Country Music artists use Rhyme

poster for Hip Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes“It must be your ass, ‘cause it ain’t your face, ” raps hip hop artist Nelly, as he slides a credit card down a woman’s backside. This scene in Nelly’s “Tip Drill” music video is among the most shocking in Byron Hurt’s critically-acclaimed documentary “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, ” recently screened at Stanford University.Byron Hurt speaking to students This image from “Tip Drill” epitomizes the degradation of women in hip hop that prompted Hurt to make the film in 2006. It’s an image that continues to incite strong opinion among hip hop fans – and critics – today.

“Beyond Beats and Rhymes” explores issues of violence, sexism, and homophobia in hip hop by going straight to the source: rap artists and hip hop fans.Hurt speaking to students Interviews, music video analyses, and commentary from hip hop scholars paint a striking and sometimes difficult to watch portrait of a commodified hip hop culture. However, the mainstream music industry – not hip hop artists – is the film’s main antagonist. By using sexism, violence, and hypermasculinity to sell its product, the industry prioritizes profits over human dignity.

History professor Allyson Hobbs invited Hurt to screen his film at Stanford, as part of her class on African American women’s history. Hobbs organized an event for the Stanford community that yielded a lively discussion of the current state of hip hop and what progress, if any, has been made in the years since the release of “Beyond Beats and Rhymes.”

A good hard look

By using sexism, violence, and hypermasculinity to sell its product, the music industry prioritizes profits over human dignity.

In the late 1970s, hip hop emerged in the Bronx as a form of protest art and self-empowerment in communities of color. While much of hip hop continues to reflect the legacy of “conscious rap, ” the emergence of “gangsta rap” in the 1990s and “bling mentality” in the 2000s created a schism in the hip hop world.

Mainstream rap artists became increasingly preoccupied with violent, materialistic, and misogynist subject matter. In Hurt’s perception, what was once a vehicle for political self-expression devolved into a sexually exploitative form. Images like the credit card scene in Nelly’s “Tip Drill” became normalized and even venerated in popular culture.

“Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes” chronicles this transition, emphasizing its implications for African American men in particular. “I sometimes feel bad for criticizing hip hop, ” Byron Hurt remarks in the film, “but I guess what I’m trying to do is get us men to take a good hard look at ourselves.” This self-examination is portrayed in the film through interviews with prominent rappers and hip hop scholars, as well as Hurt’s own personal ruminations.

“I had to be educated, ” Hurt told a crowded lecture hall during the discussion. “I had to be taught. And I had to be challenged about certain ideas about manhood.” Hurt’s own evolution as a young man conflicted between his love of hip hop and his awareness of its misogynist, violent, and homophobic themes was the driving force behind the documentary.

Breaking out of the box

Seven years after its release, the film is still screened across the country and used as a tool for educating young people, especially young men, about the messages they encounter in hip hop culture.

UBI Soft Just Dance 4 - Xbox 360
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New Red Fez Records Releases

2003-07-15 06:29:34 by RedFezRecords

It’s called Cosmic American Soul, and anyone who has ever heard Ed Jurdi sing and play could probably rattle off another dozen accurate descriptions of his music. That's because there's a virtual roadmap of American music there: soul, blues, country, rock and roll, folk, gospel - all highlighted by vocals that will knock your socks off. Red Fez Records is pleased to announce the release of Ed Jurdi's new album LONGSHORES DRIVE, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed self-titled 1999 debut. "Jurdi presents an honest, generous selection of songs vested in the spirit of traditional American music," writes Portfolio Magazine

David Byrne's comments on cultural censorship

2005-04-26 00:05:42 by -

The tightening of the borders in recent years, while it may be understandable regarding genuinely suspicious individuals, is in fact applied with almost no rhyme or reason — although in fact it may only appear to be without reason:
- A friend told me over a lunch meeting that a chunk of Pina Bausch’s troupe of dancers, based in Wuppertal, Germany, were denied entry, which effectively scuttled the performances that were booked months ahead of time.
- A tango group in Buenos Aires told me a week or two ago that they have toured Europe 3 times recently but have been consistently denied U

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