Global Reggae

Next week I begin teaching my second course at MIT. It’s a new syllabus, though it draws on certain materials I’ve used before. In contrast to previous offerings, however, this will be the first time I teach a class with a primary focus on reggae outside of Jamaica — on what I’m calling here “global […]

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Moombahton, Munchiton, & Related Reggaetony Ear Candy

a moomba, apparently — no relation to afrojack, i don’t think Reggaeton doesn’t die, it just continues to fragment and reconstitute in a thousand different ways. (Sorry about the passive language there — I don’t think reggaeton has viral/memetic agency, but I still find myself using that sort of shorthand/emphasis even when what I want […]

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big gyptian (riddim meth0d repost)

[Ok, here’s another oldie-but-goodie from the Riddim Meth0d vaults. Plenty of readers are no doubt familiar with this post/mashup, especially since I’ve revisited the issue. In the time since I wrote it (almost 5 years ago!), I’ve also had the strange fortune of submitting a brief report — about the significance of “Big Pimpin” to […]

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¿Sueños de Jerkbow?

Sometimes it really does feel like I’m in Oz, some Wizard behind a curtain producing lifelike YouTubes of my swirling musical obsessions — or like that cartoon kid Simon for whom the things he drew came true ¡ via via via con dios !

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Wata Gwaan?

Mil gracias a Marisol LeBron, who not only first brought to my attn the wonderful nueva-media phenom of “Watagatapitusberry,” but who has offered some interesting thoughts on its homosocial joi de vivre (check her initial round-up of home videos) and has kept up on the latest developments around the song. Most recently, the launch of […]

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Mi Brain Nuh Need Visa Fi Fly

The latest Woofah — a UK-based magazine covering the latest and greatest in bass culture — is finally out, and it’s a big, glossy whopper of an issue. What’s more, yours truly has a thinky-piece in it exploring the fraught relationship between Afrofuturist reggae musicians and the Rastas-in-Space projected by Hollywood films and sci-fi authors […]

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Reanimating the Castles

Pacey Foster has a great post over at his blog detailing a recent discovery of — and creative engagement with — a 1914 book published by Vernon and Irene Castle, perhaps the premiere dancing couple in the pre-jazz age and crucial players in the formation of the “society” dance scene in NYC during the 1910s. […]

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Music Industry and Digital Youth Culture

Next Tuesday (Feb 2) will be the initial meeting of the first class I’m teaching at MIT. I’m excited about the course, a new one, which invites students to read along with me and collectively investigate what I’ve been calling music industry — that is, a broader understanding of musically-propelled cultural practice than something like […]

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Hurban Renewal

Ok, back to reggaeton. So, once again, back to questions of vitality and vocality. Or, how it’s doing and for whom & from whence it speaks. one way of looking at the “reggaeton” “crash” (and recovery?) I was tickled to see Birdseed name reggaeton genre of the year for 2009, fully contra Gavin’s provocative post […]

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All My Hats At Once

tis the season for donning hats & maybe getting clobbered by a classmate Last Wednesday night I was the guest of Emily Corwin, host of The Neighborhood, a weekly radio show broadcast from Cambridge/MIT on WMBR. As she billed it — With trusty laptop in tow, Wayne wears all his hats at once –– musician, […]

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Loo$e Change, Tight Flick

I enjoyed this so thoroughly yesterday that I need to post it here. Thanks to Frank Roberts for the tip. Becca called this 15 minute film “pitch perfect,” and I think she’s right. Hope you dig this as much as we. Someone needs to give Mykwain Gainey the resources to produce a series or something, […]

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Gwada Blondinettes Have More Fun

White people can’t dance, you know — to be more precise, not if they’ve been raised in a place or community or family where they’re not socialized and enculturated into dancing, or don’t later make great efforts to correct such an impoverished upbringing. (& of course, that goes for ppl of any color.) This video […]

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Pop Goes the World

There’s little I can add to all the tributes and reflections gumming up the web these days, but like so many others I feel compelled to say something. Inspired even. I found Andrew Sullivan’s and Jeff Chang’s posts pretty resonant, Jason King’s too, among others, and I’ve been particularly struck by all the MJ music […]

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Real Talk, Lads

So, yeah, inundated by mixes, but finally got a chance to check out last month’s Rinse FM set by Butterz (ft. Terror Danjah), which shows grime (& its bastard cousin, dubstep) alive&well & wot-u-call-it as ever. Comfortably contentious even! Esp w/ the notion that grime might be less than alive & well. I love the […]

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Balls of Steele

how u like me now off the hook in the facebook with the twittering in urban/suburban hip-hop settings? GQ: do you have a favorite [rap act]? Steele: P. Diddy I enjoy quite a bit. GQ: Do you want to rethink that? Steele: [laughs] I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age […]

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Old (and Not So Old) Weird (and Not So Weird) America

We’re visiting Becca’s sister, her husband, and their 6-month-old twins in North Carolina this week. Initially drawn to Durham/Duke, Leila&Sebastian und Sasha&Max now live in a small-ish town called Burlington, in an old mill house they rebuilt themselves (with a little help from their friends). Yesterday, we escaped some rainy morning blues by heading to […]

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Welcome to Brownsville

Former wunderkind hip-hop critic and now English prof at Vassar, Hua Hsu asks some great questions in his hot-off-the-press Atlantic cover story, itself a question, “The End of White America?” — What will it mean to be white after “whiteness” no longer defines the mainstream? Will anyone mourn the end of white America? I especially […]

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