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Radical Pedagogy Section 2 Final Zine 2014

Praxis

This ZINE is a product of our class called “RADICAL PEDAGOGY� in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. We are exploring alternative ways to learn and educate others. And we believe that it is crucial to take responsibility for our own educations and to share what we are learning with one another through an ongoing dialogue.

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• Without U – Spooky Black • Childs Play – SZA feat. Chance the Rapper • Nate – Vince Staples • Pot Goddess 1.5 – Supa Bwe • Strange Ways – Madvillain • Between Friends – Flying Lotus Feat. Earl Sweatshirt • Sea Legs – Run the Jewels • Ma, I Don’t Love Her – Clipse feat. Faith Evans • Haze.Boogie.Life – Mickey Blanco • Hypnotize U – N.E.R.D.

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By Jonathan Guzman I must admit, rap music and hip hop culture have always intrigued me. Themes that exist in rap historically revolve around hypermasculinity, violence, heterosexism, and misogyny. In my mind, these were fundamental to rap music and it was rare to see rappers break from tradition and still be successful. I first became aware of the presence of the gay community in rap music when I listened to an interview with famous New York rapper, Fat Joe. In this interview, he claims that he has already worked with at least one gay rapper (unnamed) and that it is impossible to avoid the gay community when working in the entertainment industry. Other rappers interviewed by the same blog agreed but pointed out that there were no successful, openly gay rappers. When one of the internet’s biggest sensations (and one of my guilty pleasures), Lil B the Based God, a straight rapper from the Bay Area, announced that his first album was going to be titled “I’m Gay”, I became curious as to what the reactions would be from the rap community and what effect it would have on his career as a whole. From there, I began to research rappers who identified as gay and came across the queer rap movement that is based mostly in the East Coast. This movement, and particularly artists like the cross-dressing, trans-gendered, Mykki Blanco and the young “Cakes da Killa”, piqued my interest in researching their role in the development of rap music as a whole. One of the most interesting factors in the queering of hip hop, is how each individual chooses to portray his her own identity. The identities that these rappers place on themselves are often extreme or accompanied by multiple personalities that allow them to play different characters. For example, Mykki Blanco is Daniel Quattlebaum Jr.’s female persona who does most of the rapping in his songs. In an interview with Cakes da Killa, he says that during part of the day, he is gay, and during the rest, he is rapper. While the two identifiers both play into his music, it is interesting to see that he feels the need to attempt removing his gay identity from a usually unaccepting culture. Currently, state and national politicians are being forced to decide where they stand on the topic of gay marriage. Celebrities are finding themselves doing the same. The fight for gay rights is the hottest topic in both popular culture and politics. In politics, it is due to a demand for equality and recognition of the gay community within the United States. In popular culture however, it is this marketability of the gay community that makes it relevant. There is an unprecedented influx of gay rappers and support for the gay community coming from multiple rappers at all levels. It is dangerous, however, to say that this support for the LGBT community comes without a catch. Rappers such as Frank

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Ocean and Macklemore have been in the spotlight of the media for expressing their support for the gay community. The attention has no doubt brought about an increase in record sales. In Ocean’s case, his public coming out was announced less than a week before the release of his album, “Channel Orange”. This same album would go on to win a Grammy, only months later. The idea that rappers are willing to part from tradition and shift hip hop culture into being more accepting of the LGBT community is very romantic. Will the gay community’s impact on hip hop be able to maintain relevance if the gay rights movement loses its media appeal? While it intrigues me to see that the gay community is making a mark on today’s rap culture, it is undeniable that appealing to the gay community has its financial benefits. How much of it is a marketing strategy and how much of it is fundamental change in hip hop culture? Hip hop, like many other forms of entertainment, has created a culture of its own that caters to a specific, masculine, heterosexist ideology. The rise of the queer hip hop movement has a chance to change that.

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Espresso Martini 1.5 oz. Kahlua 1 oz. Vodka 1 oz. Espresso

2 oz. Espresso 4 oz. Skin Milk 3 tbso. Chocolate Syrup 2 oz. Kahlua

2 oz. Bailey’s 4 oz. Coffee 1 tsp. Cinnamon Whipped Cream 23


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/r/justiceporn /r/cringe /r/dadjokes /r/showerthoughts /r/trees..hehe /r/markmywords /r/freebies /r/historicalwhatif /r/indepthstories /r/streeteats /r/thingsforants /r/catsstandingup /r/pataphysics

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Praxis