Listening to Top 40 will save your soul

In actuality, my behaviour past and present would suggest that I am not a messiah so my advice is not going to save your soul. Sorry.

I love nothing more than to dance really badly to rap, hip-hop and R&B, the filthier the music the better. I’m that person that friends tag in Facebook videos that involve a white girl coming in too hot when a beat starts up. I haven’t been able to let loose in a few weeks and a little piece of my soul is screaming at me.

Music is a very important part of this human experience we seem to have cultivated, a component of human happiness. However we have categorised music styles according to whom is involved in creating that music.
Rap music and classical music often do work together in beautiful harmony but when one first thinks of the two categories they seem distinct from one another- not only that, but discordant.
I’m a feminist but I love rap, hip-hop and R&B, which some feminists have written off. They have said we cannot salvage the remnants of the genre and build a less misogynistic future for it.

This separation shows a wider theme: the disregard of anything connected to poorer, less powerful, blacker, younger people. This is accompanied by the exhalation of everything that is done in the ‘proper way’, intensely knowledge based, upper class, material, charitable (under a certain sheen) and predominantly white. I think this is best summarised as an ‘academic sneer.’ Right?

The ‘academic sneer’ allows academics to study popular culture without wanting to become immersed in it. It’s the privilege of being able to look at the macro picture and type hastily from afar “these poor people don’t even know what their lives are ruled by silly inferior activities.”
The separation of institutionalised academia and the pursuit of knowledge from everyday life is unproductive and creates obvious stereotypes. Yes, knowledge can be gained from the internet and technically with all the information out there one could gain as much as they could from a degree. However firstly- not everybody has access to this information. Following the larger pattern, you can guess who does and who does not. Also, with this free information floating around why doesn’t everybody have numerous degrees by now? The amount of time we have is a huge part of the answer but also our own motivation. Can the rich afford to bypass self-motivation? In most situations, yes.

Walter who lives in a poorer suburb of town may not know the third soliloquy in Hamlet (or what the hell a soliloquy is) but he may know how to catch a bus from his suburb to town (and the best time to do so). He may know how to order food at a restaurant in French because his cousin taught him in the summer of 2006. He may know how to solve equations using Frobenius method. Everyone you meet knows things that you don’t.

Basically we all need to get off our high horses and sometimes come to the realisation that you’re not better than somebody else because of how you choose to spend your time and/or the things that you think you know. If you’re writing a paper that picks apart how our cosmetic culture targets women, great! If you’re calling those women vapid and not considering their own agency/identity within the issue then your academic sneer is showing and you might wanna wipe it off before you get caught out.

So make your guilty pleasures known. Stop turning on ‘private session’ on Spotify when you listen to Sean Paul ‘Temperature.’ (Note to self).
Do your thing loud and proud.

P.S: Also a hip-hop loving feminist trying to create a loving relationship between the two parts of yourself? Read Morgan’s piece then try others on Hip Hop Feminism.

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Listening to Top 40 will save your soul

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