On Blackness, Humanity and 'The Art of Rap'

Gaye Theresa Johnson, writing for the Huffington Post, says that Ice-T's movie The Art of Rap demonstrates that hip-hop has re-created itself to become a space for black collective commentary on contemporary social issues.

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In a piece for the Huffington Post, Gaye Theresa Johnson says that The Art of Rap demonstrates that rap has re-created itself to become a space for black collective commentary on contemporary social issues.


The Art of Rap writes humanity back into rap music in a moment when black people are more popular than ever in mainstream society, but in some incredibly damaging ways. We've mistaken the proliferation of black images in the media for the notion that there is some kind of equality of positive representation of black humanity. The death of Trayvon Martin and the commentary surrounding it (most notably Geraldo Rivera's stupefyingly racist comment that Martin's choice as a black male to wear a hoodie was the reason he was perceived as a threat) reveals that America is not post-racial, it is constantly creating racial problems anew.

In its revelation of the artistry and humanity that hip hop is at its best, this film places rap music in its rightful place: as one of the most powerful art forms in the history of cultural production. It's not a game. It's The Art of Rap.

Read Gaye Theresa Johnson's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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