links for 2010-09-25

  • ”‘Gangsta rap’ was a reaction of white journalism and never a description of the performers themselves,” says author and historian Cecil Brown. Noting that police brutality has long been a theme within hip-hop, he says, “This need to express one’s condition by using electronic technology is not different from using the medium of the work song to express slave oppression.”

    The controversy around gangsta rap fittingly began with its willingness to address police violence against African Americans. In 1989, in response to the N.W.A. song “Fuck tha Police,” the FBI notified police departments nationwide about the group’s planned tour dates and sent a warning letter to its label, Priority. In 1992, then-Vice President Dan Quayle criticized Tupac Shakur for anti-law enforcement lyrics on his “2Pacalypse Now” album, saying such content “has no place in our society.”

  • "The image of blackness flourishes, but how is the presence of diversity in the publishing world? We take the pulse of the industry. We ask which magazines have hired, who have they hired and what does that reveal about diversity in post racial USA? Black women may adorn mainstream magazine covers, but, there are no black people holding the top position of Fashion Director at any major magazine. What do you say that means for the fashion, beauty, lifestyle media in post-racial America?”