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Author Topic: Hip-Hop and Racism towards Indigenous Youth
Willowdale Wizard
Babbler # 3674

posted 21 April 2004 10:51 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
village voice

Conjuring up the charge of cavalries and natives on some futuristic-western warpath, OutKast stormed the 2004 Grammys in February with the brazenness of the former, while bedecked as the latter. Resplendent in neon green Halloween-Hiawatha approximations of Native American regalia—fringe, headbands, and feathers—Andre and Big Boi rose before smoking teepees, prancing proudly through their chart-slaying "Hey Ya!," the chorus of which is itself evocative of powwow singing. Was it some kind of tribute, or did the winners of the Album of the Year Grammy unwittingly channel Al Jolson's "Mammy"?

"The way (OutKast) were putting their hands over their mouths with that 'woo woo woo woo' stuff," recalls Lance Gumbs, elected representative of Long Island's Shinnecock Nation. "I couldn't even see them anymore. I just saw white America, that same tired history." The former DJ, who would trek from the rez regularly to attend Grandmaster Flash jams in the Bronx and Harlem during the early '80s, emphasizes, "That these guys are African American made it even more disturbing."

"Sinéad O'Connor ripped up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live and there was an uproar, worldwide," notes Litefoot [the Native American Music Awards Male Artist of the Year for 2003]. "What Andre and company did was the exact equivalent: outrageous, despicable," he says. "We as Native Americans don't have the kind of political power and access that the Catholic Church has, though."

From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged

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