When a rapper wins the Pulitzer prize, you know your literary career is down the drain.
Kendrick, the philosopher; is a magnetic force in the world of Hip Hop and otherwise.
He’s generated a phenomenon so strikingly relatable that people of all culture were boogying and grinding and twerking, to a song which is in fact about Black History and Slavery; based on the documented life of character Kunta Kinte.
People of all culture couldn’t care less to dig deeper, decided it was time to boogey — When you got the yams (What’s the yams?).
Well Yams are Power and Wealth; which Kendrick, the philosopher has undoubtedly achieved.
Yet even the Yams couldn’t stop people from singing along to racially derogatory language only reserved for the community that represents it.
Hence, a poor soul did learn the power of yams as she was invited on stage for a sing along and soon got her vibe killed instantly when she ignorantly fell victim to the trap of singing along to lyrics which were reserved only to be sung by people of Kendrick, the philosopher’s culture.
“It’s not okay to use that word when I’ve invited you on stage for a sing along which contains the very word you’re not meant to use, how dare you!”
Isolating the young lady; Kendrick, the philosopher had made his point.
It didn’t stop the crowd from singing along though, as was evident people of all culture were dropping derogatory language anyways.
Yet; Kendrick, the philosopher still argued — “Just don’t kill my vibe, but I damn sure will kill yours”.
In an era of Language appropriate, if you wish to make a point — maybe know exactly what you’re aiming for before you shoot out an arrow onto a seemingly polarised target?
What was the point, I wondered — why invite a white girl on stage and school her for dropping derogatory language in front of a crowd; was it all to make a point that it’s not okay to use the word even if the artist will incorporate it in their creation?
If so, how far do we take cultural appropriation?
Should artists start labelling their content, with a sign that explain how the art should be consumed and represented?
People at clubs were still singing and grinding to the song; would Kendrick, the philosopher enforce the language be stricken from his work entirely when played for people for a different culture?
As a creator who represents a culture, you don’t control who views and consumes your content — so if the point is to bring awareness of why it simply it just not okay to use the derogatory language, how do we appropriate it when consumers will blast it out in cars or in their headphones?
I come from a culture where the world “Mud-People”, translated in my language is a derogatory term for people representative of my ancestry.
Yet, as time would have it — we tend to use the word to define ourselves, constantly. I personally find it hypocritical and hence don’t use it, and do hold the belief nobody regardless of any culture should be using the world; not even people of my ethnicity.
We’re only perceived how we present ourselves; so if Kendrick, the philosopher’s purpose is to educate fans on how his content should be consumed and regurgitated, how do one get the point across by promoting it constantly through their work?
Not everyone consuming the content is appropriating it.
People who enjoy Kendrick’s work often do use the derogatory language casually.
Is it possible to promote and appropriate language at the same time?
Does it raise awareness to the issue at hand?
If so, as creators should we be taking a better look at how we produce the content through which we hope to bring awareness to the issue we are trying to negate?
I’m not sure if using the very word one wishes to appropriate was such a good idea to promote at the concert to a widely white demographic to tackle the situation; because in doing so, one is only perpetuating the problem and not diminishing it.
Tarantino has taken much criticism for incorporating the same word throughout his films, his argument is it’s necessary appropriation.
Hence, I’m left in a paradoxical situation wondering if I should even be consuming such content when the very language we wish to appropriate is being sprung back and forth in mass-production.
I can use the word, because I represent that culture. You can’t use it because you don’t represent it. But it’s okay to grind out to it when we all get drunk and wish to boogey, and feel free to shout it out when I do point to the crowd; put your hands up high and let’s do a singalong. But don’t you dare get on my stage, and drop that word — go ahead, sing; but bitch, don’t kill my vibe.
Kendrick, the philosopher — congratulations you’ve taught us many things about cultural appropriation and I hope you can continue to educate us with the Pulitzer Prize now under your belt.