I want to avoid a common attack theme tho, which often raise issues as 'gotcha' moments proving the supposed huge racism/sexism of those spoiled hipster kids.[here,here,etc] Hipster audiences might have complicated and jarring relations and our fair share of delusional bigots, but I'm not convinced its so much more complicated and fraught than race relations in America as a whole. It also ignores the mixed backgrounds, huges #s of PoCs, women amoung them.
Mad Decent in particular seem especially prone to this attack, in part becuase they seem most inclined to be pressing buttons and putting out outragous marketing. (and :.?) they are also the biggest and thus attract the most conversation/heat. Them & Radioclit certainly jar me the most.
I think there is certainly a difference between something snarky / cheeky / hitorical / self-referencial like these:
which highlight ideas of orientalism and audience and seem to draw the conversation out vs. take it to this level:
Which seems, at least to me & please tell me how you all feel, as just offensive, the only sort of convo i see coming out of it would be some old ish on 'irony'.
Mad Decents recentish post here shows they certainly feeling some hate. 'Pon the Floor's youtube has tons of comments, mostly in the range of - cool / WTF / disturbing / LOL / ugly bitches / crazy / gross / awesome. Confuzed people wondering : a joke? a parody of islanders? 'setting us back'? AIDS/Nggr comments!? One of those vids that attracts the worst of the internet..
I'm sort of surprised 'Pon de Floor' got it more than 'Hold the Line', in which 2 whitey + jewish guy make a vid of a macho black dude fighting vampires, having babes around his throne & saving them from switchbladed fat darker girl, inna space. All this makes me uncomfortable! and I'm certainly not the only one:
Comments @ Vimeo + Youtube
Comments @ TheFader
Comments @ Couch Sessions
Passion of the Weiss
I wanna try to link to as many convos on this as possible, feel free to add any...
A comment at mad decent states:
mad decent, you’ve played me for a fool. I followed the buzz for over a year now. downloaded the leaks. went to the shows. I bought the album with real cash money. I preordered that shit and hyped it just like I hyped every mix with diplo’s name on it since I first heard AEIOU, relaxed to Florida, and played the annie mac and essential mixes out.
My only question now: is the white vampire character our latest example of familiar and played hipster irony, or simply autobiography?
all this major lazer / racism talk distracts us from the misogyny of your project / record label / white boyz club.
yes, diplo, switch, et al. are carnivorous cultural tourists.
yes, major lazer is a perverse retro-futurist blackface project.
yes, ‘Pon De Floor’ video makes a all-too cartoonish and historically-entrenched spectacle of black sexuality and reproductive parts.
But are we surprised?
diplo, switch, et al. have made y’alls careers exploiting the creativity and musical genius of brown and black women (and children).
And the diplo jock-riders at fader and pitchfork have been too busy praising white male deejays while muting the sweat and brilliance of the brown and black women at the mike.
(Please revisit M.I.A.’s interview before Kala dropped.)
Face it, mad decent, you wouldn’t be shit if it weren’t for the sweat and talent of black and brown women. And how do you thank these females that made you so dope?
You shove camera up their skirts in Rio and call it a Documentary-on-Blast.
You plaster images of bare-breasted black women to promote your ‘Mid-Summer Bash’ a couple of weeks ago.
And you mask a blackface project behind anonymous black hype men and rump-shaking teenagers. Hipster gods diplo and switch lay in the cut at shows in three-piece suits like cowards, hiding behind homoerotic [?] cartoons of a muscular black Jamaican minstrel they spent their careers impersonating.
And now hipster gods diplo and switch are mum and out of sight, anonymous behind the pussy lips on an unsigned video that doesn’t even credit vbyz kartel. But why would he want his name on that garbage anyway? diplo and switch obviously don’t.
Forget the nonsense questioning whether it would be okay for a black or West Indian man to make this garbage. Black male artists have been catching hell for years, and rightfully so, for their misogyny. Ask Tricia Rose. Ask Patricia Hill Collins. Its also an insult to the West Indian dancehall culture you are trying to ‘spread,’ ‘praise,’ appropriate, digest, and regurgitate to say that it is essentially misogynist, authentically exploitative of women, women’s labor, and women’s bodies. And even if it were: this is your album, and it doesn’t belong to an amorphous foreign, exotic, and fictional ‘culture.’
Own your shit, mad decent. Take responsibility for your product.
I agree with some, certainly not all of the sentiment there. Its interesting b/c it seems exactly like the sort of comment they were aiming to get on that post. Esp when they post nonsense like this, proudly attaching this video.
Its as if
a. they really believe they are somehow responsible for crazy dancehall videos shown on TV.
b. its a good thing that a clearly creepy 'look at this shocking behavior' video is representing daggering & "our main dude Skeritt Boy" throws a large table at some young woman. Like they see themselves as heroes in some grand controversy.
And thats where i get frustrated. Because it seems like 'trying to stir up controversy' clouds out 'trying to stir up a conversation'.