January 27, 2014

Today in White Guilt: White guy wins hip-hop Grammy; another white guy worries about it at length

From the New York Times:
Finding a Place in the Hip-Hop Ecosystem 
JAN. 27, 2014

By JON CARAMANICA 
A couple of hours after the Grammys on Sunday night, Macklemore [a white guy] sent a text to Kendrick Lamar [presumably a black guy], whom he had just beaten out for  best rap album. 
“You got robbed,” the text read. “I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird.” He added, “I robbed you.” 
As a private act, this was a love letter, a way for an artist to honor a peer. As a public act — Macklemore posted an image of the text on his Instagram account, although it’s unclear whether it was with Mr. Lamar’s knowledge — it was a cleansing and an admission of guilt. Not only did Macklemore want to show respect to his fellow rapper, he wanted the world to know that he understands his place in the hip-hop ecosystem and that he is still careful where he steps.
 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis [white], the Seattle duo that has spent the last year upending the rules about how hip-hop interacts with mainstream pop, won four Grammys on Sunday night, for best new artist and in three rap categories (best performance and best song for “Thrift Shop” and best album for “The Heist”). 

I've actually heard the song "Thrift Shop," in which a white guy explains that he buys all his clothes used because you can get some real bargains. (I imagine this is a dig at black rappers, who mostly rap about how much money they waste.)
The rap awards were the most tortured, for artists and observers alike.

Huh?

I'm glad I didn't watch, seeing as how it was torture.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have experienced a very peculiar sort of hip-hop fame, one that has little to do with approval from the center of hip-hop, and it has unfolded largely without black gatekeepers, a traditional hallmark of white rappers through the years. Instead Macklemore & Ryan Lewis jumped straight from the independent hip-hop underground to the pop charts, which has left them scrambling to shore up their bona fides retroactively. 
So when he bests Mr. Lamar — and Jay Z [black], Drake [black] and Kanye West [black] — for a rap award, he makes sure he kisses the ring. “I robbed you” is a strikingly powerful phrase in this context: a white artist muscling into a historically black genre, essentially uninvited, and taking its laurel. This is the entire cycle of racial borrowing in an environment of white privilege in a nutshell: black art, white appropriation, white guilt, repeat until there’s nothing left to appropriate. 
To many, that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were nominated in the rap categories at all was an affront. Hip-hop purists love a good debate about boundaries and who gets to police them. (Almost certainly Macklemore was one of those purists, until he couldn’t be anymore because of his fame.) Last week The Associated Press reported that the two were almost eliminated from competition in those categories altogether by subcommittee members who felt they were, in essence, too pop — and, presumably too white. Like a border militia tasked with passing judgment on infiltrators, those voters attempted a sort-of Grammy version of jury nullification, to no avail. 
The idea was, of course, preposterous. Part of accepting hip-hop’s growth into a pop music juggernaut is to accept that its edges are fuzzier than they once were. “The Heist” is undeniably a hip-hop album, though Macklemore’s songs have more in common with those by rappers like Flo Rida or Pitbull, dance-music-friendly artists who are rarely heard on traditional hip-hop radio. But Flo Rida [black] and Pitbull [white] are not white. 

Pitbull: Not White
Actually, according to Pitbull's Wikipedia bio:
He encountered problems early in his career as a rapper because he looks white with blue eyes, hails from the South, and is Cuban. 

But, America needs Cubans to demand more Hispanic immigration because Mexican-Americans don't seem to be mediagenic enough, so Pitbull's Not White.

Back to the NYT's cogitations:
And part of consuming the Grammys is to accept that when it comes to niche categories, chaos will reign. (The Grammys are one of the few remaining contexts in which hip-hop could be called niche.) Voting in these cases remains a catastrophically broken process. Last week  Complex published an article by a Grammy voter detailing some parts of the system, which included this behind-the-scenes tidbit passed from one voter to the next: “be careful about greenlighting an album by someone who was really famous if you don’t want to see that album win a Grammy.” Macklemore isn’t more famous than Jay Z [not white] or Mr. West [not white], but the nature of his fame is different — it’s likely to have registered with a wider swath of Grammy voters who would be comfortable voting for him in a way they might not have been for Mr. Lamar. 
Presumably Macklemore didn’t text his feelings to the others he bested, either because they didn’t need to hear them or he doesn’t have their numbers, or both. Of the three, only Jay Z was in attendance, though mostly to perform with his wife, Beyoncé [officially not white], and later dance with her in the aisles as Daft Punk [two white Eurotrash guys who perform in helmets like the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers so you can't tell that their 1979 Chic-style hit "Get Lucky" isn't being sung by blacks -- they could be Milli Vanilli under those robot suits for all anybody can see] performed. He also won the Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration, with Justin Timberlake [white, plays golf in case you were wondering].
Mr. Lamar, the least well known of that category’s nominees, “deserved best rap album,” Macklemore added in the comment section of the photo he posted. But note that he didn’t say album of the year, another category in which both were nominated (and lost to Daft Punk). If Mr. Lamar made a better rap album than Macklemore did, then didn’t he make a better album over all? Or was Macklemore ceding the traditionally black category while keeping his claim on the broader one? (Eminem [a white guy] has won the best rap album Grammy five times.) 
 In his effort to be gracious, Macklemore was uncomfortably splitting hairs. As has so often happened in the year or so since he emerged as a pop force, an act that was presumably meant to be selfless and open-minded instead came off as one of self-congratulatory magnanimity. It’s the same problem that bedevils him with “Same Love,” his song about marriage equality [gay marriage], which he performed at Sunday’s awards ceremony (accompanied by Mary Lambert [white, but fat and lesbian] and, perversely, a wild-eyed Madonna [by this point, mostly sinew, gristle, and steroids]) as the soundtrack to 33 weddings, gay and straight, over which Queen Latifah [black lesbian] officiated.
It’s an almost messianic song, and a deeply self-serving way to discuss an issue like equality. 

(Ronan Farrow [a Celebrity-American, who may or may not have inherited some genes for evaluating pop music] tweeted: "For a pro gay song, this sure does feature a lot of Macklemore clarifying that he's straight.")
 In interviews, Macklemore speaks readily about his position of privilege and the role it has played in catapulting him to fame. But incidents like the text to Mr. Lamar reinforce the narrative of Macklemore as tortured intruder, keen to relish his success but stressed about all the shoulders he’s had to step on along the way. It’s a transparent ploy for absolution, and a warning of robberies to come.

To prevent white people from robbing blacks, the only kind of popular music white people should be allowed to create is square dance calling. By the way, as Malcolm McClaren unkindly pointed out 31 years ago in "Buffalo Gals," hip-hop was Stolen from the great white art form of square dance calling:

Commenters point out that rap was a popular country and Western genre in the 1960s and 1970s:
A 1972 version of a 1955 song:

After all, who cares about melody in a song? What's important is to hear what today's youth have to say.
    

165 comments:

FredR said...

It's pretty funny much Thrift Shop, which tells listeners to save money on clothing by shopping at thrift stores instead of buying expensive brand-name clothing to impress people at the club, stands out in the rap genre.

poolside said...

The most interesting part of last night's award show was the old '70s band Chicago, whose medly of hit songs exhibited more melody and complexity than anything that won a Grammy.

Anonymous said...

This is the entire cycle of racial borrowing in an environment of white privilege in a nutshell: black art, white appropriation, white guilt, repeat until there’s nothing left to appropriate.

Don't other races practice appropriation too? They appropriate our forms of government, languages and technology. An ever increasing number are moving into our nations and communities since their ability to appropriate on their own is dubious. Yet I never seem to hear them expressing any guilt about this.

How can we follow Amy Chua's advice if we keep feeling guilty?

Marissa said...

(Ronan Farrow, who may or may not have inherited some genes for evaluating pop music, tweeted: "For a pro gay song, this sure does feature a lot of Macklemore clarifying that he's straight.")

Good God, these people will never be happy.

The reason so many people dislike Macklemore is because he is a straight-up supplicating beta. It's skin-crawling.

Ichabod Crane said...

Macklemore is sorry for winning, but he's not sorry enough.

Shouting Thomas said...

The "whites stole the blues from blacks" thing has always been pretty popular, too.

John Mayall, the father of the British blues scene, is white and he was born in 1933.

B.B. King, who might be thought to occupy a similar stature in the U.S., is black and he was born in 1925.

Mayall and King are, in fact, contemporaries.

Not that this reality will impress the race obsessed. (Or those who harbor paternalistic urges to "protect" blacks from something or other.)

Ray Charles and Willie Nelson made an LP together with the express intent of obliterating the presumed unbridgeable gulf between black and white music, not that anybody caught a clue from that, either.

Steve Sailer said...

I like to recall Prince's Super Bowl halftime show in the rain where he played two covers of songs written by whites and made into hits by blacks (Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" covered by Hendrix and Fogerty's "Proud Mary" covered by Ike and Tina Turner). I think his point was that white and black Americans make better popular music when they borrow from each other.

a very knowing American said...

"To prevent white people from robbing blacks, the only kind of popular music white people should be allowed to create is square dance calling (which rap is the black equivalent of, as Malcolm McClaren unkindly pointed out 31 years ago in "Buffalo Gals.") "

A lot of Doctor Seuss would work well as rap. Or maybe the inspiration for a lot of rappers was "My Fair Lady," where Rex Harrison's limited vocal skills mean that he speaks the words instead of singing them. And maybe some of rap's sexual politics are borrowed from Alfred P. Dolittle and Henry Higgins.

"Why can't a woman
Be more like a man?
Women aint nothin
But bitches and hos."

Anonymous said...

Since when is robbin' a bad thing in rap culture?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBsE4ICwivA

Anonymous said...

"I aint got no flying shoes."

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

When are Kraftwerk going to get an award for basically inventing hip hop?

The blacks, of course, ripped them off, but no one ever talks about that.

Anonymous said...

*The most interesting part of last night's award show was the old '70s band Chicago, whose medly of hit songs exhibited more melody and complexity than anything that won a Grammy.*

Huh. [Goes to youtube] "Who the hell is Robin Thicke?" [Listens to medley] Holy fuck, why the hell did they let this Robin Thicke character on stage with Chicago?

Ihcabod Crane said...

So rappers should really try and get "approval from the center of hip-hop," the "black gatekeepers"? But who are these venerable arbiters who were so unfairly bypassed? Surely had Macklemore gone through the usual rap production channels, he would have been told "Don't keep clarifying that you are straight when you write a gay anthem." But what if the rap gatekeepers turn out to be people like Dr. Dre and Suge Knight, both of whom produced countless gay-bashing pieces (and Knight almost ruined Dre's career by suggesting that Dre was a homosexual.)

Anonymous said...

If Pitbull is not White, Al Pacino must be a Black man.

Anonymous said...

But ... and Pitbull are not white.

Correction: Pitbull is not white UNTIL he commits a crime.

Anonymous said...

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/24/is_miley_cyrus_twerking_racist/

Anonymous said...

"When are Kraftwerk going to get an award for basically inventing hip hop?
The blacks, of course, ripped them off, but no one ever talks about that."

Shame on the whites then.

Anonymous said...

"Pitbull is not white UNTIL he commits a crime."

Shouldn't he now be considered a 'white hispanic' since he 'robbed' a black man?

I means if Zimmerman had not killed a black guy, the media never would have referred to him as white.

Same with Jews. When Jews do wrong or have too much power, they are suddenly 'white' and not Jewish.
So, Hollywood is ruled by 'white males'.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLNx-w7yBFk

I prefer this pitbull.

Anonymous said...

If Pitbull isn't white then neither am I.

Maguro said...

Did the gay marriage song contain a verse saying "Not that there's anything wrong with that"?

Anonymous said...

egosystem is more like it.

Black Orpheus said...

Well, Macklemore is right. Kendrick Lamar's album is miles above M&R's. Lamar's album is a concept album that takes a lens (and a hammer) to ghetto life, dissecting it, and showing what's wrong with it through humor and dark imagery. Macklemore only has the 'bestest ever gay song' going for it, which is why it won. Just reading around here, it seems people are talking while they haven't even listened to either album. Well, don't let that stop you from spewing ignorance.

Anonymous said...

So many Jews stole from Beethoven, Brahms, and Wagner.

Thieves!

Anonymous said...

Jazz Singer.

a very knowing American said...

The "white people are stealing black music" thing that you get with regard to jazz, rhythm and blues, and now hip-hop is a lot like the "Jews are stealing German music" thing that you get from Wagner among others. In both cases, you get an insecure, chip-on-their-shoulder Volk resenting some omni-talented newbys moving in on the one thing that the Volk are really good at. Since you can't deny the new guys' talent, you decry their technically proficient soullessness, hucksterism, and inauthenticity.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nHkOKYht98

Anonymous said...

"But Flo Rida and Pitbull are not white."

Never heard of either gentleman before. Quick google search reveals that Flo Rida is Black. Really Black. Pitbull, of course, is White. Really White.

Is their juxtaposition subtly ironic, another example of a NEW YORK TIMES guy covertly mocking what he is describing (cf the piece on the book that consists of the word "Jew" repeated 6000,000 times), or has he just drunk deeply of the conventional wisdom that race is entirely a social construct, thereby allowing a really, really White guy like Pitbull to be somehow non-White?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that was my thought when I first heard Macklemore's "One Love".

Shorter version: "no homo, but - homos."

He means well but it's an insufferable song. Lyrics, in 2013: "You ever thought about how being gay isn't a choice? Huh? Huh??????? Have you?"

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is part of Chua's thesis that Black Americans lack a supremacist complex? There seems to be a lot of import placed on winning recognition from Whites by Blacks it's almost pathological.

Anononymous said...

Rap is appropriated from square dancing calls.
Tube: Malcolm McLaren - Buffalo gals

Steve Sailer said...

Wagner had a pretty good solution for his emotions of They're Stealing Our Music: create great new music that nobody had ever heard anything like before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-qoaioG2UA

Anonymous said...

a white artist muscling into a historically black genre, essentially uninvited, and taking its laurel.


It's an outrage! The way he muscled in, essentially uninvited!

I've haven't seen anything so infuriating since Jimi Hendrix muscled his way, essentially uninvited, into the rock genre. Or since Kathleen battle muscled her way, essentially uninvited, into the opera genre. Who do these people think they are anyway?

Anonymous said...

'Stealing' is the soul of music.

Germans 'stole' Italian opera.

If you take something and make it your own, then you made it better, like what Stones did with certain forms of black music.

But if you're just imitating, then you suck.

But there isn't much that can be done with yabbity dabbity rap music.

Rap or hip-hop can be fun when mixed into certain songs. But on its own, it's just too much childishness.

beowulf said...

Ehh, if he really thought the other guy deserved it, he could have just given him the trophy (like Ving Rhames giving his Golden Globe to Jack Lemmon).
blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/ving-rhames-gave-his-golden-globe-to-jack-lemmon-what-if-that-happened-at-the-oscars

Anonymous said...

Ooh, rap music is getting sensitive.

Henceforth, all white rappers must rap in apologetic and sensitive mode:

Jus' sayin' sorry bro
Cuz we gots to know
I stole yo' beat
From under yo' feet

I'm punkass and I steal
But I know how you feel
Didn't mean to do no wrong
So I apologize wid dis song

Anonymous said...

White rappers should sing "I'm Sorry" in hip hop beat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLR25EJtfE

Anonymous said...

Macklemore is the Pat Boone of rap.

Anonymous said...

Redneck rap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcaeYmT4wsg

jody said...

the little troll man who accepted the best album award for daft punk was way, grossly out of line for turning the award into a celebration of homosexual marriage. that was wildly inappropriate.

the inability of liberals to even observe basic 'time and place' common sense rules is one of the things that makes me so sad and despondent about our future. what a crappy, shitty future we have. can't even enjoy some music without these assholes ruining the grammy show.

hard to believe we won the cold war so we could get to this.

C. Van Carter said...

Whites rapping in 1967.

Thursday said...

Thrift Shop is one of the most annoying songs I've ever heard. Same Love, though the rapping itself is pretty literal and preachy, at least has a decent hook in the chorus.

Chicago said...

What about black opera singers? Maybe they should be forced to grovel or be accused of stealing other people's culture, or otherwise be browbeaten just so they know their place.

Dave Pinsen said...

"I've actually heard the song "Thrift Shop," in which a white guy explains that he buys all his clothes used because you can get some real bargains. (I imagine this is a dig at black rappers, who mostly rap about how much money they waste.)"

"Same Love" is also a dig at black rappers (and Eminem) for their anti-gay animus. It's really kind of subversive, when you think about it. Macklemore puts the media between a rock and a hard place: side with him against a predominantly black genre, or side with the genre against gays.

RS said...

> To many, that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were nominated in the rap categories at all was an affront.

I know it . . . I know I go apoplectic every time I see some Black dude using a telephone INVENTED BY DOCTOR ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL!!! Hence, ultimately, my relocation to a lean-to in the Yukon.

Or inhaling air -- discovered, albeit not invented, by White male scientists. White people should be allowed to breathe 5% more of it than other races, and White males, 10% more.

jody said...

not to mention discovery was 10 times better than random access memories, but wasn't even nominated for best album.

shows the great, great decline of pop music. of course we knew this years ago when herbie hancock won best album. a true wtf moment.

perhaps the worst moment in the show, aside from the homos, was metallica further dumping on their legacy. wow. that was horrible. seriously guys, just stop. it's time to stop posting, as they say on the internet.

Anonymous said...

In the rap world, wouldn't "I robbed you" work as a boast?

sunbeam said...

Anonymous wrote:

"When are Kraftwerk going to get an award for basically inventing hip hop?
The blacks, of course, ripped them off, but no one ever talks about that."

I kind of think it is more complicated than that. There was a thing called "signifyin(g)" that was a southern black thing going... well way back. No idea when it started or whether the roots go back to West Africa.

Actually hmmm.

Found this link:

http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/creole_art_african_am_oral.html

"Toasting, a modern and primarily urban form of Black oral lore, has its roots in older traditions like signifying and playing the dozens. A toast is a lengthy, recited narrative or poem describing a series of exploits by a central character. Focusing on the main character's heroic acts and exercises of wit, the toast presents values through actions."

I call all this stuff "Signifying."

I've heard some people say Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith started Rap, but I don't really think so. As others have posted there have been a number of songs by white artists over the years that use that sing song narration thing. There must have been some by blacks, but I'm drawing a blank on that one.

If you have ever seen a black movie star named Dolemite in a movie, well he was Signifying personified.

(Wow I didn't know that guy had a real name. Always heard him called "Dolemite." Anyone here is a link to him, and the monkey thing is what it is, not irony, mockery, or anything of the sort.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voxp3ckwJZ0

Really don't know how you would go about tracing the roots of something like this, but it has been around and used for a while.

Then it got big. For some reason. I don't really like it though.

sunbeam said...

Oh yeah, just wanted to add something.

I've heard Allan Ginsburg's Howl.

I much prefer Dolemite.

Anonymous said...

Drake is half Jewish from an upper-middle class Canadian family.

He was also on a kiddie show called Degrassi when he was young.

He shouldn't be allowed to appropriate the music of sufficiently poor and neglected blacks.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

A toast is a lengthy, recited narrative or poem describing a series of exploits by a central character.

Hmmmm. Sounds as if the blacks ripped off Homer.

It never ends.

Anonymous said...

They are coming to make me away ha ha hee hee ho ho

Anonymous said...

Convoy is a terrible example. There were real "rap" songs from white people a long time ago:

Plastic Fantastic Lover

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXTOcLGpwFE

Subterranean Homesick blues:

http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Subterranean+Homesick+Blues/4G9NoK?src=5

Memo from Turner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH4UxlGiD9k

And obviously Walk this Way, which is the genre's only great track:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKttENbsoyk

Anonymous said...

From one geezer to another, I must agree with you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_iRIcxsz0

Marc B said...

"I imagine this is a dig at black rappers, who mostly rap about how much money they waste".

I thought he was encouraging fiscal responsibility among his fan base. Before breaking out, he was part of a White rapper subset whose main audience are White college kids, and they take pride in rapping about things relevant to their demographic (and not acting gangster).

The most impressive thing about his success is that he keeps all of his money because he has no record label and is truly an independent artist. I'm sure some jilted middlemen are trying to figure out how to make a few bucks off of him now that he hit the big time.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5LFD9VDq88

Tom started it.

Anonymous said...

From doo wop to hip hop.

NLA said...

"When are Kraftwerk going to get an award for basically inventing hip hop? The blacks, of course, ripped them off, but no one ever talks about that."

They were given a Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

Btw, Jim Morrison predicted the rap genre back in the early 70's.

Steve Sailer said...

"Convoy is a terrible example."

Not for my purposes!

Anonymous said...

Dylan's Sub Homesick Blues is a bit rappy

Anonymous said...

We will rock you is a bit rappy.

So is a Pink Floyd song on the Wall, but Floyd might have been using rap rhythms consciously.

Anonymous said...

The most luscious use of rap rhythm may have been by Pet Shop Boys with West End Girls.

vinteuil said...

@Steve Sailer 1:25 p.m.: Furtwangler's 1954 recording of Tristan & Isolde is unsurpassed, and probably unsurpassable. Thanks for the reminder.

It's not clear to me, btw, that Wagner's complaint against Jewish composers like Mendelssohn & Meyerbeer was that they were stealing rightfully German stuff. Maybe the idea was more that they were getting rich by appealing to the lowest common denominator while True German Artists like himself were going broke because they were too True, too German & too Artistic.

In historical context, it wasn't an *entirely* crazy thing for him to think. There is, after all, nothing by Meyerbeer, or even Mendelssohn, that even remotely compares to that Tristan prelude.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jZiKFLL6MI

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsyHQgiem8c

Anonymous said...

"And obviously Walk this Way, which is the genre's only great track"

Fight the Power is a great song even though I can't stand it.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/e5qmSEvDEGs?t=29s

oprap

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nauLgZISozs

Rappers should be singing this.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFxWkUkUsQA

Moses supposes the ho'ses be easy

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

The Wham! Rap song, written in early 1980s England, was essentially about how to take advantage of the welfare system and have a good time 'on the dole'. I've no doubt today it would be decried as raciss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsyHQgiem8c

Wham! Rap

Hey everybody take a look at me,
I've got street credibility,
I may not have a job,
But I have a good time,
With the boys that I meet "down on the line"

I DON'T NEED YOU
So you don't approve,
Well, who asked you to?
HEY, JERK YOU WORK
This guy's got better things to do
HELL
I ain't never gonna work, get down in the dirt
I choose, to cruise
Gonna live my life, sharp as a knife
I've found my groove and I just can't lose
I'm style from head to toe
Cool cat flash gonna let you know
I'm a soul boy - I'm a dole boy -
Take pleasure in leisure, I believe in joy!

[CHORUS:]
WHAM!
BAM!
I AM!
A MAN!
JOB OR NO JOB
YOU CAN'T TELL ME THAT I'M NOT
DO!
YOU!
ENJOY WHAT YOU DO?
IF NOT
JUST STOP!
DON'T STAY THERE AND ROT!

Party nights, and neon lights
We hit the floors, we hit the heights
Dancing shoes, and pretty girls
Boys in leather kiss girls in pearls!
Hot - damn! Everybody, let's play!
So they promised you a good job - NO WAY!
One, two, three, rap!
C'mon everybody, DON'T NEED THIS CRAP!

[CHORUS]

IF YOU'RE A PUB MAN
OR A CLUB MAN
MAYBE A JET BLACK GUY WITH A HIP HI-FI
A WHITE COOL CAT WITH A TRILBY HAT
MAYBE LEATHER AND STUDS IS WHERE YOU'RE AT
MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY DAY
DON'T LET HARD TIMES STAND IN YOUR WAY
GIVE A WHAM GIVE A BAM BUT DON'T GIVE A DAMN
'COS THE BENEFIT GANG ARE GONNA PAY!

Now reach up high and touch your soul
The boys from Wham! will help you reach that goal
It's gonna break your mama's heart (so sad)
It's gonna break your daddy's heart (too bad)
Just throw the dice and take my advice
'Cos I know that you're smart
Can you dig this thing? (YEAH!)
Are you gonna get down? (YEAH!)
Say Wham! WHAM!
Say Bam! BAM!

[CHORUS x3]

Do you wanna work
Are you gonna have fun
Do you wanna be a jerk
Are you gonna stay young

Everybody say WHAM!
Say BAM!
Everybody say WHAM!
Say WHAM! BAM!

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOoA9flW2es

vinteuil said...

@anonymous 1:25 p.m.: "I haven't seen anything so infuriating...since Kathleen Battle muscled her way, essentially uninvited, into the opera genre. Who do these people think they are anyway?"

Heh. Kathleen Battle, Leontyne Price, Marian Anderson - evil appropriators of a culture not their own.

I must admit, though, that I wouldn't mind in the least if white people got universally & permanently excluded from the (no doubt) delightful & (apparently) highly remunerative world of hip-hop - no matter what the reasons.

If only.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bV0UxhODFk

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9VSTJRwfIU

bring back yodeling

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

For some White musicians this early tune by the Beastie Boys ["Cookie Puss"] may have served as a way to appropriate rap/sampling for a wider, whiter audience:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyfV9sOhwnc

A close friend of mine, now a NYC-based musician/composer, says this tune changed his musical career. Who knew at the time...?

For the record, I remember those silly Carvel commercials.

Anonymous said...

Some of 'satisfaction' sounds a bit proto-rappish.

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend was upset that the black guy who sings on "thrift shop," wasn't invited on stage, since his hook is the best part of the track.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/CpmZWUPrCgo?t=39s

Anthony said...

C. Van Carter: White people have been rapping since 1879. Or earlier.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whnn9ReUV04

HO!

Anonymous said...

"Convoy is a terrible example. There were real 'rap' songs from white people a long time ago."

Its rhythm is pretty close to Walk This Way, which is rappish but not really rap.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs

Cail Corishev said...

It's never wrong to bring up Convoy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCyuq-ofnPc

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXuPJNXjlRM

Whitey Whiteman III said...

"The Auctioneer" and "I've been Everywhere" are kinda rappy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gblxAoWKsmE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwPDETH2Bn8

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jjiWS__Mp0

Anonymous said...

Since Drake and Kanye West are both middle-class guys emulating hoodrats (megalomaniacal hoodrats, in Ye's case) the competition was more intersectionalist than what you describe.

Mr. Mackerelmore does kind of have a rough-trade street hustler affect, crossed with weenie PC ideology of course. It may have helped net the Lou Pearlman vote.

the late Lou Reed said...

Don't forget my timely hip-hop classick

Anonymous said...

What would black music have been like if there had been South and all American blacks had only been with Yankee whites who spoke proper English?

A big feature of black music is the drawl that they got from hillbillies. It's also what distinguishes black American music from Afro-Latin and Euro-African music. Black music in America has that drawwwwwl sound.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Armstrong & Miller. Another one of my favourites, a comic duo appropriating black/chav speech in WWII conditions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA6iHuH3D14

stereotypes really are always true said...

Should've figured Steve for a Wagner fan...

Anonymous said...

Daft Punk uses samples of (mostly) black funk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZRNq33Obk&feature=youtu.be

a very knowing American said...

Steve Sailer said "Wagner had a pretty good solution for his emotions of They're Stealing Our Music: create great new music that nobody had ever heard anything like before."
vinteuil is probably right that Wagner's animus was more "They're cheapening our music" than "They're stealing our music."
But in any case, does Charlie Parker and the birth of cool jazz represent a similar ethnopsychological dynamic (on not quite as exalted a scale)? I don't really know.

Anonymous said...

The first rap song in history was published as "The Spelling Bee" in 1875 by Septimus Winner. It was performed in the modern era as "Swinging the Alphabet" by the Three Stooges in 1938. Moe also gives a pretty damn good formulaic lesson on how to write rap lyrics at the beginning of the clip. Black people had nothing to do with the genesis of rap, it's a self-inflicted wound created by whites.

josh said...

I saw Madonna with her black adopted son dressed in a bizarre top hat and tails get up,which prompted this thought:Madonna has been with a LOT of black men,obviously;but she never has been knocked up by a black. Only a Cuban and a white. What happened to those black fetuses,as it boggles the mind that there werent SOME mistakes. I think we can guess...widely availabale,legal and safe. Good bye Stymie! Which leads to the question of why Madonna didnt deliberately have a black baby. Why?

josh said...

Re poolside and Chicago: I agree the music of Chicago was superb,but they were,for some reason,kind of humiliated by having to back up Robin Thicke. Huh? Whats he go to do with them. The music was great tho.

forgot my name said...

Steve: I've mentioned before that the process of "Afro-American" music being informed by northeastern choral hymns and proto-bluegrass white folk songs (long before the media-era offshoots like gospel, country, jazz, and R&B) received a dry but methodical overview in Lawrence W. Levine's "Black Culture and Black Consciousness" with several case studies out of the sheet music. Levine was a far-out Berkeley liberal btw.

Anonymous said...

In the same vein as 'Convoy': 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' by the Charlie Daniels Band.

ogunsiron said...

So tired of that cultural appropriation garbage.

I actually ran into an OkCupid profile once where this social justice SWPL White (actually jewish) girl said that she listened to bluegrass to avoid any issues of "cultural appropriation".
I think I asked her if she shouldn't stick to kletzmer instead of appropriating appalachian music. In any case, she seemed non ironic.

A girl I was hanging out with asked me once what I thought about some White guy she knew wearing dreadlocks. I made it quite clear that I didn't lose 1sec of sleep over cultural appropriation. I kept disappointing her. I just never reacted the way she expected an educated black man to react, I think.

Anonymous said...

Daft Punk are a couple of French middle-aged guys who weren't that hip in the early 00s (an interval dominated by macho rap-rock, Eminem, Puffy) but must have hired a better publicist or something before 2006 when they suddenly arbitrarily were deemed the bees' knees. They aren't even the 2nd or 3rd best French techno band in that sub-subgenre. That link posted above shows they have quite good taste in obscure plagiarism, particularly the Edwin Birdsong re-working, but even that was better than RAM, a mushy tripe offering soon to join Christopher Cross and Milli Vanilli in the Muzak pile. This year every Big Four nominee was forgettable disposable fluff, though -- it's by now another back-scratching pseudo-event like the People's Choice Awards or the Spike Awards or the Tonys, except with CBS lamely trying to shoehorn in more promotion for whatever is Chuck Lorre's latest.

josh said...

Some early rapping at the end of the Beatles' "You Knw My Name (Look Up My Number)". This is--tho Lennon insensitively mocks the speaking patterns of upper class Brits--far funnier than anything in that AWFUL "Thrift Shop".

Harry Baldwin said...

When receiving her VMA award in 2009, Taylor Swift was remiss in not acknowledging that Beyonce had "one of the best videos of all time," and doubly remiss in not thanking Kanye West for taking the stage and interrupting her to point that out. Macklemore is demonstrating the proper obsequiousness so perhaps white performers will take a lesson and learn their place.

Anonymous said...

Upper middle class probably doesn't begin to describe Drake. From age 11 he resided in Forest Hill, a Jewish enclave in midtown Toronto which also happens to be one of the richest neighbourhoods in the city.

Whiskey said...

Has anyone cared about the Grammys in years? I mean, Miley didn't twerk in this one did she? If not, why watch?

The MTV awards are where its at, with Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift, or Miley Cyrus twerking. Or Madonna, all gristle and sinew and roids, trying to show how shocking she is by granny-kissing Britney.

At any rate, music sales are down again, so it would seem that the great buying public has mostly taken a pass.

C. Van Carter said...

Daft Punk appropriated a lot from these guys.

Anonymous said...

I think even Bill Cosby would agree that Reelin' in the Years" was the first Rap song.

C. Van Carter said...

This discussion reminds me of Master Juba, a black who appropriated the white art form of minstrelsy, incorporating European influences into minstrelsy's African/plantation slave style dancing.

Anonymous said...

What about American Pie by Don McLean? It doesn't get much more rap than that.

Auntie Analogue said...


On this entire topic, just one word: Meh.

To illustrate my point, does anyone here - off the top of his head, without Googling for it - know the first Grammy winning record of the year - from sixty-five years ago, and who performed it?

Get back to me in sixty-five years, let me know if anyone remembers, or cares, who won record of the year, or any other Grammy, at this year's awards, let alone if anyone will then care a tinker's damn about who said what about the recording.

[At 1959's first Grammys, Domenico Modugno won for "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)."]

Steve Sailer said...

First three?

Volare
Theme from A Summer Place
El Paso

I like them all.

Jefferson said...

"Upper middle class probably doesn't begin to describe Drake. From age 11 he resided in Forest Hill, a Jewish enclave in midtown Toronto which also happens to be one of the richest neighbourhoods in the city."

DRAKE STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW HE'S HERE.

Anonymous said...

The idea that someone of European descent with a Spanish surname, like Armando Christian Perez, cannot be "white" seems fairly new.

This makes about as much sense as some media outlets' decision that people of Spanish descent, like Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, could somehow no longer be considered Hispanic as soon as it did not suit their political purposes (Obama had to get credit for appointing the first ever Hispanic Justice and Cardozo inconveniently still existed in history.)

I'll be paying attention the next time Cuban Republican politicians are in the news. Most likely they will still be "white."



Auntie Analogue said...


Okay, my arithmetic's off: first Grammy's were fifty-five, not sixty-five, years ago.

I wonder, Mr. Sailer, did you know those first three Grammy winners by heart or if you had to Google to find them? I like all three of them too. Yet do you nowadays hear them on the radio - except for hearing them on one of today's ultra-genre-atomized subscription channels? Do you expect that fifty-five years hence that anyone, except for dwindling members of an aged, dying-out fan base, will want to hear this year's Grammy winner on, or via, any medium?

Anonymous said...

Steve is right on with his meme of only certain desirable people getting to acknowledged as nonwhite or Hispanic by the Cathedral.

Pitbull is apparently ok in this group. On the other hand, Ted Cruz, despite his Cuban ancestry, is actually considered white non-hispanic. Not based on any linguistic, cultural, or ancestral reason of course, but because of his political beliefs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/05/06/bill-richardson-ted-cruz-should-not-be-defined-as-a-hispanic/

The other prominent Hispanic politician in the news, Marco Rubio, is the son of naturalized immigrants on both sides. I suppose so his Hispanic cred has been tougher to challenge so no one has tried yet.

Silver said...

Well, don't let that stop you from spewing ignorance.

You're missing the point. I doubt one in ten readers here cares about this "music." It's the spectacle of yet another cultural icon sissified PC white boy sucking up to a black demigod he's been guilt-tripped and miseducated into worshipping his entire young life that rankles.

Silver said...

I've never cared in the slightest about the Grammy awards. I think I might have cared for one or two years about the Oscars, but quickly decided that wasn't worthy my attention. I've gotten a lot of things wrong in my life, but I don't think being supremely disinterested in the outcomes of these insipid awards has been one of them.

Steve Sailer said...

I probably wouldn't do too well past 1961 ... Let me try to guess Records of the Year:

1962: I Left My Heart in San Francisco
1963: something by Ray Charles?
1964: I'm drawing a blank
1965: I Say a Little Prayer?
1966: some early Stevie Wonder song: Michelle?

but I like the early winners because they are well done examples of styles that are permanently out of fashion. Grammies are always voted on by adults, but before the Beatles adults felt fine just voting for whatever they liked rather than some compromise between what they liked and what the kids liked.

Steve Sailer said...

Surely Henry Mancini won something in the first half of the 1960s?

Steve Sailer said...

Okay I missed Bobby Darin's Mack the Knife.

I think people will remember that one in 50 years.

Steve Sailer said...

Henry Mancini -- Moon River

Not my favorite Mancini, but was anybody ever a more exciting movie composer than Mancini from 1960-65?

Steve Sailer said...

Okay, looking them up:

Mancini again for Day of Wine and Roses (I'm a Pink Panther fan, myself).

Girl from Ipanema -- Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 -- that's the main thing I know about Brazilian pop, and it's seems good.

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass -- A Taste of Honey
-- I don't think that has worn as well as most of these others.

Sinatra -- Strangers in the Night -- maybe not as good as some of the earlier Sinatras (I've Got You Under my Skin), but heck Sinatra better have won one.

Then Fifth Dimension and Simon & Garfunkel alternated for the next 4 years. My wife recently saw the septuagenarian Fifth Dimension in concert. They weren't bad.

At some point, the choices seem to go downhill. Basically, the voters remained grown-ups who were experts on jazz pop, but they knew they were supposed to vote for rock but they didn't really know what to vote for.

Some brothers from my baseball league at the park, Toto, won in 1983 but I didn't like their song much even though I'd known them when we were kids.

Steve Sailer said...

Correction: Girl from Ipanema wasn't by Sergio Mendes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_from_Ipanema

Anthony said...

Related: Black trumps gay in the diversity sweepstakes; it's thoughtfulness to notice that lots of rap music is homophobic. But heteronormativity is just as bad as homophobia. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-dodd/while-i-will-never-want-macklemore_b_4674792.html

Mr. Anon said...

"vinteuil said...

In historical context, it wasn't an "entirely* crazy thing for him to think. There is, after all, nothing by Meyerbeer, or even Mendelssohn, that even remotely compares to that Tristan prelude."

Nonsense. Mendelssohn was everybit the equal of Wagner. His music stands alone with it's own distinct style, though firmly within the great traditions of german romanticism. Wagner was good, but he was not all there was.

Anyway, this little disagreement is a diversion from this thread. We are speaking here of music, whereas the topic of the thread is rap - the non-musical ranting of vulgar, talentless morons.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Eric Burdon.

Anonymous said...

"was anybody ever a more exciting movie composer than Mancini from 1960-65?"

Morricone, Rota, Legrand, Delerue, Takemitsu.

Reg Cæsar said...


The official histories of rap and hip hop give shirt shrift to turn-of-the-century Iowa's role in the infancy of the genre, specifically her traveling salesmen, con men, and even old ladies.

Reg Cæsar said...

"Girl From Ipanema" was sung by João and Astrud Gilberto, backed by Stan Getz. DJs cut João's part, which was in Portuguese, and made Astrud a worldwide sensation. Sergio Mendes had a huge hit with "Summer Samba" about the same time. That was sung by Wanda Sá, credited as "Wanda de Sah".

Astrud and Wanda's voices were, to quote another Sixties classic, "green, green". One was a housewife, the other a guitar teacher. But somehow that was just what the new genre needed. In contrast, Ella Fitzgerald did an album of Jobim tunes, and it's painful to listen to. She was completely wrong for the music, despite her talent and skill.

English lyrics to bossa nova rarely did justice to the melodies, and the reason is simple: the composers signed with BMI, and were thus prohibited from working with superior ASCAP writers like Johnny Mercer. One fortunate exception was the Caymmis. Dorival's And Roses and Roses attracted several top (adult) singers, and his son Dori's Like a Lover was set by the president of ASCAP and her husband.

A lot of Brazilians work like Elton John; singer writes a tune, and hires a poet to set it. That's what Marcos Valle did with "Summer Samba". The original words were by his brother, Paulo Sergio, an airline pilot. Makes you wonder how many other songs were written at 30,000 ft.

Auntie Analogue said...


"[W]as anybody ever a more exciting movie composer than Mancini from 1960-65?"

Two nominees, each one having as many scores for big 1960-65 film hits as Mancini had:

Elmer Bernstein (244 cinema & TV scores):
'The Magnificent Seven'
'The Birdman of Alcatraz'
'The Great Escape'

John Barry (113 cinema & TV scores):
'Dr. No'
'From Russia With Love'
'Goldfinger'
'Thunderball'

Reg Cæsar said...

…was anybody ever a more exciting movie composer than Mancini from 1960-65?

If you mean "ever", add to the above Randy's uncle Alfred Newman, David Raskin, and Dmitri Tiomkin (born the same day as Fred Astaire). Mancini was damned good, but like Gershwin before him, he was in the middle of a very talented pack. He just got the press.

Mancini does stand out as the second-greatest Italian-American composer, behind Harry Warren, as good a choice as any for the greatest Anything-American composer.

Jon said...

God's Own Drunk by Richard Buckley (1959) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d74DGKdIw5M

Jimmy Buffett's 1973 version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d74DGKdIw5M

Jon said...

@Anonymous 1/27/14, 3:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTUzRD7zQe8

Jon said...

This song was in, promoting gay pride and acceptance was in contention for the 1988 Grammy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--FBRCUuoRg

Anonymous said...

That analogy doesn't hold for the following reasons: Jews attempting to create something like western music remain too sentimental, their sensitivity being too oriental to be able to pass as western music always tending to either the cacophony of the bazaar or the Arabian belly dance soundtrack.
The other reason is that to call what black people in America create with white instruments, white music a notation system and within a white cultural frame is being too generous. Black music is the percussion and guttural sounds tribesmen perform in Africa.

Anonymous said...

He's the world's biggest pussy. Listen to Same Love, a nauseating suckup to the media gays that should be put in dictionary under CRINGE. Vomit.

Cail Corishev said...

Black trumps gay in the diversity sweepstakes

At this point, they look roughly equal, with black still slightly above but gay moving up. So the MSM and elites do their best just to ignore the strong black antipathy toward gays. When they're forced to address it, they gently try to "encourage" blacks to be more sensitive, as if maybe they just hadn't heard gay is good.

Which fits perfectly with the general liberal attitude of treating blacks like ignorant children, of course.

Bill said...

a very knowing American said...
The "white people are stealing black music" thing that you get with regard to jazz, rhythm and blues, and now hip-hop is a lot like the "Jews are stealing German music" thing that you get from Wagner among others. In both cases, you get an insecure, chip-on-their-shoulder Volk resenting some omni-talented newbys moving in on the one thing that the Volk are really good at.

Music is the "one thing" the Germans are really good at? Jews are omni-talented? Mendelssohn was threatening, artistically? To the people who could claim Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner?

There is an amazing amount of crazy packed into just a couple of sentences, there.

Edgar Allen Poe, a rap-rap-rapping on my do' said...

"Comfortable/uncomfortable". This seems to have become one of the key concepts of leftism. You never hear conservatives or reactionaries talking about how "uncomfortable" they are with this or that, but the grievance mongers that pack the pews of the cathedral can barely go one sentence with babbling about how trifles such as a barely noticeable deficit of deference shown by a disgusting white male to some saintly black hip-hop singer has them squirming with extreme discomfort.

So when you hear either of these weasel words, reach for your metaphorical revolver.

Jody is correct about Daft Punk. Their first two albums (Homework and Discovery) were outstandingly good, although different from each other. Their third, Human After All, was weak, and their most recent, Random Access Memories, is ok but bland. I think it has been pushed front and centre by the critic caste because it functions as a vehicle for flavour-of-the-month AfrAm singer Pharrell.

Rap, as a vocal and musical style, can be traced back into the mists of time and white Europeans have AT LEAST as strong a claim on it as African Americans. Many good examples of why this is the case have been given above.

The modern musical genre of hip-hop is largely/fully African-American and may certainly be described as such. But that is not the same thing as "rap" or even "rap music". A vast number of number of white musicians, making white music, incorporated rap vocals into their music in the late 1970s/early-mid 1980s. It wasn't seen as an exclusively black style, nor were these artists seen as wannabe blacks. At some point someone clearly decided that this would no longer do.

Rap vocals can fit quite impressively into the metal genre. An early example is Deep Purple's "Bloodsucker" (1970) and a lot of Slayer songs, including "Stain of Mind" and "Perversions of Pain" (both 1998). I wouldn't say either sounds, or was written with the merest intention of sounding, black.

Anonymous said...

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/publishes-holocaust-trivia.html

How about a new genre of music where every word is 'Jew'?

'Jew Jew Jew' would be the new 'la la la'.

Works well with any song.

Anonymous said...

"Jews attempting to create something like western music remain too sentimental, their sensitivity being too oriental to be able to pass as western music always tending to either the cacophony of the bazaar or the Arabian belly dance soundtrack."

Dumb.

Anonymous said...

"Jews attempting to create something like western music remain too sentimental, their sensitivity being too oriental to be able to pass as western music always tending to either the cacophony of the bazaar or the Arabian belly dance soundtrack."

Shudder to think what a weirdo this guy must look like.

pat said...

Rap is of course degenerate music. I mean that in the technical art history sense. Those who dig through ruins find sequences of pottery. The lowest levels typically yield the most primitive decorations. But higher and higher levels usually show greater complexity.

But then sometimes the pottery will again become simpler and more primitive. This is called degeneration.

Rap is so degenerate that it is barely music at all. Music is composed of several components including harmony, melody, coloristic elements and structure.

Not everyone agrees on which elements define music. I once infuriated a musician when I claimed that the recorder wasn't really a musical instrument because it was so limited in in its ability to inflect and modulate the tone. But Bach's 4th Brandenburg somehow seems to get around its limitations very well. I was wrong, but an oboe or a clarinet is better in almost every way. Music and musical instruments have evolved and become more sophisticated.

But Rap and Hip-Hop are a major step backward.

We have two main types of humans - the smart ones (Europeans and East Asians) and the dumb ones (Africans, Australoids, etc.). So it should not be surprising that we should have two major types of music: full complexity music for the intelligent and simpler music for the not so intelligent.

A generation ago parents were advised to make their baby smarter by playing a lot of Mozart. Many people made some money on that fad. Nobody tried to improve their kid's brain with Rap. It is obviously music for the stupid and insensitive.

Rap is a regular pop song except without melody, structure or development. Not all or even most famous composers were good melodists. Beethoven for example was famous for his development and structure not his hummable tunes. Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers and Rudolph Friml could really crank out the melodies and they are not the composers held in greatest regard by musicologists. But the gift for melody may be the rarest musical gift. It is certainly a lot easier for the average guy to compose a tuneless chant than it is to write a snappy tune.

Rap also has almost no structure or development. As Mark Steyn writes in his column every week, there is a lot of clever and/or sophisticated form in almost all of the pop standards. Real music usually has a form that supports the lyrics. A good pop song like tom Jones' hit 'Delilah' is a mini-drama in which all the elements contribute. Jones was accused of singing like a black man at the time but to my ear he was more in the tradition of Italian Verismo.

In the fifties many of the great black pop musicians affected a connection with European nobility. There was Nat "King" Cole, "Count" Bassie, and "Duke" Ellington. More recently black musicians have aspired to be gangsters and thugs.

Degeneration

Albertosaurus

Kylie said...

Steve said..."...was anybody ever a more exciting movie composer than Mancini from 1960-65?"

Yes. Bernard Herrmann. Few movie scores are more exciting than the one he composed for Psycho.

Svigor said...

This is the entire cycle of racial borrowing in an environment of white privilege in a nutshell: black art, white appropriation, white guilt, repeat until there’s nothing left to appropriate.

The "racial appropriation" meme might just be the apotheosis of white supremacist leftism. It's totally shot-through with the assumption of white racial superiority: of course we mustn't mention that everything that blacks have that isn't subject to appropriation by whites is stuff blacks appropriated from whites - everything from wearing pants and speaking English to the instruments played and the cars driven - because blacks are inferior, duh! You patronize retards, you never, ever deal with them honestly - that's for your peers.

This makes Macklemore's apology make a lot more sense, doesn't it? How would a healthy adult feel after beating all the retards for the Special Olympics gold?

But, America needs Cubans to demand more Hispanic immigration because Mexican-Americans don't seem to be mediagenic enough, so Pitbull's Not White.

Yeah. That's a non-white hispanic. Unlike George Zimmerman, who's obviously a white hispanic. Duh, Steve, duh.

Nathan said...

Blah blah blah! Race-this, privilege-that, the only thing to this story is that, once again, the Grammys got it wrong. EVERYONE who knows anything about music knows this is some kind of fundamental constant in pop culture. The best album Grammy winner is NEVER the best album that came out that year. Here's a Cracked article about it:

The 7 Most Unforgivable Grammy Award Snubs of All Time

Svigor said...

What about black opera singers? Maybe they should be forced to grovel or be accused of stealing other people's culture, or otherwise be browbeaten just so they know their place.

That would be like browbeating a retard for being good at singing opera. Have you no shame?

Drake is half Jewish from an upper-middle class Canadian family.

The Beastie Boys invented gangsta rap, even if they did it tongue-in-cheek; three Brooklyn Jews that blacks have been robbing ever since.

Anonymous said...

Shudder to think what a weirdo this guy must look like.

You are not worthy of being taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

"[two white Eurotrash guys ..]

Really, Steve? Should we Europeans on this blog start referring to Americans as "AmeriFATS", or something like that?

Reg Cæsar said...

… flavour-of-the-month AfrAm singer Pharrell.. --EAP

Like Madonna, Merv Griffin, Dave Clark, Chas Chandler and others before him, this Pharrell is more businessman than artist. He recently made the cover of Fast Company

That shot makes Ru Paul look like O J Simpson, but he has a wife and kid.

Steve Sailer said...

"AmeriFATS"

Ouch. If the shoe fits ...

That reminds me to activate that gym membership I seem to have given for Christmas ...

Anonymous said...

Kendrick Lamar's album would have won were it nominated in 2012 (when it actually was released.) Many are predicting that his next album will be even better, though. Hip hop purists see him as one of the last hopes for the genre.

Being born and raised in Compton definitely gives him an immediate underground appeal, while his deeper lyrical themes make him palatable to white fans.

Just Another Guy With a 1911 said...

SWPL's and RAP music; we've been here before and we deserve a little more. The last word on the subject here.

Anonymous said...

"Rap is of course degenerate music."

No, rap isn't degenerate. Ugly and stupid maybe but not degenerate. Rap is 'healthy' and 'natural' in the sense that it robustly and energetically expresses the essence of black nature. We may find it savage and threatening, but it's as natural as wolf howling, pigs wallowing in mud, or dogs barking like mad.

Degenerate art would be something sickly, diseased, pathological, and neurotic. It's the product of decadence resulting from a civilization gone ripely sick or mad.

Rap is dangerous to civilization and plenty crazy, but it's just blacks being black. There's a direct line between black soul and rap. It's the return of the 'jungle warrior' and tribal 'ass-boogie' nature.
On that level, it is elemental, 'healthy', and natural even if dangerous to civilizational.

Rap may be anti-civilizational but it's not degenerate. Degenerate stuff is the product of a sick and diseased civilization. Lucian Freud's paintings would be degenerate, but to the extent that art is supposed to express the spirit of the times, degenerate art can be great art too. David Lynch's films are degenerate but ERASERHEAD and MULHOLLAND DR are great works of art.

Anonymous said...

"Those who dig through ruins find sequences of pottery. The lowest levels typically yield the most primitive decorations. But higher and higher levels usually show greater complexity. But then sometimes the pottery will again become simpler and more primitive. This is called degeneration."

This is ridiculous. So, fashion got degenerate in the modern era when overt ornamentation fell out of favor?
Japanese art is degenerate because it borrowed from Chinese art and 'simplified' it through minimalist/essentialist aesthetic?

Simplification of design doesn't necessarily mean 'degeneration'. It could be an advancement, a move away from stuffiness and cluttered-ness. Buddhism 'simplified' Hinduism by drawing out its essences, and Christianity did the same with Judaism.
Coco Chanel was hardly degenerate in slimming down French fashion.

There's also beauty in simplicity, and one of the appeals of Greek ruins--though the originals may have been different with paint and greater ornamentation--is their simplicity relative to the sculptures and arts of other cultures that are much more heavily ornamental.

In technology, as new things are added, the old ones are lost. Though art isn't the same as technology, sometimes the same logic applies. Sometimes, less is indeed more. Some moviemakers think they should keep adding more stuff, but the smarter ones know what to keep, what to lose.

Also, 'degeneration' in art, at least in the 20th century sense, caused problems by adding more and more details and clutter than presenting clarity and simplicity of lines and forms. German Expressionism was 'messy' and packed with all sorts of weird details and touches.
Neo-classicism, as favored by Nazis and Communists, favored clean lines and simplicity of details.

Anonymous said...

"Rap is a regular pop song except without melody, structure or development. Not all or even most famous composers were good melodists."

Well, blues is limited too, but it is a great form of music.

Rap is amazing in one sense. It is simple and yet infinitely adaptable and variable. It must have something special to have won over so many fans all over the globe: Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and etc.
Rap can be mixed with all sorts of songs. And its beat can be slowed down or sped up.

I don't like it because its emotions are generally stupid--blues is about experience, rap is about inexperience--(as with punk music, another form I hate though I some punk songs)and because it's now become an easy way for everyone to stick to a formula than be truly creative themselves.

When RUN-DMC sang 'you talk too much', I thought that was fun. But after all these yrs, haven't people had enough? But then, I guess there's always a new crop of young ones who want the easiest music to get their jungle hormones pumping.


Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8yOVdUonEM

Steve Sailer said...

You can look at Late Roman Empire sculpture that's consciously trying to imitate 2nd Century Empire peak styles and they just couldn't do it as well. The newer stuff is crude and dumbed down.

Similarly, consider the sophistication of the songs Sam Cooke, a black kid born in the Mississippi Delta, wrote 55 years ago to what blacks write today.

Anonymous said...

"Similarly, consider the sophistication of the songs Sam Cooke, a black kid born in the Mississippi Delta, wrote 55 years ago to what blacks write today."

But he sure got killed for rappy reasons, messing with sex and women.

Cooke's music was both sophisticated and very simple.
Songs like 'cupid', 'don't know much about history', 'chain gang', 'don't know much about history', and 'you send me' are not melodically complex but they just hit the right notes and very tenderly. It has the right touch.

'Chain gang' and 'don't know much' might make half-decent rap songs, but the irony of the second one would likely be lost on most rappers.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101358435?__source=yahoo%7Cfinance%7Cheadline%7Cheadline%7Cstory&par=yahoo&doc=101358435%7CBeatles+business%3A+Still+m

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuaojjCV1Tk

pat said...

I'm inexpressibly pleased to read that Steve Sailer agrees with me on a musical point. I used to love Sam Cooke when I was a kid. He was a real singer with all the tools.

Today blacks refuse to sing. Beyoncé actually could be a fine singer - but that's not the current style. She prefers to be a hootchie-coochie dancer doing sexually suggestive calisthenics. Pity.

Some comments suggest that Rap must be artistically valuable because it sells so well. It's true many white buy rap tunes but that is not surprising. On the American frontier white men often ran away to live with the Indians. The common explanation is that joining a more primitive culture is a way to relax and escape the pressures of civilization. Indians had to study and be disciplined to live like the white man. So many white men 'threw off' civilization and adopted the simpler lower requirements of living among the Indians.

See 'Little Big Man'.

Because no one ever reads day old comments I can indulge in a wild speculation here and not be held to account.

It is commonly said that blacks have rhythm. Could be. I'd like to correspondingly suggest that Jews have melody. If you look up in Google black and Jewish composers you find that there have been almost no good melodies written by blacks. For example - Duke Ellington in a long career - wrote almost no memorable tunes.

Jews on the other hand dominated Broadway and movie music - areas that require strong melodies. Most of the 'big tunes' you remember from the movies were written by Jews.

Irving Berlin was famous as an unschooled musician. He couldn't play the piano correctly and knew little musical theory. But melodies just poured out of him. Richard Rogers was almost as prodigious a melodist and he too was a limited musician who couldn't orchestrate. But both the Jews were phenomenal in their ability to craft original melodies.

I will try to pursue this idea. Maybe melodies are only a gift to the Ashkenazi not the Sephardic. But if this sudden insight of mine proves false forget I ever brought it up. It sounds nutty even to me.

Albertosaurus

aeou said...

Macklemore has a track on one of his previous albums where he decries gentryfication and white appropriation of black music going back to early rock. He believes that idiotic shit. White privilege is the track can't remember the album name.

Whenever he doesn't get PC beta he is very enjoyable.

Most people in this thread sound like a bunch of racists in the old sense of the word that condemns a genre they haven't even explored beyond mainstream or whatever some conservative douche managed to quote from retarded gangsta rap. There exist white rappers that have such skill with rhymes and words that it makes modern poets sound like modern poets. Perhaps not in the US but I find that unlikely

I am a believer in HBD that just realized I might have become a reactionary. Shame on you archaic blinkered bigots (in the non racist sense of the word).