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Thread: Childish Gambino

  1. #31
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    should go without saying that being expected to stand for/embody/represent a set of values just by dint of your race is dehumanising in the extreme. and yet this is still a huge part of discourse around black music, explicitly or implicitly.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woebot View Post
    Postscript: It's the failing of Trap that it hasn't been able to produce something of this cultural power.
    and all due respect to your wide musical knowledge in many areas, but come on man - how much trap do/have you actually listened to?

    I don't listen to any trap at all but I'm still 99.99% sure that is wrong - please Crowley, Barty, etc help with actual examples

    also it's the same tired argument white music cognoscenti have been making for decades privileging roots over slackness, conscious over gangsta, etc

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    still a huge part of discourse around black music, explicitly or implicitly
    what I meant above, roots v slackness, gangsta v conscious, etc

    every black (+ to a lesser extent other non-white) artist has to grapple with that representation question at some point in a way that white artists virtually never do

    you'd indeed think that would go w/o saying at dissensus of all places. frankly I was kinda shocked at that part of Woebot's comment for that very reason.

  4. #34
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    tbh if he keeps making stuff like/as good as This Is America, good on him, however he got here.

    a fully self-aware post-Kanye is a helluva lot better than the current MAGA slavery was a choice Kanye.

  5. #35
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    sure im just saying there is another pitfall on the other side of the equation in which blackness is
    equated with/reduced down to slack/gangster and everything else deemed as inauthentically black.

    there
    is
    a social reality in which every note played by a black musician gets dragged into these stale binaries regardless of their intentions but, y'know, sad innit

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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    in which blackness is equated with/reduced down to slack/gangster and everything else deemed as inauthentically black
    absolutely. I'm not trying to recreate that binary tbc.

    w/earlier Gambino it specifically comes across like the kind of borrowing white rappers often get accused of. or Squarepusher's relationship to jungle proper.

    Janelle Monae is a better example to me of a big current figure pushing at the boundaries of "authentic" while still drawing on various afrofuturist tropes.

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woebot View Post

    Postscript: It's the failing of Trap that it hasn't been able to produce something of this cultural power.
    That is a gargantuan dismissal and it ignores the fact that this man's celebrity exists far beyond music and not to mention, he is a well-regarded figure outside of that whole genre's audience. He was in essentially one of America's most critically endorsed comedy TV Shows for a few years.

    I get the notion of your remark is in the fact that the music should've produced political art that's equivocal or could rival it in some ways which, again, very dismissive of a lot of the politics embedded within that don't require overt presentation, but even in any case you're failing to recognize media visibility and an ease of access he has that a lot of those artists you're claiming have failed to achieve this (if we want to call it a desirable goal) don't.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    crowley is very explicitly saying gambino is not black enough.
    It has absolutely less to do with his blackness, more to do with his intent. Which is an ultimately conjectural based argument but when you look at his art and the audience who is consuming it (which just to be clear, does not appear to be the same audience as trap) you then have to ask why is it not reaching across rather than simply kind of playfully striking against the people for whom this is a lark and an amusement.

    "The gosh darn black plight!"

    It's tainted as well in the wake of the Kanye social media antics in that it's instantly heralded with superior value to the lack of art that Kanye's made, or even as far as the lack of satisfaction in art that Kanye's made in recent times. To be clear, the present day rap community has no shortage of artists who are explicitly taking homage from Kanye and moving it in directions more conventional to his older material (Including Gambino in many respects). The strange antagonism of ELIMINATING Kanye because he's "failed" the general public and supplanting him with artists who re-approach older ideas is baffling to me, and that Gambino's video has benefitted from that instantaneous contrast undermines the resonance in that it affirms belief of inequality and danger, not that it challenges.

  10. #39
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    i want to ignore everyone else and puruse my own tangent for a little while. feel free to ignore me in return.

  11. #40
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    blackness is such a powerful symbol that everyone wants to co-opt it.
    http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=2594
    i revived this thread partly becasue it's such a vivid example of that.
    political revolutionaries want all black people to be Chuck D
    liberals want all black people to be Ta-Nehisi Coates, or like, ?uestlove or something.

  12. #41
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    black people have come to occupy the role the proletariat did for middle and upper class Marxists.

  13. #42
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    if i do a list of the top of my head of what black music represents to me and the things i have learned from it...

    blithe sophistication (e.g. george benson)
    ecstactic religious communion (gospel tradition)
    spiritual seeking and aspiration (eg coltrane)
    Rebel Music (eg Bob Marley)
    the Stag o' Lee archetype
    Technical excellence. mastery of musicianship
    afro-futurism
    humanist compassion (eg curtis mayfield)
    emotional literacy and expressiveness
    righteous anger...
    dovetailing into political militancy
    extreme altered states and psychedelic voyaging (eg george clinton)
    conceptual continuity (clinton again, wu tang)
    occulted and hermetic wisdom (wu, sun ra)
    libidinal energy and and sexual liberation
    ache of unrequited desire
    gleeful ignorance/immaturity/id
    highbrow, high art, high concept avant gardism (cecil taylor etc)
    shameless cornball sentimentality (lionel richie)
    warm, organic, natural, unaffected, soulful (on the one hand)
    cold, posthuman, hard, uncompromising (on the other)
    continuity of tradition and respect for the ancestors (on the one hand)
    uncompromising pursuit of the future (on the other)
    sophisticated, urbane, louche (on the one hand)
    raw, untutored, passionate (on the other)

    taken as a whole black music expresses and embodies every potential of the human spirit,
    unsuprisingly, given that, taken as a whole, it represents one of the major creative achievements
    of civilization. one of the strongest and most vital of all artistic lineages.

    but it's not reducible to any one aspect. it can, and does, do everything.
    Last edited by luka; 12-05-2018 at 04:11 PM.

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  15. #43
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    you can have a tweet like this say
    https://twitter.com/jaycaspiankang/s...14376435097601

    which is predicated on an unspoken -black people lol your job is not to be nerds its
    to represent a mythic unmediated masculinity to me by mostly talking about
    guns and your dick-

  16. #44
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    hip-hop culture wars
    thread is also relevant.

  17. #45
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    kanye and gambino both profit from the same supposition
    that is, that what they do is important because of the platform they have,
    not because it is original, startlingly brilliant and unexpected
    but becasue it's a famous person doing it. Dean Blunt, (who i have never listened to,)
    wouldnt get the same response for the same moves becuase, who the fuck is that\?
    Last edited by luka; 12-05-2018 at 03:56 PM.

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