Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here, My Dear

Keys open doors

sintalentos - lady's firsts (mp3)

Yo-Yo: The I.B.W.C. National Anthem
Queen Latifah: U.N.I.T.Y.
Salt-N-Pepa: Shoop
MC Lyte: Cha Cha Cha
Roxanne with UTFO: Roxanne, Roxanne
Roxanne Shante: Roxanne's Revenge
UTFO with Roxanne Shante: The Real Roxanne
Salt-N-Pepa: Tramp
Sequence: Funk You Up
Erykah Badu w/ Angie Stone: Love of My Life Worldwide
MC Lyte: Paper Thin
Lil' Kim: Queen Bitch
Jean Grae: Hater's Anthem
Rah Digga: What They Call Me
Queen Latifah: Wrath of My Madness (DJ Premier Remix)
Da Brat: Funkdafied
Bahamadia: Uknowhowwedu
Digable Planets: Nickel Bags
Missy Elliott (w/ Mary J. Blige): My Struggles
Lauryn Hill: Doo Wop (That Thing)
Mary J. Blige: Real Love (Hip Hop Mix)
Richy Pitch (f/ Apani B. Fly MC): Day to Day
Eve: Satisfaction
Queen Pen: Party Ain't a Party
Mary J. Blige: Family Affair
Lauryn Hill: Lost Ones
Nas (f/ Lauryn Hill): If I Ruled the World (Instrumental)
Jay-Z (f/ Foxy Brown): Ain't No Nigga
Foxy Brown (f/ Method Man): Ill Na Na
Lil' Kim: The Jump Off
Lady Sovereign: Random
Jacki-O: Sugar Walls
Timbaland (f/ M.I.A.): Come Around
M.I.A.: China Girl (Diplo Mix)
Missy Elliott (f/ Ciara & Fatman Scoop): Lose Control
DJ Ayres: Broke Ass Home
Monie Love: Monie in the Middle
Queen Latifah (f/ Monie Love): Ladies First
MC Lyte: Lyte As a Rock

Hip-hop got took to town(-hall) -- no surprise. Hip-hop replied thoughtfully -- again, no surprise. But let's talk about Zen (and Zirin; I didn't forget about you!) for a moment.

In Chang and Zirin's concise piece/response, they touch on a couple important points in light of the latest anti-hip-hop hysteria: the good, as well as the bad, of hip-hop; and the lack of intergenerational dialog amidst these debates.

The first seems exceedingly obvious as it balances the bad. However, it is also essential for providing a complete picture. So often criticism favors flash-points and treats culture in extremes, black or white, in spite of our so-called po-mo world. The recent Virginia Tech shootings have received a similar treatment; in spite of its gross perversity and sheer horror, it was immediately vilified as another case of the other, an aberration from the American matrix that confirmed our need for anxiety, as opposed to an arguably preventable crash with inadequate intervention.

That last word, intervention, or perhaps better articulated as conversation, is the key to open the next door. Media frequently transmits this as conflict, or a not-so-subtle crossfire, as opposed to a meaningful conversation with tangible affect (besides raising one's arms in the universal I-Win! gesture, or slouching one's head in the proverbial loser's pose). Admittedly, Oprah's townhall format took the appearance of intergenerational/interracial/inter-gender/inter-categorical conversation. Young women from Spelman College, whom we assume to be members of the hip-hop generation, speak about their disaffection, shortly after octogenarian Maya Angelou calls out Rush Rush. Common, that emcee who has bridged the Gap in every sense, admitted complicity. But the show was more show, a spectacular opportunity to point and scapegoat more than an actual consideration of shared complicity in creating culture. C'mon, Oprah of all people -- a Black woman who has struggled against immense odds to achieve the success she has attained -- should know the greater power of the check-signer over the check-recipient; and I know she's had a chat with Chris before. Pardon me, John, but perhaps the saying should have been, "Ask not just what your culture can do for you, but also ask what you can do for your..." But do you hear me 'doe?

Obviously, this is a much larger topic, so I'll be covering some aspects here, some aspects at Popmatters, and others elsewhere. In the meantime, here's a blend to stew on (pardon the roughness; this was a first take with almost no prep), especially for my ladies: here, my dear.

PS - Title explanation. First verses from songs by or featuring ladies. Not the first verse they wrote or recorded, just the first verse from the song itself... fudged on occasion, of course.

PPS - Dig my new old friend, Lily Kane (no relation to Danity, thankfully). By the way, I know I missed Women's History Month, but, really, I am looking into the sore lack of female representation on my blahg-roll...

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