Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Thangs To Do, Books To Read

I was honored to blurb the following two books because they both bring the topic of whiteness and hip-hop together in provocative ways.

Bakari Kitwana's Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop came out yesterday. After focusing on the issues of post-civil rights African Americans in his classic book, The Hip-Hop Generation, he moves to hip-hop's multiracial appeal here, and specifically its draw for exurban and suburban whites. He argues that hip-hop offers a space for real talk about race to occur. You get his read on Eminem, updates and analysis on the ongoing hip-hop political project, and most intriguing to me, his deconstruction of the idea that "70% of all hip-hop buyers are white". This latter section is especially sharp--Bakari unpacks the racial implications of that claim, then debunks it as a myth. Even if you disagree with Bakari, you have to take him seriously. Great reading.

Adam Mansbach's novel, Angry Black White Boy, takes the same topic from a different point of view. It's an absurd comedy, in the tradition of Percival Everett, taking the idea of one white guy's blackface-activist experiment to the anti-Vanilla Ice extreme. I can't describe the plot without giving it away, but I can say that Adam takes you where you want to go, where you don't want to go, and then he keeps on going. Read it, then get one for the wigga in your life.

We're doing an event at Cody's later this month, with the original Tricia Rose and the brilliant Dave Stovall. Check here for the info.

Last, if you're in the City tomorrow, check out the special DVD release party for Freestyle being sponsored by our friends at Future Primitive and the Giant Peach. Kevin Fitzgerald will be there to sign DVDs. I got to see the whole thing in Minneapolis when Intermedia Arts screened it after my talk there. It captures all the vitality and power of a crucial moment in the hip-hop underground in the mid-to-late 90s.

FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme
Directed by Kevin Fitzgerald


Meet & Greet / Signing with Director and Guests - 6:00pm
Future Primitive Sound HQ
597 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

Special Screening and Afterparty at Money$hot - 9:00pm
with special guest MCs
1840 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

posted by Zentronix @ 8:11 AM   2 comments links to this post


At 6/1/05, 8:08 PM, Blogger Hashim said...

"Even if you disagree with Bakari, you have to take him seriously. Great reading."

mm-kay. I'll take your word for it.

At 6/2/05, 7:54 AM, Blogger Dove With Claws said...

Mansbach's book is fabulous. I've heard really mixed things about Kitwana, but your word is good enough for me to check it out.


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