In the third of his articles discussing anti-Blackness in South Asian communities, Dhruva Balram discusses how South Asian people often gravitate towards Black culture and music, and how use of the n-word became an issue. Moving to Canada from India at the cusp of adolescence, I instantly felt different, out of place – ‘othered’. Within… Read More
Love or Hate Him, Kanye’s Headlining Gig at Glastonbury illustrated Hip-Hop’s Uneasy Festival Alliance
by Shane Thomas So, Kanye West declared himself, “the greatest living rock star on the planet.” Well of course he did. If you were surprised by such an utterance, you haven’t been paying attention. But why did so many deem him unsuitable – maybe even unworthy – to headline Glastonbury? I'll bet £10 that @WritersofColour… Read More
The Butterfly Effect: Politics and Realism in Black Music
by Courttia Newland Has the Hip Hop Generation found its voice? It’s possible it has. For those who care, this does seem like a vintage year for R&B and Rap music. Late in 2014, D’Angelo released Black Messiah, his third studio album, after a 14 year hiatus. It received rave reviews and commercial success, selling… Read More
The 10 Most Scandalous Moments in Black Music in 2014
by Aaron Lee What a year it’s been for black music. With no Kanye or Jay album out, detractors named 2014 hip hop’s worst year. The MOBOs continued to wobble between celebrating black excellence and simply throwing more trophies to non-black stars of the moment. André 3000 said the recent OutKast reunion tour made him… Read More
The Macklemore Problem
by Joseph Guthrie When it comes to award shows and how they never fail to cave to the pressure of industry politics, few things actually surprise me. The 56th annual Grammy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles was every bit of the mixed bag I expected it to be, delivering a few brilliant moments amidst… Read More
Akala, the New Prophet?
by Shane Thomas Back in 2011, Channel 4 had a season of programming, which they called their “Street Summer” season. A tokenistic nod to featuring the lives of working-class people, especially working-class people of colour? Possibly. However, it did feature some fascinating viewing. One of their programmes was the documentary, Life of Rhyme. It was my… Read More
The ‘N’ word, and the demise of conscious rap
by Lee Pinkerton The first rap concert I ever went to was L.L. Cool J, Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1987. LL didn’t leave much of an impression, Rakim disappointed, but my young 18 year old mind was so blown away by Public Enemy’s righteous anger and they… Read More
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