In recent years, I’ve really tried to avoid “bashing” other people’s writing. I write tons of articles on a weekly basis and, admittedly, I’m wrong just as often as I’m right. And in the vast amount of words I’ve written, I guarantee I’ve used some really dumb phrases to try to prove my points. If someone wanted to pick apart my articles and write think-pieces on stupid things I’ve said, I’m sure he or she could write a book. So, I really try not to come down on other writers too hard.
There have been white rap stars before, and white artists who use rapping in a pop framework, but, in effect, Macklemore is the first contextually post-black pop-star rapper. He is a harbinger of cultural and demographic seismic shifts long in motion. His success has taken place largely outside of the traditional hip-hop ecosystem, though his songs have crept onto hip-hop radio, an acknowledgment of their ubiquity and of the diversity of the listening audience.
“Contextually post-black pop-star rapper” is a group of words that don’t make any damn sense together. I don’t know if Caramanica just jumbled words together that he thought sounded provocative or not, but “post-black pop-star rapper” sure sounds troll-y. And I’m definitely not putting that past a guy who once said Nicki Minaj was the most influential act in Hip-Hop right now.
I think Caramanica’s argument is that Macklemore is a rap act that’s been able to find success outside of the confines of rap radio or rap circles (even though he’s always gotten blog love) (although Will.i.am is still sort of a rapper and reached his pinnacle of fame outside of rap radio) (even though Kid Rock considered himself a rapper) (even though who gives a sh*t this is a stupid conversation to even have)(I’m pissed I’m even talking about this because some guy wrote some dumb words together to get this exact reaction out of me).
I have a few questions for Caramanica:
1. Was there a pre-Black rap act? Or just a Black rap act?
2. Are there any post-White rap stars?
3. Can “post-Black” be applicable to any other walk of life? Was Larry Bird a post-Black NBA player? Am I doing this right?
4. Seriously, what the f*ck does this mean?
Don’t worry, though, Caramanica. Your words are not forgotten because we have the USA Today to thank for the ambiguous-but-I-still-feel-like-I-should-be-offended sentence du jour.
The USA Today called Best Man Holiday a “race-themed” movie. Because it has Black people in it. I also don’t know what this means.
Maybe I’m dumb. Maybe I don’t anymore understand how to react to people who don’t understand Black people. Maybe there are perfectly reasonable explanations for these phrases.
But until I get one, I’ll just sit here feeling offended.