Stop Blaming Hip-Hop For What Probably Goes On At Your Church

Last week my friend, and fellow BYP blogger, wrote a gripping piece about the omnipresence of homophobic lyrics in hip-hop through the lens of Tyler, the Creator. Jonathan’s post made me think again about what role I as a listener, and other hip-hop fans have in combating homophobia and sexism within this space. I began to think about a course I took a few years ago entitled “Black Feminism” and how and if a feminist praxis can fit into the hip-hop sphere. What I came to realize is that while hip-hop is laden with sexist and homophobic images and messages, it is not a societal outlier. In fact, hip-hop music like many other genres is merely a byproduct of society.

Essentially, rap is inextricably linked to society at-large, which in and of itself espouses male privilege, heterosexism and nihilism. Hip-hop music was not created in isolation in a social and cultural vacuum, but rather it is a byproduct of unique cultural idiosyncrasies that were birthed in South Bronx in the late seventies and early eighties. Underneath the “b-boying, “mc-ing”, “dj-ing”, and “graffiting”, existed patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny.  Black folks who came of age during the post-civil rights era are commonly referred to as members of the hip-hop generation. They lived in a temporal context where the public discourse had shifted from seeking incorporation into the American polity, to seeking redistributive policies that more fairly allotted government benefits to the most marginalized segments of the population. As such, members of this group had very different outlooks on the social landscape of the country than their foremothers and forefathers. Arguably, hip-hop, both the music and culture, are responsible for the vastly different outlook. Yet, although perceptions about society may diverge from that of the past, much of the “anti-social” behavior that is constructed to be viewed as peculiar to hip-hop are merely reflective of many bastardized social mores that pervade in the Black community.

BYP Afternoon Round-UP: NYPD Received $4.6 Mil from JPMorgan Chase, Eddie Long Wants His Money Back, and MORE!

October 3rd, 2011


Forbes writer E.D. Kain has written a pretty good op/ed regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement, arguing that while it’s impossible for anyone to predict where things are heading, there’s also nothing wrong with a little Progressive pushback given the incredible Tea Party racket we’ve all been subjected to over the past couple of years.

Best quote:

“I can’t predict the future. Anyone who pretends they can is selling you something. But the times do appear to be changing. Republicans are accusing the president of class warfare. It sounds a lot like someone complaining that they got hit back first.

Maybe a little class warfare is just the thing this country needs.”


I Wish #OccupyWallStreet Critics Would Get Off the Couch and Get in the Game

After the Occupy Wall Street Movement finally got some coverage form the mainstream media, due to some very bad behavior by the NYPD, the blogosphere began to buzz with post after post about what #OccupyWallStreet was doing wrong. From the message to the way the protestors were dressed, #OccupyWallStreet was dissected and criticized by so called strategists for what it was lacking. Now no group or movement is above critique, but now it seems, all of the sudden everyone had the answers about how to protest Wall Street.

This is of course made me wonder, where the hell have y’all been for the last few years? How come these” movement experts” didn’t properly articulate their ideas and organize people behind them? This is the first movement to really shine the light on the architects of the economic collapse and, it’s not just gaining traction, but spreading to other cities and countries. I’m sure they’ll take sincere suggestions and help, but the hating from the sidelines, by armchair activists needs to stop.

Find an Occupy movement near you and sign up or join a organization that’s doing something to change the world. A good idea will remain just that if we don’t do the real work necessary to bring it to fruition. I wanna be with people working and sacrificing to make a difference.

“Whether your black, brown, red, yellow, white you just a way to a means cause the only color that matters is green” -The 99%


Today in Post-Race History: A Rock and a Hard Place

I really hate it when politics interrupt my fantasy football preparation. There I was checking Twitter for tweets that might help my abysmal fantasy team when I started seeing posts about presidential candidate Rick Perry’s little problem.

In case you missed it, according to a story published in The Washington Post last Saturday, Perry’s family’s hunting camp was known as Niggerhead. In fact, the word was etched on a rock at the camp’s entrance and, according to the article, the word was not painted over for quite some time.

Gosh, don’t you just love vintage America?

Adele's "Someone Like You" Video is Completely Unoriginal and Depressing…And I Love It.

The highly-anticipated music video for Adele’s epic, album-closing “Someone Like You” hit the internets last night.

It’s your classic, melancholy music video; relentlessly simple, filmed in black and white, and almost completely driven by the charisma and beauty of it’s star.

I adore this video…as well as all the videos that came before it that are exactly like it. Because the “Someone Like You” video is also completely unoriginal and beyond formulaic.

And that’s ok.

“I am the Baddest Bitch” LA Basketball Wives: Colorism, Draya vs. Laura, and Overall Worthlessness

So, I will admit I watch Basketball Wives. Yes, I do. However, I think I have to draw the line at LA Basketball Wives. It’s too much. In particular, it’s the colorism of the show that is the most glaring issue for me. On the very first episode, all the light-skinned women (i.e. Gloria Govan, Laura Govan, Imani Showalter, and Jackie Christie) had “beef” with one or two of the darker-skinned women (i.e. Maylaysia Pargo, Tanya Williams, and Kamisha Artest). And, then to add “insult to injury” they, meaning Shaunie O’Neal, removed two of the darker sisters—Kamisha Artest and Tanya Williams—from the show leaving only Malaysia.

So, in some ways, the color issue is resolved. However, now the issue of “acceptable” sexuality rears its ugly head. Draya Michele now becomes the bull’s eye for the women on the show.

Who Brought Colonialism to the Party?

Dedicated to the girl with the red beret. To dissing me for writing about celebrities lately.

Rumor goes that, in Chicago, they shut down the predominantly Black/Latin@ bus routes early to keep us away from the white spaces. Route 80-Ashland, Route 70-Division, just to name a couple, make it hard to experience the nightlife of the metropolis on foot patrol. Philly’s going through the same thing; they got two major train lines that call it a night a few minutes past 12. It’s the story of our lives: the free movement of our bodies causes too much of a security issue to not curb. No don’t tell me that there’s justification, because you’re gullible enough to permit these institutions to classify the crimes of a few individuals as knowledge about the lives of colored people. If this talk is real then you should know that the management of colored people in motion is embedded in a world view.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty and the Burden of Proof

Troy Anthony Davis was killed by the state of Georgia last week. His trial, conviction and the refusal to reverse said conviction is a textbook example of the problem that the burden of proof has started to shift to the party charged with the crime and away from those who prosecute. In a hearing last year, a judge ruled against overturning Davis’s conviction because though he had raised certain doubts about his guilt, he had failed to prove his innocence…


'Faggot', Tyler the Creator and a Culture of Homophobia

Culture in itself is harmless. Simply a hallow word that curls off the surface of one’s tongue. It is only when culture is contextualized that it begins to define our world, our actions, and our perception. When “culture” is paired with another term, it ceases to be ambiguous and comes to life to either uplift or bring peril to the communities that we’re apart of. There is a culture to everything and it is inside of this infinite possibility of culture that lives are both made and destroyed.

There is drug culture, rape culture, black culture, city culture and the list goes on. These various cultures can support, sustain, and nourish both young and old. However, there are cultures that must be fought against at their inception. There are some cultures that should not be allowed to flourish in a society where we desire everyone to be equal. I declare war on the culture of homophobia.

SAT who?

When the SAT asked however many thousands of high school seniors take it every year to find the word that relates most to ‘oarsman’ and the correct answer is ‘regatta’, half of the white test takers knew the answer and a fifth of black test takers knew it. The white kids were more likely to know the answer and a wealthy white kid was even more likely. Culturally biased  test questions have created a ton of controversy because, problematic as it may be, colleges put a huge amount of weight on these numerical values in their judgement of applicants. Standardized testing has been notoriously culture- and race- biased. And the SAT (which makes its efforts) is no exception.