I could have chosen any other source of mainstream media really, and maybe that is a sad and accepted reality. I had a very shallow appreciation for Hip-Hop and now that I am digging into it, I feel that it has so many layers of history that I need to discover. It’s like putting together this dinosaur from finding different bones…or even slicing up an onion: every layer turns up to be a different color and taste. I think given Hip-Hop’s history and ability to stay fresh in today’s culture is a really great way for me to really understand different facets of today’s American Mainstream Culture as it has developed.
Why gender and Hip-Hop?
The more Hip Hop I listen to the more I understand that there are a lot of different forces that fuel what it is today, what it was before, and it’s potential in young people’s lives. With my focus centered on gender and Hip-Hop I feel like it has revealed a lot for other projects in which I have dealt with gender and identity. I am interested in the glamorizing of behavior as it is often projected in hip-hop: hyper masculinity, misogyny, and very specifically the role that women play in hip-hop as emcees, video girls, protagonists and antagonists in the view of what is “female” to Hip-Hop…as more than just a dime that’s top of the line.
What’s next? Creating visual representations. Of course there might be times when the lines are blurred for me, maybe my message wont be as clear as I want it to be, but that’s going to be part of my process. Making, re-making, mixing, re-mixing and re-presenting hip-hop iconography. I do enjoy Hip-Hop, I am starting to love it and I am often conflicted with the messages, and that is going to be part of what makes me work…constantly asking questions and taking a critical look at what I experience.