I thought about writing a review on this blog of Kanye West's new album. But I've actually been having a really good Facebook conversation with a young brother I know that captures how I feel about the album, about Kanye West, and all the hubbub around him.
It started when I posted Popmatters' review of the album on Facebook, tagging a few fellow music heads in my friend list, with the following comment:
This is about how I feel about the album. Though I think a 7/10 is a mite high, maybe a 6/10 6.5…eh. it's mostly enjoyable tho
I posted the Popmatters review because it captures much of what I feel about the album and is also emblematic of what I consider a real problem in music reviewing: grading on a curve such that you give credit for ambition without sufficiently assessing execution.
Drives me batty.
Anyway, this exchange which took place in the comments of the post was only lightly edited for clarity:
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Posted on November 24th, 2010 - Filed under Conversations
Tags :: A Tribe Called Quest
, Big Boi
, Big KRIT
, black music
, Damian Marley
, De La Soul
, high art
, hip hop
, Jay Hova
, Kamaal the Abstract
, Kanye West
, music industry
, musical ambition
, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
, Reflection Eternal
, Talib Kweli
, The Blueprint
, white people
I am interested in posting some conversations, emails, IM's I have with colleagues, friends, adversaries because often I find I say some dope ass shit when I'm just talkin and vibin off of someone compared to when I say "i'm gonna write a blog post on X thing about race today." LOL.
To that end, this post is informed by a couple of incidents including, but not limited to, the Dyson verbal beatdown of Obama on race, some (what I would consider to be) problematic critiques of the Dyson beatdown, and Melissa Harris-Lacewell's critique of the latest Smiley effort.
Appreciating what me and a friend are discussing here is not contingent upon reading that stuff, but I wanted to provide context for those curious about why we are talkin about this stuff.
Enjoy and comment freely!
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Posted on June 5th, 2009 - Filed under Conversations
So I was having an email exchange with a good friend of mine about what i'm calling "alterna-black" artists. These are folks that are offered up as alternatives to the dominant face of corporate black music. We are told in many ways that they are "better" simply because they are different.
This exchange problematizes this notion. I had planned to blog about this whole thing, but I think this email exchange gets at all the major points relating to how I feel about the way we (black folks) consume our own art.
Note: This is long! Enjoy though. Comments welcome
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Posted on September 30th, 2008 - Filed under Conversations