Monday, 16 November 2009

In Social Concious Limbo. Who's with me?

Posted by Simone Says

Recently I had a conversation with a family member involving law and morals. In the midst of this conversation I'd illustrate my points with slang and profanity. He stepped out of the conversation to ask me how I could go from talking so intelligently to more off the wall dialogue.

This led me to thinking about myself, and a real answer for that question. I'm just stuck in limbo. I find that mainstream rap music is often boastful, degrading, and encourages stereotypes. Yet, I watch music videos on BET and don't mind the radio. Oh, and I really hate the term, "neosoul". Some of my favorites artists are soulful singers of the 60's, and I refuse to believe that today's most soulful artists are entirely different to where they need another genre. Last I checked many "conscious" rappers don't like being called "social conscious rappers" anyway.

I'm in social conscious limbo. I like passion and nostalgia. Even when something isn't the best executed I can appreciate for either of these reasons. To be specific I can say my favorite rapper is 2pac. I've loved 2pac since I was 9 years old. Over the years I've realized he isn't the best lyricist in the history of rap music. It doesn't matter, because I love his variety of content and the emotion, power, and cadence in his voice. I love his honesty and overt passion. The wordiest books aren't always the best. For the record Nas often bores me. I know what he's rapping about. I completely understand him, and appreciate his insight put to music. Still, I might get a Bow Wow cd first, because of the charisma, sometimes speedy midwest delivery, and the showcasing of the joys of being young. If it's entertainment.

Don't use this to judge me. I'll tell you if a new Nas record is good by technical and personal standards. :) And did I say I like Nas? I love Nas.

This goes beyond music for me. I'm past materialism for others, but don't mind materialistic items for myself. I realize that some black women get blonde weaves chasing a European look that they have decided is superior. Still, I don't want natural hair. I like relaxers. I've studied film in college for years. I've learned film history, techniques, theory, and criticism. This hasn't stopped me from embracing films with plots thinner then sheets of paper. (I fear I'll make a few critically loathed films in the future....but I'm sure someone will like them.)

I guess it all boils down to how I was raised. I'm from the north and south. I'm from the city and the suburbs. I look at all things pretty openly. I've had enough life experiences to either make me very cold or very empathetic. I am the latter. I'm definitely socially aware. I talk like I've had a good education, but not proper. Never in my life has anybody ever said the ignorant statement, "(you) talk white". If they did that would be a whole 'nother blog.

It's a good thing to be in limbo. I'm wise enough to know that it's different strokes for different folks. Some people like what reflects them, and sometimes what reflects them is not the most accepted or sophisticated. The best thing about being in limbo is relating to both sides of the equation. If you want to talk reality TV highlights or crime and incarceration then get at me.

I'm sure I'm not alone? Anyone else feel not so guilty about should-be guilty pleasures?


Anonymous said...

I love trashy tv, it's like a car wreck You can't turn away. But I know better lol

Tahirah said...

I can identify. I recently defended my love for commercial R&B; "yes I love musical powerhouses who can blow more than Whitney (pun intended) but yeah, I liked Cassie's last song too..."
I also find conversing with hip-hop purists for more than 10 minutes is exhausting - my indulgence in the odd ringtone-rapper makes me no less appreciative of Nas' Illmatic. But beyond that, on a deeper level, I agree, there needs to be a balance - while I can't relate to anyone who's literary consumption only stretches as far as OK! Magazine & National Enquirer, I can lighten up a little, watch and love trashy VH1 "reality" TV. And I kinda enjoy being in limbo.