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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. Share on X

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.

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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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Rolling Ray Undergoes Surgery After Wig Catches On Fire

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Social media star Rolling Ray underwent surgery Tuesday morning to treat serious burns on his body after his terrible wig accident last week. 

In a series of IG stories, he let his audience follow along as he prepped for surgery.

Last week Rolling Ray announced he was hospitalized after his wig caught on fire! During a January 13 Instagram Live session hosted straight from his hospital bedside, he showed his severely burnt and damaged face telling viewers his “whole skin, legs, arms, feet, and everything” were burned.

In a more recent Live, Ray explained the incident that led to his whole wig catching on fire: an unfortunate smoking accident. “It just, like, lit on fire when I tried to light the cigarette,” he recounted. “So I get to trying to snatch the wig off. B***h, the fire goes to my f*****g shirt, to my feet, to my legs, to my back. It’s a fire everywhere, it’s a fire in the whole room.” 

Of course the internet trolled him in a disgusting display of ableism and heartlessness. Comments like “Rolling Ray should have stopped, dropped, and rolled” and “karma’s a b***h” had social media conflicted in its feelings about his accident. His sensation comes from his harsh and, often, below-the-belt reads (just last month he told Yung Miami to “dig (sic) up” her dead baby father. However, the criticism didn’t stop him from responding on Twitter. 

Rolling Ray might be problematic as all get-out, but we do not tolerate ableism here. We wish him well as he heals.

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Fantasia Reveals Gender of Baby On the Way!

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On Tuesday singer-songwriter and “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino took to social media to reveal that she is having a baby girl, her first child with husband Kendall Taylor.

In a series of Instagram stories, Fantasia showed pink fireworks being shot off during a gender reveal party, to her and her hubby’s excitement! She continued by sharing what her daughter-to-be’s name will be: Keziah London Taylor.

The news comes after the couple revealed they had struggled to conceive since their 2015 marriage. During a November episode of her IG Live show “Taylor Talks,” she described continuously praying for a child with her husband. Fantasia, a deeply devout Christian, was obviously elated when she shared the news.

“God I Want To Thank You!” she said in an Instagram caption. “You Gave Us A Seed even when the Doctor said that one of my Tubes [was] Closed you said Different. @salute1st I Love You King and I can’t wait to see who He or She acts Like.”

We can see Fantasia and family are all super excited to be welcoming a baby girl into their lives. All congratulations to her.

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Getting Divorced, Report Says

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In a story published Tuesday evening, Page Six is reporting that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting divorced, with the two already in settlement talks. The news comes after the couple spent the holiday season separately – Kanye at his ranch outside Cody, Wyoming, Kim and the kids with her famous family in southern California. 

A source close to Kardashian was quoted saying, “Kim got Kanye to go up there so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done.” Kardashian, 40, and West, 43, are said to be splitting because of marital problems directly related to Kanye’s very public mental health struggles.

For several years the rapper’s various antics have caused fans to worry. After coming out as a Trump supporter, West then announced his own 2020 presidential bid under a new political party: the Birthday Party. At a campaign rally in South Carolina, he was seen rambling, debating individual audience members, and at times, crying. In various interviews, he has rambled on almost incoherently, and his tweetstorms are now infamous.

For her part, Kim has always supported her husband and has openly discussed the difficulties of their marriage. Back in June, she shared on social media, “Anyone who has [bipolar disorder] or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand… People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual (has) to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”

It appears she has finally reached her limit in the union with the unnamed source saying, “She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy s**t, and she’s just had enough of it.”

Separately, a source close to Kanye alleges the rapper is sick of his wife and her family, which might have some truth to it since he has tweeted some pretty nasty things about them in the past. “I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for ‘prison reform,’” he said in a now-deleted July tweet. Recently, he hasn’t been featured on his wife’s Instagram and has largely remained out of the public eye.

With the news yet to be confirmed, the “divorce is imminent” reports are just rumors for now. We’ll be following the news as more information comes out.

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