Saturday, 30 October 2010

I talk to women/I just can't talk for women

Biggup to Shad for one of the most positively femalecentric hip hop tracks I've heard this year (with the exception of this by Lowkey) in 'Keep Shining'. Funny, sweet, on-point regarding women (lack of) in rap, and reverential without being patronising/grandiose. The rest of the LP is pretty rad too.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

I follow love

I dug out my pictures from Ladyfest Machester 2008 and this is my favourite.

I like it that she's whipping her lox so hard her face gets lost, just a flash of smile underneath so she turns into pure force, almost superhuman, just a thicket of wild snake hair. The whole picture tips down to the right, like she lashed the mic lead and swung her body so hard the whole world shook.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

RIP Ari Up

What sad news to wake up to today. Strange for me that Ari should pass away so close to this year's Ladyfest 10 celebrations since the first and last time I saw her performing was at Ladyfest Manchester back in 2008. In my head, LF culture will forever be soundtracked with Ari's feisty Germaican drawl and The Slit's 70's Ladbroke Grove skank anthems; their whole career and ethos epitomizes Ladyfest for me.

I'd gone down to Leeds by myself to cover the sunday night programme for Wears The Trousers. It was about this time of year, real chilly. I got drunk on cheap beer, took loads of pictures, interviewed some bands, met a bunch of super cool grrrls and stayed in budget hotel near the Zion Arts Centre. Ari headlined with the current, younger Slits line up. She wore super tight, camel-toe inducing silver leggings and kept lifting up her skirt, whipping her dreadlox around and grinding at the audience, shouting "Ladyfest! We here to worship di ladydeez! Worship di punanni!". She was lewd and wicked and brilliant.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Antoine Dodson and how I don't get the joke.

Antoine Dodson was quoted on camera by local reporters back in July after confronting a potential rapist who broke into the home he shared with his sister in Lincoln Park projects. The rapist had attempted to assault his sister, but Dodson managed to scare the attacker away.

His on-camera response went viral, became the stuff of endless ridicule, and eventually earned Dodson infamy and wealth after a remix of his comments by The Gregory Brothers sold over 100,000 copies on iTunes. Dodson is openly homosexual and has recently told the press that he himself has been a victim of rape in the past. He performed ' The Bed Intruder' song at the BET Awards last week.

Picking this episode apart is a headfuck. Watching Dodson parody himself to applause that borders on mockery is a headfuck. The fact that he's poor, black and camp seems to be the core punchline. Maybe it's because he's all those things and daring to challenge the preserve of man-as-defender-of-women-and-hearth heteros. A crime, in which his home was violated and his sister victimized, has turned an impoverished ghetto resident into a celebrity and spurned a lucrative comedy-pop song. Is Dodson astute for using invasive, derogatory media as a tool for economic leverage? The money from 'The Bed Intruder' song, merchandise, and a donation fund that he set up himself have made it possible for his family to move to a 'safer' neighbourhood, but Dodson remains an uncomfortable media entity, part hero part clown. I just can't see where the funny is at.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric dropping trousers on the podium

Monday, 4 October 2010