Review Sheet

Review Sheet

CES 209



  1. What is a hip-hop collegian?  How does this person differ from a fan of hip-hop
  2. Be able to identity and explain any of the following: blood diamond, ghosts (from Lupe), ghostwriting, scratching, hip hop
  3. Name the 4 elements of hip-hop culture
  4. What is dysconscious racism and how does it relate to hip-hop
  5. What is bombing and what does it tell us about hip-hop
  6. What is eductainment and what does this tell us about hip-hop
  7. What is “sample consciousness” and what is significance of this term
  8. In what ways does hip-hop foster and encourage critical thought?
  9. How did the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway impact the Bronx and how did it impact the emergence of hip-hop

10. Describe the study that found black youth who listened to certain rap artists were more knowledgeable about STD’s and discuss its significance

11. What is dead presidents and what are multiple meanings described by James Peterson

12. What are structural adjustment programs and how did it impact development of hip-hop

13. What is deindustrialization and how did it impact development of hip-hop

14. Define griot

15. Name three aesthetic qualities of hip-hop (those that continue black literary traditions) and provide an example of each

16. What does Imani Perry mean by “incomprehensibility” and provide an example

17. Define the “crossroads of lack and desire”

18. What is Du Bois’s idea of double consciousness and its relationship to hip-hop

19. What was the first rap song put on record and how it happen

20. Name three rules of sampling and discuss what these reveal about hip-hop culture

  1. How did both rap and graffiti afford “assert the right to write”?  Why is this important?
  2. What do the varied experiences, backgrounds, and contributions of DJ Cool Herc and Africa Bambata reveal about the history of hip-hop?
  3. What is graffiti about?  What is its purpose? What is its function and how does it fit within mission and trends within hip-hop?
  4. Hip hop get so closely associated with the diamond conflict, but the diamond industry itself (engagement rings, ear rings, etc) faces no such scrutiny. Why is this? Give a few reasons using the history of hip hop and social issues to support your argument.


25. Is there a “real” hip hop/rap/blackness? Why or why not? Use examples to support your argument.

26. What does it mean to say that hip-hop offers a powerful counter narrative; provide an example

27. How do dominant media and political discourses depict the underclass?

28. Name 4 thematic qualities and characteristics of hip-hop, providing an example and discussion of each – (a) signifyin; (b) counter narratives; (c) folklore; (d) visibility; (e) escape; (f) validation; (g) nostalgia

29. Provide explanation of following quotes

  1. Bakari Kitwana: “Against all odds we must organize across race.  Hip-hop is the last home for this generation and arguably the last hope for America.  The political elite has done an exceptional job of polarizing the county – liberal versus conservative, Blacks versus whites, underclass versus elite, heterosexual versus homosexual.  On every issue, mainstream electoral politics follows a strategy of divide and conquer.  This is what allows our electoral system to function unchallenged as a private piggy bank for the rich” (210)
  2. “I met this girl, when I was 10 years old
    And what I loved most, she had so much soul
    She was old school, when I was just a shorty
    Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
    On the regular, not a church girl, she was secular
    Not about the money, no studs was mic checkin her
    But I respected her, she hit me in the heart”
  3. Emery Petchauer: “Hip-hop both produces and is produced by a cultural context that often thinks differently about questions of language, writing, identity, and ownership from the mainstream discourses of the academy”
  4. Greg Tate: “twenty years from now we’ll be able to tell our grandchildren and great grandchildren how we witnessed cultural genocide: the systematic destruction of a people and a people’s folkways” (p 67)




What’s So Bad About Lupe’s Latest Single? by Jamilah Lemieux (Participation)

What’s So Bad About Lupe’s Latest Single?

by Jamilah Lemieux

What's So Bad About Lupe's Latest Single?

Lupe Fiasco video screenshot of ‘Bitch Bad’

Race and gender have always been complicated issues in and around hip-hop, a culture that is consumed globally, produced primarily by Black men yet largely influenced by White male label executives, fans and music critics.  Two scathing criticisms of Lupe Fiasco’s “B*tch Bad” from SPIN’s Marc Hogan and Brandon Soderberg are a powerful example of what happens when someone who is not emotionally connected to that which they profess to be an expert on is given a microphone and a position of influence.

Hogan’s “Lupe Fiasco Mansplains Misogyny on Counterproductive ‘B*tch Bad” opens by suggesting that two very different songs speak to a massive cultural shift around the word ‘b*tch’:

“Who you callin’ a b*tch?” rages Queen Latifah, on her jazz-sampling single “U.N.I.T.Y.,” originally released on the 1993 album Black Reign. “I’m a bad b*tch / I’m a, I’m a bad b*tch,” repeats Nicki Minaj on her fire-breathing 2009 mixtape cut “Itty Bitty Piggy”…Clearly, something has changed in hip-hop’s relationship with anti-woman slurs over the past two decades.”

Perhaps if Latifah’s attitude had been the most pervasive one at the time in hip-hop culture; alas, ’93 was the same year that Snoop’s Doggystyle was released and rap was becoming an increasingly hostile space for women. Fun fact about “U.N.I.T.Y.”- Latifah calls out a young girl for attempting to be a “gangster b*tch” after the popularity of rapper Apache’s hit song (produced by Q-Tip, creator of affirmative and loving songs about women) of the same name…meanwhile, Apache was her label mate and homeboy. Contradictions and complications are not new territory for rap music, be from a “sanctimonious” emcee or a blissfully ignorant one, so the anger at “B*tch Bad” really seems unwarranted.

Hogan goes on to charge that there is no need for rap music to “scold” listeners, as the genre has grown to include emcees who are better at being thoughtful without being preachy:

“From Das Racist and BBU to Killer Mike and Big K.R.I.T., more and more MCs are remembering how to make rap that has a political charge without sounding like Tipper Gore.”

Here, the writer’s cultural disconnect is painfully clear. The 12-year-old girl popping her butt to the latest Nicki Minaj track doesn’t know who Das Racist is. God bless BBU, a multicultural Chicago hip-hop collective that was progressive enough to name a mix tape “bell hooks,” but the average 25-year-old brother from that same city doesn’t know who they are either. As for Killer Mike and his ‘romantic’ tale of a violent relationship on “U Know I Love You” and Big K.R.I.T.’s narrative about stepping out on his problematic girlfriend to sleep with an overweight woman who will pay his rent (“I Ain’t Sh*t” ), both songs peppered with the b-word…Hogan fails to cite evidence that “B*tch Bad” is worthless.

It’s bit absurd for two men who can enjoy rap music while existing on the outside of the culture that sustains it to dismiss the need for a conversation about “b*tch”

If one anti-“B*tch Bad” piece from a White dude who will never walk down any of the country’s Colored main drags and have the experience of being called a b*tch for no other reason than being a woman and present…SPIN ran another one weeks later.

Writer Brandon Soderberg is obviously no Lupe fan, made blatantly obvious from his opening line  (“Why must we continually endure Lupe Fiasco’s half-baked conscious hip-pop?”)  and slams the rapper for “mining the moronic “lyrics over everything” attitude, reducing rap to a game of preaching to the converted,” as if this particular artist isn’t championed by fans for his style of rapping (and as if one has to be ‘converted’ to see the value in challenging the word ‘b*tch.’) This is from a person who has championed the faux-gangster narratives of Rick Ross, yet clucks his tongue at the bra-busting rapper for exploiting ghetto life with his latest video, so weigh that as you will.

He goes on to reiterate Hogan’s assertion that the song is guilty of “mansplaining,” but in the very next sentence asks “but does any female want to be called “a lady”?


This is what happens when a person who is far removed from someone else’s world decides not only to peek in, but also tries to narrate from the outside. Speaking as an Actual Black Woman, not Race Non Specific Pretend Woman referenced in this article, I can tell you that the word “female” is a far greater point of contention than “lady” amongst sisters. And while plenty of women eschew the word “lady” or the expectation that one has to be “ladylike” to be respectable, others still cling tightly to the term and the traits. “Female,” however, is a term often hurled from the same lips that favor “b*tch.”

While Soderberg says little about the scenes featuring small children watching rap videos and emulating them (I don’t think this dude is particularly concerned about what little Black girls are witnessing that may be to their detriment, sorry), he’s super annoyed by the images of a rapper and video model applying blackface and “perpetuating the sounds-good-but-doesn’t-really-parse argument that male gangsta rappers and female models/video girls are the modern day equivalent of blackface performers.”

Again, the problem of reporting on Black life from the outside looking in…and I don’t care how hip-hop ‘approved’ you are, how many Eightball and MJG tapes you have from seventh grade or even if you bothered to take an Afro-studies class at whatever liberal arts college that taught you how to wax poetic about Dipset, you are on the outside.  The imagery in rap music is even more damning than early 20th century minstrelsy because there are so many folks inside and outside of the Black community who will fight tooth and nail to suggest that the buffoonery is not only authentic Blackness, but the most authentic form of Blackness. Furthermore, and most damning, these images influence young people to aspire to some of the lowest forms of modern human behavior, such as standing around and calling the women of one’s community “b*tches” with the same casual tone one may use to observe the weather.

Soderberg whines that the video “feeds on outdated and simplified hip-hop stereotypes…(and) plays into a decade-old understanding of hip-hop as the world of endless thugging and violence, which as I’ve said time and time again lately, just does not represent what rap music actually looks like and sounds like in 2012.” Alas, while the writer doesn’t see the need for a 50 Cent stand-in considering 50’s lack of musical relevance in today’s market, the character’s mannerisms bring to mind Waka Flocka, Lil’ Boosie, 2 Chainz and others who have both done extremely well in the ‘hood AND amongst psudo-intellectual hip-hop hipsters.

Ironically, this same writer cried earlier this summer that the current dearth of “street rap” on mainstream radio is a bad thing. This is White privilege at its finest: being able to complain that there aren’t enough narratives about Black death and pain on the Pop stations, without being touched by said death and pain outside of one’s headphones or whatever corny hipster bar one goes to drink artisanal beer and nod awkwardly along to Chief Keef.

I don’t challenge the right of other writers or hip-hop fans to take issue with Lupe Fiasco just because I like him. “B*tch Bad” isn’t a perfect song or video, nor is it reinventing the way in which we discuss a controversial word; however, I still believe it delivers a powerful message that is particularly significant to rap’s youngest, most-easily influenced listeners.

It’s bit absurd for two men who can enjoy rap music while existing on the outside of the culture that sustains it to dismiss the need for a conversation about “b*tch,” a takedown of gross stereotypes in rap culture and the influence that their favorite music has on kids who don’t look like them. Clearly, guys like Hogan and Soderberg aren’t here for a “supposedly serious rapper like Lupe Fiasco, or the many thinkpiece-writing raconteurs who spend their days on hip-hop panels” and considering what that rapper and those writers must look like to someone who gets to enjoy “everything but the burden” when it comes to Black culture, I can’t hardly say I’m surprised. But that doesn’t make their words less frustrating.

Jamilah Lemieux is the News and Lifestyle Editor for

Graffiti Writers Warn Against Dangers of Oil Spills Via NYC Rooftop Spot – ANIMAL


Graffiti Writers Warn Against Dangers of Oil Spills Via NYC Rooftop SpotGraffiti Writers Warn Against Dangers of Oil Spills Via NYC Rooftop SpotBy Bucky Turco | August 24, 2012 – 04:00PMUndeterred by his last mural getting buffed by the man, graffiti artist Alan KET is once again creating provocative work for the public. This time he teamed up with fellow writers BRUZ SIN, SKINZ and NOC167 to paint a Queens rooftop visible from the 7 train. The petrol-themed piece is capped off by the words “Rotting In Sludge.” It’s “inspired by the oil spills that big oil companies have been responsible for,” writes KET on 12oz. “We decided to address this issue on this wall since it it so visible and we hope that people get the message.”Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Graffiti, KET, Murals, Oil Spills

via Graffiti Writers Warn Against Dangers of Oil Spills Via NYC Rooftop Spot – ANIMAL.

via Graffiti Writers Warn Against Dangers of Oil Spills Via NYC Rooftop Spot – ANIMAL.