linkthink re: hip-hop, reggae, the US, jamaica, and anything else wayne wants to wax on


hamhocks and henanigans

boom sha-lock-lock top o' the marnin' to ya

all this talk of minstrelsy, coinciding with the holiday and such, reminds me of one of the first successful forms of ethnic drag in hip-hop: irishness.

given the high proportion of irish performers among the original blackface minstrels, not to mention the whole "blacks of europe" rep, it seems rather appropriate that irishness would so well serve house of pain as a resource for some good ol' recourse to ethnic particulars--a popular, perennial strategy among non-black rappers, latinos included. (even eminem put on a layer of classface to blur his whiteness.)

as someone with but a mild cultural-symbolic attachment to my (or my family's) national/ethnic heritage(s), i always feel a bit like i'm trying to pass during such festivals, but then i just remember that i'm boston-irish (or -italian or -portuguese or -scottish) rather than irish-irish and i just enjoy my guinness and the company of my mongrel, american family while we celebrate st.patrick's day at a place called guido's.

at any rate, if you're in the mood to celebrate saint patrick or irishness or the color green or whatever it is you'd care to celebrate today, before you get too drunk, go grab a chunk of irish funk i've posted to the riddim method.

more on whiteness - and moron whiteness! - to come...


Blogger i said...

yuh justanudda victim. kid.
duh-nuh duh duh duh nuh-nuh.

i thought that song was so awesome in high school...

was that moron whiteness?

8:02 PM  
Blogger wayne&wax said...

i thought so too! still like listening, though the pleasures have changed.

and i didn't mean to tease so much w/ "moron whiteness." hope to write more about that soon. but the short of it is, far as i can see, embracing one's whiteness as an irreducible part of oneself--as opposed to a set of historically-specific social/power relationships--as when someone claims membership in "the white race," is moron whiteness.

i'm not saying we should pretend that it's not there or that, say, i'm not "white"--that's what whiteness is about: recognizing that white privilege exists whether or not we repudiate the categories we're put into. but to reify whiteness by claiming it as anything other than a historically-constructed, and destructive, thing, seems moronic to me. ignorant really.

for the record, i don't think that HoP is generally guilty of this, but we might ask whether their sidestepping of the issue via irishness is, ultimately, more productive.

8:28 AM  

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