Saturday, April 6, 2013

Post 9: Tricia Rose, Author of The Hip Hop Wars and Video Hip Hop Wars (excerpt)

  • QUOTES:  Choose three quotes from the text and explain what they mean and their relevance to the text.

Quote 1:
“There traditions create possibility, and open up exchange, but thats not all thats going on in that era, its also a profoundly destructive period for black america...But its also about expressing an awful lot of pain, an awful lot of anger, and an awful lot just on the borderline of what Cornell West would call Nihilism, right, this borderline of I might not quite not make it but its really awfully close” (Ted.Brown.Rose).

Patricia Rose describes how Hip-Hop is a gateway for possibilities for resistance against anti-blackness and radical categorizations of bodies. A system of resistance that seeks to create consciousness from the every day living circumstances of the inferior beings that is brought upon them by these current political structures and white supremacist modern day slave institutions. She says that through these creative acts of resistance the oppressed beings can find a sense of hope even if it is a very minute amount, we can still hang on to the possibility of true freedom because true freedom has never existed, rather than believe what white history has told us, you know the whole idea that slavery and racism is a thing of the past. Hip-Hop is a gateway to raise the reality of things that are still occurring.

Quote 2: 
“There's a long history of a particular pleasure in consuming the ideas of black-ghetto-excess dysfunction. It used to not be ghettoized in setting because black people weren't always urban people, but the same images can be found in American history for centuries. So this idea that a certain kind of sexual deviance or violent behavior defines black culture has had a huge market in commercial mainstream culture for at least 200 years. Also, sexist images, which hip-hop has a lot of, seem to do very well across the cultural spectrum. So sexuality and sexual domination sell. Racial stereotypes sell. The market is more consolidated, which makes it easier for those images to perpetuate themselves” (Rose).

These degrading “ideas” that are created, in this case “ideas of black-ghetto-excess dysfunction” are instilled and naturalized by the white rule. They are psychologically embedded and engrained in the subconscious via the media, history books, and mainstream hip-hop heard on the radio so on and so forth. Inevitably, these degrading practices are beset upon the black being without their “conscious” consent, if you are being fed what the white master wants to feed you, you will be brainwashed to believe that this is what black culture and black life is supposed to be like. You have no fugitive thoughts of, “could there be something outside of what I have been raised my whole life to believe, its more than a hard pill to swallow”. Remember that those who hold the majority of wealth feed those who have nothing what they want us to believe to keep us oppressed and to keep us inferior. We start to think that this is what it is, this is are culture when this is actually false. Therefore we buy what we believe is our everyday life sustaining and maintaining our own oppression while the white dominant remains free to do his job without guilt.

Quote 3: 
“Definitely. The critics are a little bit more wrong than the defenders. But overall, both arguments have enormous flaws. The defenders are the most wrong about gender and sexism, and the haters are most wrong about issues of violence and culture. I'm very upset about both sides in this war, and I think the only way out is for the rest of us on the sidelines to get involved with an educated, sophisticated position. You have to be subtle, not extreme, in thinking about what's right and what's wrong when it comes to hip-hop” (Rose).

The defenders in this case (Jay-Z, 50 Cent) are less wrong because they know that they are dumbing down their music to gain profit of of their people, I think Rose is saying it doesn't make it right by any means. In all honesty I believe these main-stream rap artists must live in denial or utter despair in silence knowing what is happening to their people and not being able to express it due to their white-washed greed. I also believe that “the haters” (Mos Def, Common etc..) are in denial about our culture and how the white dominant controls what sells and what doesn't through coercion and gratuitous violence upon the black community via the type of music that perpetuates black stereotypes. 


  1. When it comes to the music that gets played on the radio, I feel like all artists are kind of controlled. No matter what the genre is, you pretty much always hear the same few songs over and over and over again.

  2. I agree with most of your analysis, but I can't quite bring myself to agree with your statement that "These degrading “ideas” that are created, ... are psychologically embedded and engrained in the subconscious via the media, history books, and mainstream hip-hop heard on the radio." history is being re-written everyday, much of today's history books are challenging these negative stereotypes. Other wise I completely agree with you. Great Post!

  3. It really pisses me off that mainstream artist dumb down their music...instead of talking about" hoes" and sex I would like to hear substance about real life experiences something that I can relate to, something real. I would love to get back to that and see artist like common become popular.But very nice post!!!

  4. I agree with Rachelle's comment!! I love when artists have a song that has some substance or purpose to it and it isn't all about sex and violence. Giving songs something to relate to is more important to me than having a song that is full of negative stereotypes.