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Drake and Bounce Music: The Upside of Cultural Appropriation?

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What happens when someone appropriates a culture but does it so well, you have to give it props? We spend a lot of time arguing about the usual cultural appropriating suspects (who shall remain nameless here), and who, in some instances, should be called out for their blatant disregard of what another culture holds dear.  Although cultural appropriation is often discussed as problematic because the violators misrepresent and misuse artistic materials and styles from people who have been historically marginalized and continue to be socially marginalized, there is an upside to appropriation. What I’m saying is, it ain’t ALL bad.

So, Drake who is well-known for appropriating regional musical sounds, dropped Nice For What last weekend, which by the way, I have to give a side-eye to because that was Cardi’s weekend, but, that’s neither here nor there. The point is, the song is flame emojis across the board. What makes it so hot, honestly, is that he sampled the Bounce music sound, an underground musical genre most closely associated with New Orleans-based hip-hop and dance music. Drake, certainly not a native to New Orleans or even the U.S., in essence, appropriated the musical culture of a Nah’lins. And I love it. He took an underground sound that isn’t often played outside of that region (yes, we have seen Big Freedia with Beyoncé and on his own MTV show, but still!) and brought it to the big-screen.

It reminds me of what Spike Lee did for Go-Go music in 1988 with the release of his movie School Daze that features popular D.C. Go-Go band E.U. Anyone not in the DMV area probably doesn’t know what Go-Go music is – it is a distinct musical style with lots of drums and instrumentation and some call and response created and mostly played in the D.C. area. Spike Lee, not a native to DC or a cultural insider, appropriated the sound for his big-screen debut and I can’t find anything wrong with that. Maybe you remember Jill Scott’s song It’s Love? That’s Go-Go too.

What happens when someone appropriates a culture but does it so well, you have to give it props? Enter Drake with Nice For What. Click To Tweet

Anyway, not to get all academic on you, but cultural appropriation is predicated on defining and dividing the cultural insiders from the cultural outsiders, and this has the potential to lead to cultural essentialism which is exclusionary. The foundation of cultural appropriation requires that one make the distinction between cultural insiders from cultural outsiders based upon criteria required for cultural membership as determined by the cultural insiders, and the criteria for membership (in most pop culture arguments about appropriation) is race. If you think about cultural appropriation this way, it becomes a cousin to the “stereotype” and it upholds the monolithic view of a culture -Blackness in this example – which we all claim that we don’t want.

Listen, its America and our proximity to people of other cultures and ethnicities makes it nearly impossible to refrain from borrowing and mixing cultures to enhance one’s identity development, whether consciously or unconsciously. And no place is this more true than in music.

via GIPHY

I’m not trying to make excuses for any cultural appropriating violators nor am I discounting any of the eloquent and well-articulated points made to critique cultural appropriators. What I am saying however, is this – that got damn song is hot and so are the visuals and Drake has my permission to appropriate anything he wants because he does it so well.

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Ella Mai

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Ella Mai’s self titled album is a 10 out of 10! Every song is good from start to finish.

First, she had everybody wanting to be Boo’d Up…

Then she had people Tripping…

But now she has everybody talking about this amazing 16 track album.

Ella Mai starts the album off by breaking down her name which is her way of letting people know who she is, but it is a way of people connecting with her beyond the music. I found this to be a different approach for her because I have been listening to Ella Mai before she became mainstream.

One conversation on social media is that people do not like when she starts talking after the song is over but she has been doing this for a while.

Does it bang in the car? The answer is 100% YES. This is an album you can play without skipping a single song. Ella Mai only had three featured artists on the album and that is rare for an artist because almost everybody now has an album with almost everybody featured on it. If you have not listened to the album I would suggest you do!

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The Long Awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ “FLOP” or “NOT”

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4 damn years! After 4 long years, Lil Wayne finally drops Tha Carter V and it sold pretty well despite the mixed reviews that have been floating around. The album was initially scheduled to be released back in May of 2014 but the legal battle with Birdman held him from releasing. After listening I give it a 7 out of 10. When listening it did not give me the Wayne that I was expecting. One tweet, in particular, said exactly what I was thinking.

The #UproarChallenge became popular after social media comedian Shiggy posted him dancing to the song on Instagram.

 

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#Mood : Where The Love Go? 💔🤷‍♂️ @therealswizzz @liltunechi 😂😂😂💯🔥

A post shared by Shoker🃏 (@theshiggyshow) on

Even Wayne’s boys got in on the #UproarChallenge

The songs that stood out the most were Mona Lisa, Open Letter, Hittas, Problems and Used 2. Tha Carter V has some bangers, but if I can’t bang the whole album in the car and have to skip songs there is a problem. Overall the album is a solid good 13 songs.

 

Did the long-awaited Tha Carter V live up to the hype for you? Comment below “FLOP” or “NOT”

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Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Call It Quits

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We all saw it coming, unfortunately. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are reportedly splitting up according to TMZ. The couple who were engaged have called it quits.

Sources close to the former couple tell us AG and PD split this weekend, with both parties acknowledging that it simply was not the right time for their relationship to take off. We’re told the two still have love for each other, but things are over romantically. via TMZ

Sources have also said that the recent death of Ariana’s ex Mac Miller was the breaking point. Mac Miller died early last month on the 7th of September. Ariana posted a heartfelt message on her Instagram.

 

 

This has been a troubling year for Ariana and we wish her the best.

 

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