Colorlines’ Akiba Solomon says that after seeing the video for Lupe Fiasco’s new song, which likens modern hip-hop imagery to blackface, she’s even more convinced that the artist is on to something deeper than meets the eye.
Now that I’ve seen the video for the song, which likens modern hip-hop imagery to blackface, I’m even more convinced that Fiasco is on to something much deeper than what “Spin” critic Marc Hogan has dubbed preachy “mansplaining” and his colleague Brandon Soderberg derided as a “muddled, mealy-mouthed missive about rap and misogyny.”
First of all, I’m glad that Fiasco is preaching something other than “racks on racks on racks,” and that he’s doing it on the same unsubtle frequency as his peers and competitors. You can’t challenge popular, beat-you-over-the-head hooks like, “that’s that shit I don’t like!” with complex wordplay and abstract imagery. And as my colleague and friend Jamilah Lemieux suggested earlier this week, there’s something very fishy about two white male critics being so dismissive of the song because it offends their personal aesthetic.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not OK with respectability politics or black maternal-shaming. If I was able to, I would sit down with the Chicago MC and explain how women, particularly women of color, aren’t solely responsible for gendered slur-prevention and how we’re certainly not the ones who make it so damned seductive in the first place.
Still, I think the key here is a meaningful consideration of a community rather than just the art it produces. Call me preachy, but I think we need to hear more straightforward challenges to the prevalence of “bitch” from black males (yes, black males) who use it in multiple ways with few consequences.
Read more at Colorlines.
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