Giroux’s article about ‘Lil Wayne’s Lyrical Fascism’, here, makes good points. The erosion of civil rights values, the pornification of everything to make the bottom line plumper, the casual cruelty of spectacle. ‘Course. These things I agree with.
I also get pretty allergic to a certain claiming of status about the ‘moral witnessing’ that civil rights era activists, and writers who remember them, engage in. Yes. Honouring, remember, upholding. Yes. But ‘higher value’ can wedge in that generational gap to become preaching. Try living in the youth cultures that routinely trade in misogyny. Try being a female artist.
Yes, people of any age can (and some do) question consumerism as the basis of all things. Yes, people of any age, gender, race, sexuality, and ability can get themselves educated about the multiple struggles that have gone before. That continue.
There’s also a need to look at the ways that precarity of work and disposability of people affect the ways that people think about themselves. And justice. And history.
Now. I don’t want to give excuses (and I won’t, for misogynistic, racist crap). It’s pretty likely that if I can accuse others of sounding inflated and preaching, they can accuse me of sounding resentful.
But the system that applauds Lil Wayne didn’t come out of the abyss*. And, of course, systems are made and sustained and changed by people. Like those marchers, those preachers. And MCs and those who stop applauding.
By female artists rapping back. By male producers steering clear of the schtick.
*Or did it.