Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> hip hop digest vol. 4 [sonar radar, eyescratch, mcgee]
nettime on Tue, 7 Jan 2003 13:15:17 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> hip hop digest vol. 4 [sonar radar, eyescratch, mcgee]

Sonar Radar <intothegloaming {AT} yahoo.com>
      Re: <nettime> hop hip digest [fusco, williams, porculus, butt]

eyescratch <eyescratch {AT} terminal.cz>
      Re: hip hop is dead

Art McGee <amcgee {AT} freeshell.org>
      Re: A Eulogy to Hip Hop 


Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 21:57:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Sonar Radar <intothegloaming {AT} yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> hop hip digest [fusco, williams, porculus, butt]

unfortunately to me this whole conversation is missing
one salient point... the current hip-pop ushered in by
everyone ranging from p. diddy to jay-z to nelly to
mystikal and all of the other robin hoods is an
extension of gangsta rap which is not in the strictest
terms hip hop... it's its own thing evolving from NWA
and public enemy, among others. When you consider, the
the legacy of grandmaster flash, run dmc, etc it is
more aptly represented by the likes of tribe called
quest, de la soul and today mos def, jurassic 5, kool
keith, blackalicious and some others i'm too bored to
think of. why anyone in our current state of global
thinking should defend the rights of these most
subversive of exploiters, i.e., the neo-ghetto
troubadours selling "coolture" is beyond me. hip hop
music was a call to "the powers that be" to change
things like police brutality and public policy and
sometimes a call to arms, not a defense of belligerent
and fiscally irresponsible behavior. there were no
bitches in sight. i blame media babies like ice-t and
young black teenagers and 2 live crew who were
interested in the vehicle of urban unrest as a means
to get on TV. why hip-hop and its orphans should be
held to a higher standard than rock, i really don't
know. and we all cry freedom... okay, fine. but,
inherent in american thinking is freedom. and inherent
in american freedom is capitalism. period. hip-hop,
gangsta rap and hip-pop sells. they are not
representative of universal black thought anymore than
rock speaks for white people. anyway, the necessary
meditation that keeps escaping everyone is: what will
we do with our said freedom, capitalistic or
otherwise? i see know point in giving any energy to
what is insignificant, salacious and uneviable esp.
with the global issues that face us in the coming
months. that said, hip hop is NOT dead... the
money-driven, sex-obsessed pop engine which has
accepted it's offshoots is dead. the upside is we have
finally reached a point where art can be seperated
from spectacle. 

so, defend hip hop if you must - it bores me to death
to defend anyone's right to anything - but know that
when you defend it, you may sleep soundly... you are
supporting the right of socially conscious musicians
and NOT the salacious LCD trash that parades across
MTV. and soon enough, as the market continues to
splinter, the monolith will impale itself. 


Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 01:25:42 -0500
From: eyescratch <eyescratch {AT} terminal.cz>
Subject: Re: hip hop is dead

buuuuhuuuuu.... hipitihop. the engine that could could could sold from 
the cities to the SUV laden suburbs recycled cultural musical 
artifacts. I notice that for musicians into the historical dimension of 
hip-hop everything occurring now musically already found a voice in 
hip-hop years ago. Yet those musicians listening to the newer genres of 
dance music proclaim that everything came after hip hop. So what 
happens if the bottom falls out? Here in New York the funnel that 
spurned new music as the active ingredient to movement was shut down by 
the dance police. Maybe that is why so much posturing is going on? The 
rumor was going around that m&m's rip on Moby was part of a Dr. Dre 
conspiracy to decimate electronica. I though it was a us/brit clash, 
and now it turns out that he's just "The White Negro". Either way, Moby 
got jumped up in Boston last week. Three guys wrestled him out of the 
car and beat on his bald head. Times are not getting better. The irony 
of "you only get one shot to fame" and its continual airtime, 
blanketing out the other verse.  Some Warhol in that? Not if you look 
at the 8th mile on VCD, filmed in the theater of Detroit. So much of 
hip hop is staking ground. It has a whole spacial dimension where shout 
out and reference provide dialog and linkage. Was Mosaic compiled with 
Roxanne in mind? So as time becomes fluid, relativity being relative, 

Boredom holds possibility. A time to reflect while riding out a 
recession. Ideas sweep in from overseas. Not like being preached to, 
but inspired by, I guess that's why I liked the eulogy. America numb. 
People are up to trying different things. This would have been greatly 
accelerated had the FCC rules for low-power transmitters gone into 
effect. Did see a piece on Public Access here during the Emmies, where 
the talking head announcer turned around and mooned the camera while 
"Call 212.679.2805 now if you want eminem to suck your dick!" was 
blended in. People find ways to respond to the garbage that is shoveled 
at them. Usually with more garbage, but hey, that's what "culture wars" 
means, right? The ethnography of Trinidad internet doesn't gloss over 
the stance of Trinidad banter in chat rooms which sets them apart from 
their more vulgar brethren up north, by the way! Dynamics at play, if 
we take language as the active ingredient, not everyone wants to be 
euphemized by the clan.  The formula has set to a certain extent, 
wallowing in its own taboo, but that is not how hip hop spread. It 
spread precisely because it refused to fit into traditional media 
channels and simply made its own! It is at these crossroad for reading 
media use and abuse that I beg to differ with the Trinidad expose. Sure 
people using internet communication have no lofty sense of the virtual, 
but in order to come up with these tools abstractions need to be 
sought, dreamed up or worked out, much like the frenetic pulse of early 
bomb squad productions made the leap to post-punk for many european 

You know, what really irks me though is the touting of Wagner 
perfection in the arts is finally paying off - the diamonds are out of 
the rough and on the glossy swimsuit issue cover - the US competitive 
edge agenda in this world is finally finding rhyme. That's all it 
really is. Maybe nihilism is the word, but consumption is the key. The 
eulogy, having been there all along, causes kernel panic. Found the 
pointer yet?


Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 07:09:16 +0000 (UTC)
From: Art McGee <amcgee {AT} freeshell.org>
Subject: Re: A Eulogy to Hip Hop 

So far, only Paul Miller and Coco Fusco have talked about
the elephant in the room, the racial dimension, which is
what the article was *really* about. Although it is
unstated, the author was speaking and venting rage to a
Black audience, a Black American audience, and not a general
hip-hop audience. Implicit in the critique is the reality
that hip-hop sprang from the Black and Latino working-class
in America, and that irrespective of the now tired droning
on by privileged whites about Hip-Hop's now global and
multi-cultural composition, WE created it, and WE feel a
sense of ownership of it, however tenuous or delusional that
is or may have always been. Black people rarely feel that
they have any real control of anything in American society,
and so there is a tendency to try and lay claim to certain
cultural elements as a substitute for what's really needed,
Reparations and Socialist Revolution, not necessarily in
that specific order.

I was actually upset that Paul even bothered to post it on
nettime, because I knew that this being a predominately
white middle-class libertarian academic male space, you
would end up with the typical forms of intellectual
masturbation which ignore the reality of the effect that
Capitalism and White Supremacy have on cultural production.

What the author was railing against is self-evident to me,
and needed no explantion. Even if I didn't feel his critique
was wholly accurate, I immediately recognized and identified
with the anger and alienation he was expressing at the ways
that Black people continue to be reminded that we are not
really free and that true liberation is still a long way
off. Corporate Hip-Hop is just a small dagger that keeps
jabbing us in the side reminding of us of that, but it's
nowhere near being the big picture.

> Those interested in pushing the art-form should do so, or
> if unhappy with it, move on to something else. After all,
> was it not by moving on that Hip Hop was born?

WE will:

"Negro speech is vivid largely because it is private. It
is a kind of emotional shorthand -- or sleight-of-hand -- by
means of which Negroes express, not only their relationship
to each other, but their judgment of the white world. And,
as the white world takes over this vocabulary -- without the
faintest notion of what it really means -- the vocabulary is
forced to change. The same thing is true of Negro music, which
has had to become more and more complex in order to continue
to express any of the private or collective experience."

--James Baldwin
  "Sermons and Blues"
  New York Times Book Review
  March 29, 1959

Art McGee
Communications & Technology Consultant
amcgee {AT} freeshell.org
(510) 967-9381
Circuit Riders International
NPO/NGO Media & Technology Calendar
APC ActionApps Content Management System


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net