13 November 2007

Now That Ain't Hip Hop

This review of The Hip Hop Live show on Sunday night in Minneapolis set me off on quite a rant today.

A link to the review was posted on mnspeak & I commented giving an abreviated version of what I was thinking so my point would not be lost.

But, alas, I have a blog. So I can continue my response, a little subdued now, but none the less here it is.

This review made me really, really mad. As I worked my shift tonight I tried to figure out exactly what made me see so much red from reading it. I think back to that show on Sunday night & feel lucky to not only have witnessed the show, which was phenomenal, but to have been a part of that crowd. A friend of mine called me yesterday and we gushed about the show together and agreed that if we had the opportunity to travel to another city to see it we would. This is how good it was. Okay, well that's my review of the show, I guess. Despite that, reading Marsh's review really brought me down. I can tell myself as much as I want that race is irrelevant in this - and to me it is - but I realize that for some it is striking to walk into a Hip Hop show & find a colorful crowd raising their hands in the air together, and it should be. It's a beautiful thing. But when you're on that plane and find yourself reading the term "white negro" in a context that is quite sincere it's infuriating, especially when the opening sentence of the column contains an equally odious name & it's all in the name of stereotyping. Aren't we beyond that? I do believe so.

I imagine Steve Marsh discovering Norman Mailer's "White Negro" essay & excitedly saving it for just the right show to review not even realizing how offensive the whole idea is because, well, he's Steve Marsh. Or perhaps I'm giving him too much credit & he knew how offensive & heinous it was but just didn't give a damn.

Shame on him either way.



  1. What a dick. He sounds like the kind of asshole who had never heard of Norman Mailer until Mailer died (or if he had, he assumed Mailer was already dead). His observations about Mailer were waaay off the mark, and to apply a 50-year-old essay on popular culture to this particular concert/these artists shows not only a disconnect from current popular culture but an impressively lazy intellect. He didn't talk about the performances (ie, the heart of the show) so much as the ephemeral around the show, and then he just talked--he didn't discuss or reflect or detail any interesting aspects; he just strung a bunch of bullshit together and called it a review.