I Am Curious! What Beat Does Your Soul Emanate On?

I think a lot of the critical hoo-ha that followed in the wake of SF/J’s miscegenationist broadside could have been averted had we all paid closer attention to the Monkees. Take the following clip, discussed by fellow Riddim Methodist Pacey Foster way back when, in which Charlie Smalls demos the difference between white and black […]

Read More →
Prodigal Guns and Hip-hop Cops

Mobb Deep’s Prodigy alleges he was set up by the “hip-hop cops.” Listen >>> … Pull quotes — The hip-hop cops, they all over us, son. … When they locked me up, they tried to get me to set up 50 Cent. … They told me to plant stuff in his car and they’d let […]

Read More →
Global Ghettotech vs. Indie Rock: The Contempo Cartography of Hip

“Hipster hedonism takes many forms,” wrote Ned Polsky in reply to Norman Mailer’s hipster manifesto of 1957. “Some hipster groups,” Polsky continued, “have everything to do with motorcycles, whereas others have nothing to do with them.” Similarly, but more in the abstract, in his genealogy of the hipster, “Hip and the Long Front of Color” […]

Read More →
Simon Says: I’m a Hipster?

Dang. I think Simon just referred to my blog as “hipster chatter.” Them’s fightin words, Reynolds. I mean, I’m sayin, I only own one belt and maybe 3 pairs of sneakers, tops. For serious tho, I’m very curious to know what constitutes hipsterism — for Simon and for others — at this moment in time. […]

Read More →
iReggaeton?

Next week (Thursday, Oct 11, from 12:00pm – 1:45pm to be exact) I’ll be presenting at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, being held this year in Philadelphia (at the Marriott, natch, which is offering a lovely “conference rate” of $200/night). I’m not so excited about the hotel deal, but I’m excited about […]

Read More →
Hallelujah Holla Black

Some readers might remember that I participated in a panel about ego trip’s White Rapper Show earlier this year at the annual meeting of IASPM-US. I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts / comments from that session here for a while, but haven’t had a moment to collect (or transcribe) them. Well, I just spent […]

Read More →
The Webnography of Reggaeton Faultlines

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gleaned lots of what I know ’bout the narratives swirling ’round reggaeton via the web, especially via the messageboard debates that flare up into all sorts of contested, conflicting accounts and claims. In that sense, I’ve maybe learned less about reggaeton’s history this way, per se, than about how people […]

Read More →
Reggaeton’s Contempo Indexical Lexica

As I’ve argued before — and will be arguing next week in Mexico City — one can hear reggaeton’s embrace of tecno synths and “Latin” loops as an audible shift from (explicitly, sonically marking itself as) “música negra” to “reggaeton latino.” Such a change, I contend, corresponds to an attendant shift in the cultural politics […]

Read More →
Nu Whirl Music, Blogged in Translation?

In a recent issue of the SEM Newsletter (March 2007, to be precise), Phil Bohlman addressed the issue of cultural translation and how it presents a paradox to ethnomusicologists — or perhaps more broadly, to those of us who mediate musical representations in myriad ways (including via links and mp3s): Should we understand our acts […]

Read More →
Follow Me Now: The Zigzagging Zunguzung Meme

The text below was written in spring 2007 and delivered at EMP and IASPM. Since its initial publication, I have learned of many additional instances of the “zunguzung” meme, often thanks to readers. I will continue to update the tally at the end of the post, and searching “zunguzung” on this site will lead to […]

Read More →
Dear Wayne #8353: JA inna US & UK

While we’re in a outsourcing mood here at w&w, allow we to offer up another recent q&a — Dear Wayne, Hope you’re well, This is a follow-up to an email that I sent last week regarding me possibly conducting an interview in the near future regarding the role of Jamaican styles in US and UK […]

Read More →
La Musica Negra (Hispana?)

Having read no small # of reggaeton messageboard debates (esp over ?s of nat’l origin), I’ve developed a decent sense, I’d like to think, of when someone hits a good # of signposts. The following gem is quite solid in that respect — myths, misspellings, elisions and omissions, grammatical and historical slippage notwithstanding. Econowhimsical prose, […]

Read More →
New Wine, Old Bottles

A couple nights ago I attended the reception for an exhibition currently showing at the Glass Curtain Gallery (Columbia College) in downtown Chicago. Curated by anthropologist art historian Deborah Stokes and entitled “Africa.dot.Com: Drums to Digital,” it is billed as “an exhibition that visually and interactively explores the collision of modern culture and technology on […]

Read More →
¿Que Fue?

That review of the new Tego album in the Phoenix that I’ve been telling y’all about has finally seen the light of day. You can find it in the digital fishwrap here, but I’m going to go with my standard practice of reprinting the original on this humble blog since inevitably a word or two […]

Read More →
The Further Adventures of Blog O’Sphere, pt. 643

Given that urbody’s raving, and rightly so, about Dr.Auratheft’s DoabaGypsyQawwaliFlamenco mix (which I misnomerly bigged up back at the blogspot), I think it’s only proper to point you to Murk’s second podcast, DiasporRoma, which selects for similar socio-sonic suggestions. From a slightly different angle, or yet another node on the bellydance diaspora (no misnomo), here’s […]

Read More →