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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: Why not?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=21727&mesg_id=21824
21824, RE: Why not?
Posted by k_orr, Thu Aug-31-00 05:15 AM

>Agreed. I didn't ask the
>right question. What I'm
>really getting at is: HOW
>is the integrity and future
>of hip hop challenged by
>the participation of white folks.

It's mostly on the business aspect. But the business aspect is really the chokehold on the whole culture. There are no minority controlled distribution points. Hip Hop's greatest hope might be peer to peer networking. But we're seeing the net become more corporate controlled.

But outside of that, do black and white fans want the same thing out of their hip hop? Although Johnny and Jamal both got Eminem lp's, only Johny is supporting Limp Bizkit, Beasties, and Korn. The question I wonder is would a black group doing the same thing be received by either group.

As M&M paves the way, you will hear more and more white kids getting into the rock/rap, altering the scene even further. I would guess that we are about to see an explosion of Paul Barman's and El-P's on the underground.

Consider that many college radio dj's are also of white heritage and white folks tend to have a more forgiving ear when it comes to hip hop, you can see how their involvement will change the face of the underground, and then overground.

What happens when white kids don't need to hear black authenticity. We all realize that if eminem slowly drifts towards a kid rock style of hip hop, our music will forever change.

>As you acknowledge elsewhere, the
>actual core audience of an
>artist like Common or Mos
>Def seems to be significantly
>white (if you look at
>record sales and who goes
>to the concerts).

I would argue that it is the same for most artists that make it out of the hood. I live in Texas, and white kids of all flavors love the both the undergrounds. They love the Lil Keke's and Dj Screws (but don't go to those shows in droves), and they also cut for the Aceyalones and Hiero's. (Austin is the 2nd home of most fresh coast mc's). I would argue that these are the same set of white kids, but when it comes to album purchases they make up the same percentage.

If anything, at least in Texas, white kids support the popular hip hop (jay z and what not), as well as the underground hip hop. Black kids support the popular hip hop, and the local underground hip hop.

>this because they have not
>successfully addressed the black community
>in their music,

I think that is a major reason. As a college radio dj and community hip hop person, I've met countless of underground and 'conscious' black mc's that were not at all interested in addressing African Americans. Another problem in my locale, is the promoters often don't go to the hoods to promote the shows.

But on an artistic level, at least with Austin black folks, the Aceyalone's and Kweli's of the world don't make "bumpable" music.

I personally think that most people listen to production first, and then pay attention to the image of an mc. Few folks actually listen to what folk say, despite the uncanny ability to memorize every word.

But you also have to realize I live in Texas. So my folks will listen to a goodie mob and an outkast. I've noticed on the net, most folks cut for Dre' and wonder why Big Boi is in the group, whereas in my town, it's about even.

or is
>it instead that the record
>companies are not trying to
>sell them to that market?

That is also a major element.

In fact when I really think about it, I don't know who is more at fault.

3 players, the artist, the label, and radio stations. Once the labels and the radio stations guage the public right, if you aren't the specific sub-set of artists you can't get out to the folks the primary way most folks hear you.

So your cd could be jamming and only 1.99, and folks will get into fights over what is being played on the commercial radio station.

>Here's where I disagree somewhat.
>I don't think the consumers
>directly determine what the record
>labels (or the media) choose
>to market.

I see where you're going. The labels and radio/video stations control the multiple choices. When one gets some love, then they pour on the saturation. So the consumer chooses, but it's actually the label that makes all the choices.

But labels are always looking for the killer app. So they will try new things. Rock Rap didn't work when black mc's rhymed over rock tracks(judgement night is what I'm thinking of, and Walk this way doesn't count), but it worked well when it was white mc's.

>I see the music industry and
>their perpetuation of racism as
>the problem. I think
>the consumers, to an extent,
>are victims of a system
>that divides musical genres along
>racial lines

I think the people do that. I know for a fact that Black folks didn't want to come to see Outkast because it was on the white side of town. I know white folks who wouldn't go see UGK, even when it was on the white side of town.

Most black heads hear something when a non-black mc comes up to the mic.

and actively promotes
>some of the most negative
>racial stereotypes that exist in
>this country.

I don't know about that either. The evil blackman is apart of the American psyche. Even if you eliminated the so-called negative black images from hip hop, you would still have to contend with them on the nightly news.

And by erasing them from the public debate you aren't addressing the issues that they bring up. That's my main problem with the so-called conscious hip hop heads.

>of white consumers contributes to
>the lowest-common-denominator approach that record
>companies seem to take when
>selling hip hop.

I don't know white people that well. I don't think Lance and Dirk by Snoop because they want to be gangstas. In some cases I've seen white kids ascribe to the ideals of a Snoop character, and in other cases I see a complete hatred for those ideals. I've walked into a Frat Party with a Rebel flag, while they were singing along to Gin and Juice. I've met aceyalone fans that thougth he was too intellectual for most black people. The intersection of race and hip hop leads to some weird places.

>is seriously effed up that
>a strong, intelligent, politically conscious
>black man like Common can't
>be accepted by some white
>people. THAT is a

Is it a problem when Common is not accepted by black folks in his own neighborhood? How about Do or Die (the other side of chicago hip hop) are not accepted by white folks?

It's not cut and dried. The vast majority of black people could care less about Assata's song. And there are a lot of white people who do not believe in pimpology.

>And as for your point about
>the historical self-reliance of black
>musicians, I think that's awesome.

Let me turn you around on that. I'm talking about nowadays gospel, not the chitlin' circuit. Black folks used to be real "self reliant" because of segregation. Black banks, barbershops, grocery stores, mechanics... But things changed after desegregation. In essence that self reliance was forced, a means of survival. I have a feeling of white record execs really wanted to be in the black gospel business, black folks would have no real problems with it.

someone please tell me that I'm wrong.

k. orr