is through music. Now we all know about the cultural appropriation of white artist taking the black music art and making it their own. From Jazz to Rock & Blues to now hiphop. It just happens and of course we like to blame the artist for this instead of blaming the industry, slave money and capitalism. I am sure that 90% of white artist take these forms of music and start making songs because they like it and can appreciate it. I mean I don’t think Elvis intentionality went out and was like I’m going to erase Chuck Berry and others out of the scene and history books. He just appreciated this music and wanted to make it. The record labels and management took it a step further and marketed it to white audiences knowing white sells. Then it becomes a thing and bye bye Chuck Berry.

Same with Jazz you have the greats like Coltrane and Armstrong back in the day then they have in the ’80s a resurgence of Jazz into this elevator smooth jazz thing and Kenny G becomes new face of jazz.

It’s happening to hiphop now too. Now it has been happening since the beginning of hiphop with sprinkles of white rappers here and there. Vanilla Ice, The Beastie Boys, Em, and now Macklemore, Iggy, and some lesser well know ones. Of course it was a matter of time. Once hiphop hit the mainstream radar of people than bam. Now some of these acts of course where a joke. Others actually have talent like Mack, Em, Mac Miller, ect. and try to bring something to the culture.

But look I don’t listen to a lot of modern mainstream hiphop. Why? No depth what so ever & talking about drugs, girls & “the hood” is getting really old and to me was never cool. So really sure I listen mostly to modern “white rap” but it’s not my fault. Make better music black artist! And this is how I feel about Soul and many other genres these days that I can’t really find any “black” artist who are popping unless their indie or underground. (except Janelle Monai she makes me happy!) That is why I end up listening to like JT, Adele, Allen Stone, Amy Winehouse ect. to get my soul fix. I kind of do it with Reggae too where I listen to a lot of Soja, Sublime, Tribal Seeds, ect. Not to say I don’t listen to “authentic” reggae of course there is some dope Latino & black reggae too.

Anyway it is what it is yes it pisses me off that they try so hard to erase us from everything but we gotta stay strong. I mean its gonna happen we just can’t let it tear us down. I mean with music as long as they know their history and are trying to help the culture it’s cool. What I hate is when you know nothing and try to just make what you thing sounds like our music, our movies or how we act and not bring anything or give back to the culture.

I really don’t want to get into the Iggy thing but I kind of am going to. Ok so people have been really hatin on her. I don’t like her because I think her music is stupid and she is not even talking about anything. At least those terrible rappers talking about girls, money and the hood are talking about something she is literally talking about nothing. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is white she just sucks. She has no lyricism & if you listen to her songs she has no content. Most her songs have do with her vagina, her ass & her swag. Seriously? I listened to an interview Hot 97 did with Azalea Banks (who I’m not really a fan of) of the whole thing and she honestly even cried at times. Mad as hell that they are just taking away from under our noises and I think what really hurts her is that one of our own is promoting her. Now if she was a good rapper then it might not be a big deal but to take a culture you know nothing about and try to imitate it is sad. Course I did notice that they had an interview with Iggy as well and they talked the whole interview about sex and her sex life not even about the music.

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Then you have of course the many twitter feuds with people and Iggy and how ignorant Iggy real sounds. Now of course we know her and Azalea have had the most back and forth and then you have the Snoop thing (which by the way I had him as a friend on Instagram but after this I had to unfriend him not because I was on her side just because his mems would get crazy and a little out of hand and I’m not down for that. But Iggy needs to learn to take a joke.) but the one that really got me was when Q-Tip who I am a huge fan of love me some Tribe, he tweeted her some straight up hiphop knowledge about why the game was invented and was going full history lesson on her. She had the nerve to go and tweet back that she was not about to play hiphop squares with a stranger. Really?! Then her little guard dog T.I. chimes in with something really stupid and ignorant. If I was a true lover of hiphop I would respect what Q-Tip was saying and then I would shut my mouth. You can’t always defined your cash cow. And then the fact that some other “rappers” came to her defense, one being Lupe Fiasco who I regard highly as staying true to the game and spitting truths but not lately.

Now I can’t say what she is putting out there isn’t what is out in hiphop today (hens why I don’t listen to mainstream hiphop) but if you were really in love with a music genre you would try to make it better even a little bit. Yes I know trying to sell records but really you are giving the youth this garbage and making them believe in it. Sad!

I mean even Macklemore is trying to uplift and bring something to the culture. With his songs like “A Wake”, “White Privilege”, “Starting Over”, and of course “Same Love” he is trying to continue the progress of hiphop not just sell a stupid record. I mean he still has feel good records at the same time but they are at least danceable. Shoot and he is still indie and poppin off. I mean I know a lot of fans were pissed that he won best hiphop at the Grammys last year but even he has said he thought Kendrick had a better album. Don’t hate on him because of his skin color you would never do that to Em.

Anyway of course there are still artist trying to uplift is this crazy time we are livin in in terms of who we are.

Another thing that I’ve noticed all too much is these kids trying to dress like us and I will go down the street and see a white kid blasting his music in his car, sagging, locking his hair, ect. but they don’t wanna have to deal with the burden that all of that can be on a POC. My aunt had locks for 20 years and she hates it when she sees a white person with locks she’s like they’re not even locks just matts. *Disclaimer this is just how my aunt feels. I sometimes think some white guys with locks are kinda cute and I see you guys fascination with it but I can also see where my aunt is coming from when locks came out of slavery and are a spiritual connection for POCs. Now I’m not saying don’t wear them but be respectful.*

Katy

You know I pride myself on being a hippie child who excepts everyone and everything but that doesn’t mean I turn away when I see cultural appropriation or racism going on. It happens in the native community too sadly. On the one hand natives are the most oppressed group of people in this country more then blacks, and they are treated just as bad if not worse on their own land. On Halloween hipsters and kids dress up like slutty versions of us as a joke. Or the fact that we have a racial slur as a sports team name. On the other hand if you are black and native and wanna enroll in a tribe then they pull the blood quantum thing on you but in the same breath will allow a white person in the oppressor. Sad! I mean it happens on all fronts, but I do think there are ways to appreciate a culture while still being respectful of it without taking it away from them.

To me these celebrities and artist are the biggest platform that some of us have. And with this whole police brutality thing, a lot of celebrities (especially POC) have been absent from the conversation. Now I know Macklemore and J-Cole have gone to Ferguson and helped and saw first hand what was going on. Even athletes have worn shirts and been in solidarity. But I have noticed that the biggest artist and celebrites have been nowhere to be found. Yea I’m looking at you B, Jay-Z, Rihanna (some times), Nikkie, Iggy ect. I hate all of your music but if you guys are going to be the faces of this generation try to do them right. It’s not all about the money and y’all piss me off because you can’t even ware a shirt or write a song about this or any issue and this is why, I can’t listen to mainstream music because there is absolutely no stream of consciousness at all and it sickens me!!!!!!!!!!!! Where are you Lauryn Hill!!!!!

http://mikelynn2626.blogspot.com/2012/03/mainstream-music-sucks.html

All this being said you know I can’t leave y’all without some music and some article links and YouTube videos.

Now with this I am going to link some of Macklemore’s music, Em and Beastie Boys music to show that they are not all out to get us and take it all away from us they just love the music and you can’t really fault them for that. I will also link to the Azalea Banks & Macklemore interviews that Hot 97 did with them. Now I know this post is kind of random and I really hope no one is offended by anything I wrote. You know I believe in the one people and value us all the same as humans on our great Mother Earth. This will probable be the last post that I write about mainstream non scene (I hope), but this was too in my face not to comment.

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Anyway again Happy New Year and I will catch y’all on the flipside in 2015! Love <3

The Iggy/Q-Tip Thing:

http://radio.com/2014/12/22/t-i-q-tip-twitter-iggy-azalea-azealia-banks-beef/

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.31855/title.iggy-azalea-responds-to-q-tips-tweets-calls-them-patronizing

http://www.ebengregory.com/2014/12/23/lupe-fiasco-defends-iggy-azalea-twitter-rampages-soon-after-tweets/

Azalea Banks:

Macklemore Interview:

Youtube Vloggers:

http://m.youtube.com/channel/UCzTTM7g6KJ1lFF9wuJCdvTg

Macklemore Music:

111312-shows-106-park-white-rappers-Macklemore

Em Music:

HIT-MISS-Eminem

The Beastie Boys Music:

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