Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media (“Kanye has a big budget & wears Céline so it’s ok if he does it” edition)

Video-intro thing that art-school, clove-smoking Kanye can get away with but Soulja or Waka never could and why is that. (We need to discuss):


Communications 306 is a forum for the critical analysis of photographic and video images as a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist at large. The goal of this course is to facilitate the improvement of students’ ability to deconstruct, organize, and critically think about communicative messages while becoming better equipped to articulate ideas. To that end, please turn in your papers (by the end of class today) providing a thorough explanation of the reasons for MCs to be in current possession of Pitchfork approval in order for them to pull off a “This Is An Art Piece” reminder before their videos play.

As a general rule, if you were poor not that long ago and your stuff is still played at Magic City, you are not a rapper whose work is fancy and you therefore would get laughed at by music site comment-section droogs if you tried to call your work art. Let’s play the game! Who could successfully slide an ART PIECE visual intro past us without making us blink? Clipse, Doomsy, Curren$y, Drake (UGH): yes, definitely. Tyler & Hodge & the gang, yeah. Nickatina, no, but OutKast could for sure. No Trap-A-Holics, not a one. No Three 6, no 8ball/MJG. No Gucci (the exception to the rule; he’s Pitchfork-approved but he’s also a Trap-A-Holic til they put him in the ground, so he would get laughed off the Internet if he tried it.). Sometimes there’s division even in the same crew! Nicki and Weezy, yes, but Baby, nope. Khaled, no. Toss-ups: E-40, Jeezy, Game, Gibbs, T.I. I could see it going either way with those guys.

I do like it, though – the little advisory. I need it to be splashed across apt. 680’s wall for new visitors. I need it written on a little piece of paper and taped to my Civic’s dashboard when 400 Degreez is in the CD changer and I have an un-with-it companion in the passenger’s seat. I should also have it fastened to the top of my head so that it hangs down over my bangs when I walk down the street, as a reminder that the vulgarity of my hips should in no way be considered a negative message toward any groups of people (girls who lack hips, like every one of the girls in the “Monster” video*). My bodyform is a goddamn art piece and it shall be taken as such; it’s not just some primitive vehicle for carnal pleasures. How dare you.

Even with the glorious presence of the Minaj verse, there’s still no getting beyond the song itself, with Jay screaming LOVE as the thing that’s his Achilles heel. Who approved that because it makes me cringe every time.

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One thought on “Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media (“Kanye has a big budget & wears Céline so it’s ok if he does it” edition)

  1. Dart Adams

    I was one of the “Hip Hop bloggers” that absolutely abhored “Monster”. Even to this day, I'm baffled that most folks think it was good. I guess Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj ultimately ruined it for me. Oh, and the beat. That too… *Shrugs*

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