Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Hulk Group Discussion: THE HIP-HOP DOUBLE STANDARD

Hulk kicks off a new series of group discussions with YOU, the reader. First up: the hip-hop double standard.

Hulk Group Discussion: THE HIP-HOP DOUBLE STANDARD

HEY EVERYONE!

SO HULK IS ALWAYS THINKING OF THINGS TO DO BESIDES BIG GIANT HULK COLUMNS OR BOOKS TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU DURING THE TIME IN BETWEEN THOSE POSTS, AND RECENTLY HULK GOT TO THINKING...

ONE PROBLEM WITH WRITING COLUMNS IS THAT IT CONSTANTLY PUTS THE AUTHOR IN THE POSITION OF HAVING TO HAVE AN OPINION. SURE, THAT'S THE EXACT POINT OF EVEN WRITING A COLUMN, BUT IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT APPARENT "KNOW IT ALL-ISM" OF AN AUTHOR IS PART OF THE EFFECT. AND TRULY THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE THAT HULK IS DEEPLY UNSURE ABOUT. AND HULK, EVER IN A STATE OF EDUCATIONAL FLUX, WANTS TO KEEP EXPLORING. AND FOR THAT, HULK NEEDS YOUR HELP.

SO WHAT ELSE WOULD BE BETTER THAN A GROUP DISCUSSION?

AND THE IDEA IS TO TREAT IT THE SAME AS EVERY CLASS DISCUSSION YOU'VE EVER BEEN IN. MEASURED AND RESPECTFUL, BUT YOU CAN STILL BE PASSIONATE AND SURE-FOOTED (WITHOUT BEING BELLIGERENT OR NARROW). AND UNDERSTAND THAT HULK IS HERE TO LISTEN MORE THAN ANYTHING.

AND HULK IS GOING TO START US OFF IN TRICKY SUBJECT MATTER ON PURPOSE AND TALK ABOUT AN ISSUE THAT DEALS WITH BOTH COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AND RACE. FOR THAT, IT'S GOING TO REQUIRE THAT WE BE OUR BEST POSSIBLE SELVES.

ISSUE OF THE DAY: WHY DOES HULK HOLD HIP-HOP TO A LESSENED DOUBLE STANDARD?

HULK LOVES HIP-HOP.  HULK'S LOVED IT FOR PRETTY MUCH FOREVER. AND LARGELY DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND SPECIFICALLY AS HULK LIKES ANY KIND OF HIP-HOP THAT HULK THINKS DISPLAYS TALENT, CRAFT AND THAT ETHEREAL WAY IT GETS HOOKED INTO YOUR BRAIN. AT ITS BEST, HIP-HOP IS AMAZING. A TOOL OF VOCALIZATION. AN ORIGINAL FORM OF MUSIC, INSTINCTIVELY IMBUED WITH RHYME AND METER. SOME OF IT HAS EVEN BEEN LACED WITH DEEP SOCIOLOGICAL IMPORT AND POLITICAL MESSAGE. GOING BACK TO DE LA SOUL, KRS-ONE, KGB AND CONTINUING THROUGH TODAY, HULK'S LOVE OF RAP HAS REMAINED CONSTANT.

THE COMPLICATION COMES FROM THE FACT THAT, IN COMPARISON TO A LOT OF OTHER FORMS OF MUSIC, HIP-HOP IS OFTEN LACED WITH INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF SEXISM AND / OR VIOLENCE. AND NOT JUST IN TERMS OF TALKING ABOUT THOSE THINGS, BUT PROMOTING THEM IN AN INDULGENT WAY. IT'S THE STUFF THAT WOULD NORMALLY UNDO HULK'S ENTHUSIASM. AND THUS IT'S A QUESTION THAT REALLY MAKES HULK THINK A GREAT DEAL AND HULK DOESN'T HAVE AN ANSWER. IS IT SO SIMPLE AS BEING A CASE OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE WHERE HULK IS MAKING EXCEPTION FOR ONE BUT NOT THE OTHER BASED ON MERE PREFERENCE? IS IT JUST THAT IT'S DAMN FUN TO LISTEN TO IN AN AESTHETIC SENSE?

OR WOULD THAT GET INTO A TRICKY SITUATION OF ONE SUBCULTURE BRISTLING AT ANOTHER SPECIFIC SUBCULTURE FOR NOT LIVING UP TO WHAT THAT SUBCULTURE DEEMS AS "APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR"? COULD IT STEM FROM THE FACT THAT SO MUCH OF HIP-HOP IS BASED ON A BOASTING CULTURE THAT GOES ALL THE WAY BACK TO A BEOWULFIAN TRADITION?

AND MAYBE HULK SUPPOSES THE BEST ANSWER MIGHT COME IN THE FORM OF GOOD HIP-HOP BEING "HONEST TO THE INDIVIDUAL'S VOICE," REGARDLESS OF HOW SEEMINGLY DISTORTED OR UNCOUTH THAT VOICE MAY BE. BUT STILL, WHEN IT COMES TO THE COMPLICATIONS HULK SHRUGS IT OFF SO MUCH MORE EASILY THAN SO MANY OTHER FORMS OF ART AND PERFORMANCE.

TO ASK AGAIN: WHY DOES HULK HOLD HIP-HOP TO A LESSENED DOUBLE STANDARD?

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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