|Article on Hip-Hop. Link at the bottom.
||[May. 7th, 2007|11:24 am]
Hip-Hop Profanity, Misogyny and Violence:
Blame the Manufacturer
On a Spring day at McDonald's fast food restaurants all across Black America, counter clerks welcome female customers with the greeting,
"What you want, bitch?" Female employees flip burgers in see-through outfits and make lewd sexual remarks to pre-teen boys while bussing
tables. McDonald's managers position themselves near the exits, arms folded, Glocks protruding from their waistbands, nodding to
departing customers, "Have a good day, motherf**kers. Y'all my niggas."
Naturally, the surrounding communities would be upset. A portion of their anger would be directed at the young men and women whose conduct
was so destructive of the morals and image of African Americans. Preachers would rail against the willingness of Black youth to debase
themselves in such a manner, and politicians would rush to introduce laws making it a crime for public accommodations employees to use
profanity or engage in lewd or threatening behavior. However, there can be no doubt that the full wrath of the community and the state
would descend like an angry god's vengeance on the real villain: the McDonald's Corporation, the purveyor of the fast food experience product.
Hip Hop music is also a product, produced by giant corporations for mass distribution to a carefully targeted and cultivated demographic
market. Corporate executives map out multi-year campaigns to increase their share of the targeted market, hiring and firing subordinates --
the men and women of Artists and Recordings (A&R) departments -- whose job is to find the raw material for the product (artists), and shape
it into the package upper management has decreed is most marketable (the artist's public persona, image, style and behavior). It is a
corporate process at every stage of artist "development," one that was in place long before the artist was "discovered" or signed to the
corporate label. What the public sees, hears and consumes is the end result of a process that is integral to the business model crafted by
top corporate executives. The artist, the song, the presentation -- all of it is a corporate product.
**This really ties in to why the ridiculous Imus thing was a fart in the wind, but also speaks to something bigger. People actually buy into the self-hating Black man myth. Yes, they sadly exist. It's got nothing to do with hip-hop that they do. I am not even a great consumer of hip-hop music. That isn't even the point. No, this isn't a victim cry. It just got me thinking about image and how it's...indicative of the denial of three dimensions. I just posted it because it made me think about my place in the bigger culture, if I have any. What does it mean if I don't have a place? Is it a freedom from the rat race that I should use to my own advantage? (And to the advantage of those in similar positions) I'll post more about some stuff we've been going over in my Race, Gender and Class in the US Economy class. I'll put that under the right filter. This is just general 'friends' and I wanted to post it before I forgot. I don't need any comments. Just feeling thoughtful. And those who I'd be willing to discuss it with already have my e-mail address. This is the underground me, stuff that I ruminate on and act on more than something I discuss with others. People often sleep on me -- don't think I'm taking stuff in or think I'm more relaxed about it than I am. =shrug= I don't feel the need to explain when suddenly they're on the outer perimeter of my world rather than the inner sanctum. No hatred of them as human beings. I don't have that in me. Just disappointment that those who seem so...well-rounded just don't get it sometimes. More later. Or shortly. Or whenever....