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  1. #1
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    Default The ol' ethno-tourism question

    Sorry if this has come up in one of the other threads and I missed it, but has anyone heard Murs' verses on the topic of white people into hip-hop on the track 'And this is for'? The track's on his album with 9th Wonder, '3:16'.

    Pretty good I reckon, fairly equivocal in that he's acknowledging that probably most of his audience is white and he has worked with a large number of white people in hip-hop... he's mainly just sounds like he's thinking out loud, which is a plus in my mind, but he's basically putting the record straight about what he reckons the boundaries lie with how much an insider can understand what it's like being an outsider.

    I could look at transcribing some lyrics if anyone's interested, can't find any evidence of them online at the mo.

    As an aside, I read an interview with him on some UK hip-hop site where he was saying that grime was the best thing about UK hip-hop. Not wanting to re-open the debate on whether it is hip-hop, but if the "UK hip-hop" scene is as purist as people seem to be suggesting on here then that's a pretty funny slap in the face.

  2. #2
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    Lyrics would be good.

    It seems that the UK hip hop scene is more open to white people than the US one. Which is good i guess. That might be a result of the fact that it is an imported culture, so no one group can really lay claim to it.

  3. #3
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    Fuck boundaries. If you believe in individual liberty, then it is the responsibility of no one but the individual as to how they approach the world.

    http://onepearsallandhisbooks.blogsp...hairstyle.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearsall
    Ideological multiculturalism, in its desire to 'celebrate diversity' by calcifying difference, is explicitly anti-individual and weirdly coterminous to nationalisms of all forms that insist there is an 'authentic' way to be a member of any group. Perhaps I am hopelessly libertarian, but I don't think it is anyone but the individual's responsibility and choice as to how they approach the world, especially on benign matters like hairstyles, clothes, music choice, reading matter, and so on. Everyone should have the right to approach the world in whatever way they choose, as long as that doesn't impinge on others' freedoms. If that means white suburban teens dressing in baggy clothes and talking like they're from Brownsville, then that's fine, it's their choice. The ideological multiculturalism that says that there are boundaries beyond which the European/European-descendant cannot pass because of fears of 'appropriation' implicitly implies that all members of other groups cannot behave, dress, or think in ways that might be considered, by some arbitrary standard, 'not of their culture'. Which is, of course, a direct attack on personal liberty.

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    I'm big on scare quotes.

  5. #5
    Omaar Guest

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    Pearsall - I think your reply suggests that you believe every subject ultimately determines their own life based generally on conscious decisions, while I'm more inclined to say that broader structures play a large role in determing how people act or think.

    Also I think appropriation can in certain cirsumstances constitute an attack on other people.

    Mike - I'm quite keen to reply but had better not jump the gun and assume what that rap is on before i hear it ..or read it if you post it. Hearing it might have more impact anyway. I'll host it if you like ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaar
    Pearsall - I think your reply suggests that you believe every subject ultimately determines their own life based generally on conscious decisions, while I'm more inclined to say that broader structures play a large role in determing how people act or think.
    Quite obviously people's lifestyles (accent, religion, cultural consumption patterns, etc.) are heavily influenced by their environments (and particularly their parents and friends), and are only partially the result of direct conscious action. That's not my point though. I think that people should have the right to choose how they want to live. Navel-gazing about 'apropriation' generally revolves around the assumption that there is an autonomously correct way to be something. People have been adapting ideas from each other since recorded history began, and there are all kinds of inter-connections between peoples.

    I always find it weird to hear such arguments from self-declared progressives, as it's an obvious loan from nationalism ("this is our people, and our people are this, and don't stray from these arbitrary boundaries I have decided on").

    But, having firebombed that field of straw men, I'll see the lyrics.

  7. #7
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    Sorry to be cheap, but it's a "direct attack on personal liberty" to not allow an individual to say someone else shouldn't behave a certain way too. How personal liberty deals with incommensurate ways of living is kind of complicated.

    I'll try to sort out these lyrics anyway, so we don't go arguing over straw men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael
    Sorry to be cheap, but it's a "direct attack on personal liberty" to not allow an individual to say someone else shouldn't behave a certain way too. How personal liberty deals with incommensurate ways of living is kind of complicated.
    What is the correct way of being white? What is the correct way of being black? What is the correct way of being Chinese, or French, or Persian, or whatever? Isn't that what this boils down to, that there is some kind of correct way of being a member of a racial/ethnic group, and to adapt ideas that someone from another group came up with is a bad, bad, baaaad thing.

    In fact, I think that these appropriations/cross-pollinations/whatever (specifically: white suburban youths dressing and speaking like a specific type of inner-city African-American) often (hell, usually) come across as foolish or clumsy, but it's not my business to say that they can't do it, and it ain't yours either.

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