« April 2009 | Main

May 13, 2009

Reflection of class

I think that the final exercise that we did in class where we talked about what we took away from this class was most helpful for me. I have said from the beginning that I feel as though I am a part of the hip hop generation, but doing that exercise really brought everything home for me. It gave me a chance to internalize and process everything that we have covered in class for the past few months and I haven't completely stopped thinking about all the ways that this class has opened my eyes and new doors in myself to new ideas concepts and just coming to the realization that I take a lot of things for granted. I understand more deeply the complexities of tropes of black masculinity/femininity and can pick out more easily when people exploit these tropes all around me (on campus, at work, etc.) and has made me more aware and more likely to speak up and voice my opinion when I hear things that are false or stereotypical.

I want to thank everyone in class for great discussions on all of our topics! They really helped me solidify my own thoughts and feelings about love, motherhood, and womanhood in the hip hop generation. I hope others feel the way I do too! Have a great summer everyone and take care!


May 8, 2009

Whiteness and the Hip Hop Generation by Diane White

An issue I have wanted to return to all semester long has been White bodies in hip hop and hip hop culture. Though hip hop has clear and definite connections to the Black community and experience, if someone that is White feels that their lived experiences coincide with this culture then can they identify as hip hop generationers? Or on the first day of class, what did it mean that the members were predominantly White women?

Does this complicate the space set up for the class itself or can White people express an interest and desire in hip hop without imposing or appropriating the art form? I clearly don’t know the answers to these questions, though I am very interested in hearing everyone else’s take on them. Sometimes I feel that I am entering a sacred space that wasn’t meant for my presence, especially with showing clips of the film No for my final group project. Even with being open-minded and respectful, I feel that there are some spaces meant for a particular group of people and the act of discussing and exploring these spaces on the behalf of another more seemingly privileged group, is problematic. Issues that have come up in other classes are how to deal with privilege, whiteness and representation issues, though we have had little similar discussion in this course. I’m wondering how other people are feeling about these issues and thought it would be interesting to bring up in my last blog.

May 6, 2009

Jackson Katz

I wrote about this guy in my response to Kate. He made a film called Tough Guise which talks about the problems that men have living up to the constructs of masculinity that society has placed on them. It is interesting. You can see some of it on YouTube and I will try to post some here for you to watch otherwise I will post the link. Check it out.


Todays class of group presentations was great. I especially was blown away by the video "NO!". The first 6 minutes were quite powerful. It was a hard reality to compare the popular hip hop videos along side testimony of sexual violence. When I saw along the side the testimonies it is little too much to handle. One can tell how todays popular media and how it sexually exploits women is a powerful image and an image that controls, causes and makes docile bodies. I automatically thought about men and how they are subject to these images as well. I wonder how they make sense of the world? If the one of the main examples of relationships they see are exploitive and violent nature how else are they to act? Women do not want it but they want it... respect or have fun...be manly or not...? All these forces collide on the male body.

Often in GWSS classes male victimization goes left undiscussed, which I find dangerous. Women seem to always be the subject of patriarchy...the ones being acted upon and rightly so. But what about men and how they move through the world and how masculinity is narrowly defined for them? Power, sex and violence is more than man vs. woman--it is societal. The fact that most men think that to be a man means to hold power over women and to exploit them sexually points to a larger issue of the ideology of masculinity. This is not to say men shouldn't take responsibility. In fact, they should take more responsibility for how they move through the world. Blaming men will not get us, as women, to that place. Something is wrong with the system. Let's identify that, be upset with that, and change it.

May 5, 2009

Sexual Politics Final Exam Study Sheet

Click here for your final review sheet.


Boykin, Keith. Beyond the Down Low
• Impossibility of the “down low” identity
• Myths about the “down low” and the spread of HIV/AIDs
• Public policy initiatives to prevent spread of HIV/AIDs
• Major cause of HIV/AIDs related deaths in African American Community
• Nushawn Williams
• Nikko Briteramos
Collins, Patricia Hills. Black Sexual Politics
• Progressive or, non-hegemonic black gender ideology
• Hegemonic representations of black masculinity and black femininity in popular media (especially as these relate to class differences among African Americans)
• Linguistic, historical, and cultural origins of controlling images of Black people (nigga, ho, pimp, hustler, sissie, etc)
• How racism and heterosexism shape representations of black sexuality in popular culture
• How mass imprisonment of people of African descent perpetuates Black homophobia, heterosexism, and has otherwise impacted urban communities.
• The politics of respectability and the black church
Bandele, Asha. The Prisoner’s Wife
• How can loving a prisoner be viewed as an act of rebellion against intersecting forms of oppression? Also read pages 275-278 in Black Sexual Politics.
• How can Bandele’s memoir serve as a critique of heteronormative ideals grounded in hegemonic gender ideology (i.e. racism, sexism, heterosexism, capitalism, ageism, etc).
Pritchard and Bibbs, “Queer Women of Color and Hip Hop” and Andreana Clay, “Queer Women of Color and Hip Hop Masculinity”
• Problems associated with patriarchal homosexuality in hip hop
• How can queer women of color perform black or hip hop masculinity in a way that rejects misogyny and sexism against women and girls?
• Ways that queer women have created spaces of political resistance in hip hop, and have otherwise “flipped the script” in hip hop culture
Neal, Mark Anthony. New Black Man.
• Possibilities and limitations of black male feminism
• “Thugniggaintellectual.” Also see Ayannah Moore’s self portrait by the same title.
• Black patriarchy and the problems with national black leadership movements
• Black patriarchy and the black clergy
• Alternative visions of black masculinity for the 21st century

Baby Mama/Baby Daddy Issues
• How have controlling images, or negative politicized identities of black motherhood and black fatherhood, influenced public policy in the United States?
• How have hip hop generationers developed alternative models of interpersonal family relationships that critique heteronormative notions of love, marriage, and the nuclear family?
• Positive contradictions of mothers loving hip hop

Key Terms/Hip Hop Icons

Heterosexism Homophobia Heteronormativity
“Generation EA” “Tip Drill” Kwame Kilpatrick
AFDC Sakia Gunn Thelma Golden
“Tyroninity” Karrine Steffans “Reagonomics”
DDC Queen Pen Jen Ro and Paradigm
Me’shell Ndegocello Drag King Pimp (noun and verb)
Joan Morgan R-Kelly Zora Neale Hurston

Also familiarize your self on key statistics regarding HIV/AID’s, black male incarceration, and rates of sexual abuse among black women. All of these are featured in the several of the readings, especially Collins, Boykin, and Sharpley-Whiting. Also be able to name at least four hip-hop organizations and/or significant events that have emerged in the last decade.

Event next Thursday

I <3 Consensual Sex event is next Thursday! the event will be held at the Varsity in Dinkytown. It will feature Kid Dakota, Adam Levy (from the Honeydogs), the Great Upset and Kelly Jo Mitchell. It's a 21+ show, doors open at 7, music starts at 8. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and they can be purchased at www.neighborhoodinvolve.org.

Hip Hop Trivia Questions

Click here to view a sample of hip hop trivia questions that may appear on your final exam.

Hip Hop Trivia—Multiple Choice
1. The four core elements of hip hop are rapping, dee-jaying, break dancing and graffiti. What is the frequently omitted “fifth element” of hip hop?

2. Which New York City borough is credited with being hip hop’s place of origin?

3. What was the name of the group who produced the first nationally distributed 1979 single called, “Rapper’s Delight?”

4. Which of the following artists are not acknowledged as being one of the “founding fathers of hip hop?”
A. Afrika Bambaataa B. Kurtis Blow C. Dee-jay Kool Herc
D. The Rapping Duke

5. Which of the following artists would not be considered “politically astute” or “conscious” as defined by writers like, Mark Anthony Neal, Bakari Kitwana, Gwen Pough, Imani Perry, or Michael Eric Dyson?
A. Tupac Shakur B. Queen Latifah C. Lauryn Hill
D. Lil Kim E. MC Hammer

6. Which of the following female emcees is best known for performing the female “badman” trope?

A. Salt N’ Peppa B. Eve C. Foxy Brown D. Queen Latifah

7. Which of the following female emcees did not utilize the Queen Mother trope of Black womanhood in their performance?

A. Lauryn Hill B. Queen Latifah C. Medusa D. Boss

8. “Bringing wreck” refers to:
A. Refusing to purchase misogynist hip hop music
B. Female hip hop artists and activists using for elements of hip hop to challenge sexism, misogyny, and homophobia in hip hop
C. Taking or teaching a class on hip hop politics
D. None of the above
E. All of the above.

9. What rapper video taped multiple sexual assaults on his former
hairdresser for allegedly stealing money?
A. 50 Cent B. Mystical C. Public Enemy D. Ice Cube

10. How much time did he spend in jail?
A. Two years B. Five months C. 10 years D. No time

11. Which is not a core aesthetic feature of the African American oral tradition that is commonly used in a lot of hip hop music?
A. Call and response B. Storytelling C. Rhyming
D. Improvisation E. None of the Above

12. Which of the following social movements/social phenomenon have not shaped hip hop culture?

A. The Black Power Movement B. Black Nationalism C. The Civil Rights Movement D. Consumerism E. The Women’s Rights Movement

13. How many counts of child pornography was R. Kelly indicted for in 2002?
A. 5 B. 12 C. 21 D. None

14. Which of the following commonly used stereotypic images do not fall into the “Strong Black Woman” trope?

A. Black Bitch B. Mammy C. Educated Bitch D. Tragic Mulatto

15. What does the acronym “E.A.” stand for? Which prominent hip hop generation artist often fall into this category?

Asher Roth

After our discussion of Asher Roth in class, I went on YouTube to listen to something by him other than "I Love College," so I could hear his more progressive music myself. The first thing I listened to was this one, the "A Millie Remix," which I liked, but doubt it will ever make it to the radio airwaves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp50arOSlAY

But there is also this, a response to the songs that Roth makes like "I Love College:"

Homeless- Arms (An Open Letter to Asher Roth)

A call to arms for all those who reside under the genre of hip-hop.

May 1, 2009

Final Blog

So this is a little late, but I wanted to expand on our discussion about misogyny, sexism, and homophobia in other forms of music besides hip hop. I'll just give a few examples of what I've found.
Rolling Stones - "Under My Thumb"
Some Lyrics:
Its down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when shes spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
Shes under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright

Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else

There's a song by Kenny Rogers called "Coward of the County" about a man who avenges his lover's gang rape by killing a bunch of people. There's also one called "catholic girls" that is interesting.

I guess my point is to agree with our discussion in class that these sorts of offensive lyrics are not just in hip hop/rap. If you search for misogyny in music though, you're likely to find a bunch of information on hip hop and misogyny.