Friday, April 17, 2015

Cis-Het-middle class-office dwelling Hip Hip/rap realness

Drag queens use the term "realness" to describe a look that is authentic.  I have been thinking about why I feel hip hop/rap so deeply.  Why do I identify with the boyz?  I am middle class, middle aged, middle management.  I should be content right?  I have enough money.  I have secure housing.  I have white privilege.  I have het, cis privilege.  I have a lot and I am still feeling these boyz.

I wonder if it is a consumption of the other or a perceived shortcut to authentic indigeneaity (there has been some great thinking on this that I will link to in a later post).  Joel raised the fact that a lot of this music is about/by angry men and that maybe I am angry.  I am certainly angry at the church.  I am angry about what happened to my ancestors.  I am angry that privilege didn't bring what it promised.  I am angry that even small deviations from "normal" need to be discussed and dissected in a way that I don't understand - don't have a car? Don't raise your kids in X way? Don't want to look exactly like other people?  What hope is there for larger difference?  What do I tell my children?  Be yourself (as long as it meets social norms)?

I lost my fascinator yesterday and a security guard I don't know came up to me this morning to tell me they had it.  In 40 floors of people she knew it was mine.  That is a lot of normativity (it also came back in a sealed evidence bag which is another whole level of interesting - the dangerous feminine anyone?).  I try to be myself but it can be tiring and then even when I try to be normal I realized I am failing in some way I never even considered and frankly it should not even matter.  I am a good analyst, if I wear something on my head while I do it, why should it matter?  I am a good analyst cause I see things in a different way than other people.  That is part of what they pay me for.  It all confuses me.

But I also like these artists because they are real.  There is a sense of place, of relationships, of shared problems and of creating a joint space to try to figure stuff out and make it better.  We get Eminem talking about mental illness Eminem - The Monster (Explicit) ft. Rihanna, the Winnipeg Boyz "so far" sharing that life ain't fair, (Cosmo Jarvis Train Downtown / Mackelmore"Make the Money" talking about the numbness of everyday and how to survive, and  Shibastik "Hand Drum" on finding a space/a song.

I come from the history where women aren't supposed to be angry and it can be scary for me to acknowledge these feelings.  Maybe this music just opens this space up?  I wish there were more women speaking to me in this space.  I feel this lack.  But just knowing there is a space and letting myself explore it has been important.  So many spaces to open up and decolonize. 

I thought when I was this age I would be listening to things I liked when I was young.  I didn't expect to be learning so much and getting so much joy from a new genre. I find that hopeful too.  Where is your soul's next treasure?  How are you challenging yourself to experience new things?  How are you creating new spaces for conversations?

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