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Halloo! When I found out I could go to med school with a Humanities degree with an Ethnomusicology emphasis, I almost peed myself. Here's to me holding it in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Annotated Source


I'm done with the assignment - chheeeya. Don't fret - I'll still do research. I don't need assignments to do what I do.

Dufelmeier, Daylan. "A Forty Million Slave's Moment of Clarity." Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King. Ed. Julius Bailey. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. Print.

In another annotated source I cited the introduction to the Jay-Z essays book, but several of the essays deserve closer examination. Here's one. The Forty Million Dollar Slave by William C. Rhoden that this essay alludes to and cites details the problems inherent in the vast moneymaking potential of black Americans through the centuries, and the primarily white businessmen that have tapped and taken the money their "Forty Million Dollar Slaves" made through their talents. Daylan explores Jay-Z's unique position as an incredibly lucrative black individual who is yet playing within the old system. As interesting as that is, more relevant to the direction of my studies in hip hop is the closing paragraph of the essay, where hip-hop's potential power for positive social change is defended and Daylan pleads for an increased and more effective use of hip-hop in this arena. I witnessed a beautiful and moving example of Tibetan activist music this past March 10th, and the use of hip-hop for Tibetan activism is readily apparent on the internet - I wonder, as I have in other posts, if any of this is going on in Bylakuppe.

"'Hip hop's true significance for the community activists and leaders I have worked with resides in its ability to encourage young people to believe they have the power to make a difference'(Watkins 255). In The Hip Hop Generation Bakari Kitwana documents scores of situations when hip hop has used its remarkable talent for change (206, 207, 208, 209). Potent lyrics laced with criticism of society would be more effective to make system-wide change than uncritical lyrics or black (or rapper) ownership. With lyrical skills like Jay-Z's rappers have such potential to challenge status quo and empower people to resist injustice... Songs that make heads nod yet retain socially empowering lyrics is what I call a win, win." 138

The recent tragic and touching rise in Tibetan self-immolation is certainly food for socially conscious music, especially as the Tibetan plight is remembered by a world grown callous over the last twenty years. We'll see what happens.

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