“Black masculinity and respectability are not synonymous, nor do we need/want them to be,” writes the Crunk Feminist Collective
Earlier this year, NBA free agent Jason Collins made history when he broke his silence by Collins was the first active player to ever declare his homosexuality in the Big Three U.S. sports leagues.
He was praised by teammates, officials in the league and the general population, but still remains unemployed.
But now just for being himself, after a career as the epitome of a “team player”, he has been labeled “a distraction” and finds himself on the outside looking in at the start of the NBA season. I attempted to reach out to Jason Collins and ask him about his status as a man without a team, but, as I heard from several people close to the veteran seven-footer, he is not talking.
Two requests: 1. Forgive me for writing about basketball two weeks in a row, and 2. Allow me to wonder aloud for a bit.
I was wrong. Really wrong. Wrong as LL and Brad Paisley’s solution for solving racism (aka Obama’s Race Speech: The Musical). Wrong as my desire to hear Stacey Dash on that remix. I got it wrong. Really wrong. Last year around this time, I predicted that Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins would more than likely be the face of the WNBA. I suggested that the comparatively more traditionally feminine Diggins would prove a more desireable and sellable image for the WNBA than Baylor’s Brittney Griner, whose height, natural hair, voice, and sexuality might prove less tenable for a league aiming for a bigger piece of the sports watching pie, even though I can unequivocally confirm that WNBA games are in some ways more entertaining than NBA contests.
I swung. I missed.
Black gay youth face a unique set of challenges in coming out to family and friends, according to a recent study.
The report – authored by Michael C. LaSala, director of the Master of Social Work program at Rutgers University School of Social Work – asserts that these young men face rigid and exaggerated conceptions of masculinity, making it more difficult for them to find acceptance or accept themselves.
Furthermore, black gay men face a myriad of intersecting oppressions (i.e. racism, homophobia, sexism), and elicit a particular kind of disdain and worry from within their communities and families.
The conscious humyn evaluates and integrates various influences of style regardless of race, gender or and social divisions. If “male” has a significance, you could receive the conscious male and his personality as influenced by Sade or Nina Simone. He, or better the humyn, could express a masculinity/femininity that is too distinct for either/or. Manifesting the Sade in him, he’s not afraid to express his experience of the sweetest taboo. Nothing’s loss of his power to create in the world, though he may tell you that he wants to feel an intense love like no other.
Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, 13 year-old rapper Lil’ Mouse’s music video “Get Smoked” has racked up nearly half a million views on youtube.
But his profanity-laced gangsta rap lyrics – rife with references to drugs, sex, and guns – has sparked outrage on and offline.
Many are pointing to the song’s content, it’s writer’s age, and the surging murder rate in his hometown as serious cause for alarm. But in an interview with NewsOne, P. Noble – the video’s producer – argues Mouse is simply “keeping it real;” detailing the goings on in his community, while making a little money in the process.
Since when has skateboarding become a standard by which we judge black masculinity? Prior to Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams, you would not see skate culture—promotion of local skate shops, perfection of kick flips and ollies, etc.—in music videos. Back then, the culture had an explicit expression whether it was Mr. “Skateboard P” himself or Lupe’s “Kick, Push” video—featuring a series of images of Chicago’s skate spots.
Style, or the way we construct our dress, seems capable to achieve political goals—equal to the power of protests. Speaking from experience, I did not know that my clothes upset the authority figures. Since my professor claimed that I was funny-looking last night, I’ve found a complement in my teacher’s words. Where he was speaking from started at a position, of a certain way of looking at the body. Each new generation violates the laws for presenting the body of the previous generation. This historical function should reveal another strategy for change, another method of power.
14 year old black boy says: “I want to be one of the big black boys.”
14 year old black boy says: “So, I killed my black mother with a twelve gauge shot gun.”
Since when does killing your black mother make you a big boy? I know this is the Black Youth Project and we are advocates for black youth, but sometimes you have to pause and say, “Who told you son that killing your black mother would make you a man?” Have we cheapened . . . completely extinguished the experiences and voices of black boyhood that now to enter into black manhood, our sons must kill their mothers. Yes, kill their black mothers. Since when did killing black mothers become a Rites of Passage program? As a bone-a-fide black feminist who often writes about black women and black girlhood, we need to develop a national Rites of Passage program for young black men. And, yes, I know the issue is not simply behavioral that systems of oppression—racism, sexism, heterosexism, class, and many others—shape access to resources and definitions of manhood. But, when a black boy says, “I want to be one of the big black boys, So, I killed my black mother with a twelve gauge shot gun because she told me I could not play with them,” we need to develop quickly ways and outlets for young black men to know they have become men.
Drake is clearly the most divisive figure in Hip Hop today.
And I’m trying to figure out why.
Now the easy answer is folks just ain’t feeling his music. But I’m not convinced. I know so many Hip Hop fans that really just don’t like Drake. By that I mean the very idea of Drake. Half white. Canadian. Middle class. Kinda clean-cut. Child actor. Always crooning. And pouting. And emo and shit. He’s almost the exact opposite of what our concept of an emcee has always been.
And that’s what’s so interesting about him. Like it or not, he’s breaking the mold. And he’s winning.
So don’t fight the feeling. And get comfortable.
Because Drake is coming into his own; and he’s about to go to the next level.
And here’s why…
As a Black person, are you afraid to call Eminem the greatest rapper of all time?
Or perhaps just unwilling.
Me? I’m not so sure.
I don’t think I’m opposed to Slim Shady being the GOAT; he’s just not my choice. Despite what many might assume from some of my prior articles (like this one or that one), Jay-Z has always gotten my vote as the greatest rapper of all time.
But I would never exclude Eminem from the conversation entirely.
Others…not so much.
Gangster-Rap-Godfather Ice-T is really unhappy with the mainstreaming of Hip Hop. And outside the premier of his new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” HE WENT IN.
On Rick Ross:
He thinks he’s [Freeway] Rick Ross, he thinks he’s Larry Hoover, he thinks he’s Big Meech, he thinks he’s MC Hammer, he thinks he’s Tupac. Like, who the f*ck are you really, dude?”
On Lil Wayne and Hip Hop Going Pop:
“Rap was a counterculture that went against pop. But when you have Rihanna singin’ on your records and you’re doin’ records with Katy Perry, that’s no longer rap. It’s pop music, pop using rap delivery. When you hear Lil Wayne sayin’ ‘I got a chopper in the car,’ you go, ‘Yeah, right you do.‘”
Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.
“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”
The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.
A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.
But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.
So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.
Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:
“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”
Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.
Then he says this:
“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”
This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).