Friday, 26 November 2010

the Lil Kim vs Nicki Minaj situation and rap beef dynamics

'Black Friday' is depressing. There is a vicious, voyeuristic pleasure to be had in the diss track modes of hip hop, but the issues operating underneath these spats - which have ended up being fatal in a number of tragic, well-known cases - are way serious if you value rap as more then just a capitalist-appropriated form of entertainment.
So Nicki took "subliminal shots" at Lil Kim? Nah, she just dipped into the usual hip hop braggadocio posturing, a card any newcomer earning their spurs is bound to pull. She drew on a convention that Kim has both participated in and profited from. Sad times when someone with such a golden CV has to attack a younger artist - one who has consistently paid homage - for some borrowed shine. I  agree wholeheartedly with all the points Minaj makes in this radio interview. Kim would have served herself better by taking an MC Lyte approach: accepting the dues paid with the good grace of a veteran confident in her legacy, and propelling any new projects on love and support from her hip hop sistren, not shunning them and insisting on an unnecessarily aggressive oppositional stance.
I think Kim is a victim of a tradition that traps both male and female rappers - a tradition that hip hop did not create. I believe she is acting on a number of damaging motives rooted in issues of race, gender and class. I think engaging in this as a spectator, and turning it into a form of titillating, ringside fun perpetuates a whole lotta nasty ish.

Pass the baton on ma. There is room for everyone. Unity is the one

Monday, 15 November 2010

"Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world"

Pictures from my trip to Lisbon last week.

"Could it think, the heart would stop beating". Fernando Pessoa's typewriter.

Street art. Lady looks a lot like Sierra from Coco Rosie I think. 

Mariza portrait hanging behind the bar in Tasca do Chico, Bairro Alto. Real Fado.

My favourite.

We left the Fado bar with sea songs in our heart and fell promptly into a small rock bar where this beauty was hanging proudly on the wall. 

Mad good art. Wish I could remember the dude's name. Anyone recognize it? Its one of three big building pieces. Think he's Brazilian.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

"How we narrate the interventions of women of colour is crucial"

"Nguyen “brought wreck” in yet another way, by commenting on the tendency of feminist history to characterize women of color feminisms as “interruptions” to a narrative, as brief moments of crisis to be criticized, learned from, and left behind. One of her major points is that “how we narrate the interventions of women of color is crucial to how we remember feminisms and imagine our futures.” I nodded along with my classmate, and could feel the room around me brimming with interest, questions, and an overwhelming sense of urgency: Nguyen’s argument speaks to our sense of history and feminist frameworks."

Kate Wadkins quoting Mimi Nguyen in her review of  The Message is in the Music: Hip Hop Feminism, Riot Grrrl, Latina Music & More. Dayum. Wish I could have attended this.  

Friday, 5 November 2010

Grrrl talk

This Winter = rad coalescing of femalecentric community magic. Helping out at Ladyfest 10 (go get yr tix!), curating Wears The Trousers's first zine (not to be confused with our propa print editions, but cut-n-paste grrreat nonetheless. Links to follow!), working on proposals for 'women in hip hop' book chapter, helping to plan major cool, international  woman-celebrating events for next Spring - it all feels very fun and promising and important, and especially needed in this crazy Coalition era of economic doom and anxiety about the future.

So, here's my critique of Sara Marcus's book on riot grrrl (Be sure to peep the link to Alison Woolfe's piece of mind) and a review of The Dogbones debut for fans of growly grrrl vox and Queen Adreena-styled UK grunge revival.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Fuck you music

Had a chin wag with the sexiest fat man in showbiz aka Stig Of The Dump back in Oct for my monthly Tour Dates feature. Fresh off the press. Ch-check it :

Dude just released his debut LP, Mood Swings. Download the whole mag (s'free like) to peep my review. 'Fuck You' music for the winz.