Ill Doctrine provides an analysis of the conspiracy theory that supposedly details the secret deal to use hip hop to increase the private system.

Institutions and people that benefit from an unjust status quo are going to act in ways that perpetuate that status quo. And they’re not going to need a secret meeting to do it… It happens every day, a hundred different ways right in front of us in broad daylight. And the more time we spend diving into worm holes looking for the hidden truth about secret plots, the less time we have to address those straight forward everyday injustices right in front of us.

We are through the looking glass here, people…

Rad reference to the reverse vampires conspiracy theory.

Lupe Fiasco - Superstar (featuring Matthew Santos).

Lupe Fiasco is one of my favourite lyricists. He has such smart ideas and phrases. This song provides a nice analysis of celebrity culture. My favourite line is in bold - uncouth is such a great word; it’s a pleasure rolling off the tongue. Plus it suits me, sometimes.

I’m too uncouth
Unschooled to the rules
And too gum shoe
Too much of a newcomer
And too uncool
Like Shadow and Lavelle
I battle with it well
Though I need a holiday like lady who sung blue
Go back what ever you did you undo
Heavy is heaven
The devil on me two tonnes too

Missy Elliot, Work It.

I’ve been writing a critique of Catherine Hakim’s work on erotic capital. I’ll be putting it up soon. This vid by Missy Elliot was playing in the background at one stage to inspire me. Unlike Hakim’s research, I see that Missy Elliot’s representation of femininity contributes towards the empowerment of non-white heterosexual women.*

Writing about Elliot’s video for Sock It to Me, Sociologist Rana Emerson argues that Elliot combines agency, voice, partnership, and ‘Black context’ to construct ‘Black woman–centred video narratives’:

these narratives, the interests, desires, and goals of women are predominant and gain importance in contrast to those in which they are exploited and subsumed. Black women are quite firmly the subjects of these narratives and are able to clearly and unequivocally express their points of view.

I think Emerson’s comments could also apply to Missy Elliot’s entire body of work, including Work It. Writing about Beep Me 911, which is set in ‘what seems to be a pornographic peep show’, Emerson argues:

the juxtaposition and combination of sexuality, assertiveness, and independence in these videos can also be read as the reappropriation of the Black woman’s body in response to its sexual regulation and exploitation. What emerges is an effort on the part of the Black female artist to assert her own sexuality, to gain her own sexual pleasure.

This is such a nice bit of sociology. Unlike Hakim’s book. Sigh…

*I cover LGBT people in my critique of Hakim.