Tag Archives: Hip Hop

Astro-Caribbean Series!


This month I will be heading to the island of Barbados, where my mother is from, for a few weeks. So I thought why not do a few posts dedicated to speculative imagination of the Caribbean while I’m there! As one exhibition and book were titled, Who More Sci-fi than Us?

Below is a video from Astro-Caribbean/New Flesh spacemen comprised of British rappers Juice Aleem and Toastie Taylor.

 

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Space:Queens: Shanté Paradigm Smalls


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Source: Shanté Paradigm Smalls blog

Greetings Everyone!

Welcome back to the next installation of my Space: Queens segment!

Last Saturday, I attended the 2nd annual Afrofuturism conference at The New School and in the panel I attended, Conjuring Black Futures, moderator, Jamal Lewis mentioned that conjuring is associated with possibility, the “otherwise.”

I had the pleasure to interview Shanté Paradigm Smalls, a local professor at Queens’ own St. John’s University, and how she is manifesting the “otherwise” in her own work involving sci-fi, fantasy, comics, hip-hop, and queer studies.

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1) Tell the readers a little about yourself.
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Sure. I live in Brooklyn and I’m an Assistant Professor of  African American Literature & Culture at St. John’s University in Queens. I grew up between New York City (Queens and Harlem) and Connecticut. I’m a huge pop culture fan and I love music, sci fi and fantasy, and comics.
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2) Tell us about your current projects. I read that you are working on two projects — “Hip Hop Heresies: New York City’s Queer Aesthetics” and “Androids, Cyborgs, Others: Black Futurism, Black Fantasy.” 
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So, I’m finishing up my first scholarly manuscript Hip Hop Heresies: New York City’s Queer Aesthetics which traces queer articulations of race, gender, and sexuality in New York City hip hop culture from the mid-70s to roughly the present. I do this by examining film, music, and visual art. It’s a really fun project that started with my work when I was a Masters’ student at NYU and then I further developed it in my doctoral program in Performance Studies at Tisch. I plan on turning the manuscript into the press by early summer.  The second project, Androids, Cyborgs, Others is in its nascent stages, but is concerned with depictions of black futurity in music, tv and film, and genre writing (including comics). The great thing about both these projects is I get to take my life-long love of hip hop culture and sci-fi and do scholarly, critical work on them. My life is really pretty amazing.

Continue reading Space:Queens: Shanté Paradigm Smalls

Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music


*Get Futuristically Ancient t-shirts for $20 on teespring.

*Subtletea’s “David Herrle reviews NEAR KIN: A COLLECTION OF WORDS AND ART INSPIRED BY OCTAVIA ESTELLE BUTLER:” David Herrie writes an analysis of Butler’s work and her influence on the anthology, Near Kin. By the way, he include me and my poem in the review. Cool!

*Check out this new comic from Opportunity Agenda, Helvetika Bold, about a social justice superhero who fights the status quo with her words and media savvy.

From Afropunk: “Working with artist-activist Dragonfly, we have been able to bring Helvetika to life as a living, breathing maven of moxie…Not only does she fictionally save the world, she leads with values and effective social justice communications messaging that actually demands action and change. The more support that Helvetika can gain, the more likely that her story can continue sooner rather than later, and the more damage she can do to The Status Quo!”

*Afrofuturism 849 is “a Chicago-based organization dedicated to creating artistic and educational events and programs that support the Afrofuturist global community,” featuring Floyd Webb and Ytasha Womack. “We encourage the visioning of a peaceful today and tomorrow that engages the best of diverse perspectives from the ancient to the future.

We celebrate the intersection between black cultures, indigenous cultures, technology, the imagination, liberation and mysticism as we champion innovation around the world. The number 8.49 is the apparent magnitude of Sirius B, a star celebrated by the Dogon. This star inspires people around the world and we recognize it as one of many symbols of innovation, uncovered pasts and created futures.” They are currently accepting submission for a February Black History Month film program. Email them at info@afrofuturism49.com.

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: News, Posts, New Music

Modern Griots Interviews: Boshia Rae-Jean


Boshia Twitter Profile

I recently met Boshia at the Little Miss Creative event in New York City where she recited her poem, “I Have a Galaxy in Me:”

“These organs are not only my make up but they make up my galaxy/I am a goddess of the galaxy that reproduces life/This is why I believe in me because/I have a galaxy in me.”

I asked to do an interview with her and here it is below, where she discusses her style, her organization, WeInfinity, and her goals to reinvent Hip-Hop to include more women’s voices:

1) How do you define yourself – your personality, style, the creative work you do?

I would define myself as being outgoing, whimsical, passionate, humble. As for my style I would defiantly say cultural, earthy, and purposeful. On the creative end, I’m constantly evolving that which is unique to me constantly and manifesting what’s already been created for us.

2) How did you start your organization, WeInfinity, and what was your motivation for starting it? What is the main meaning behind WeInfinity and its logo that you want to share with others? What upcoming plans do you have for WeInfinity?

Continue reading Modern Griots Interviews: Boshia Rae-Jean

Otherworldly Videos: Busdriver’s ‘Colonize the Moon’


Rapper Busdriver along with Pegasus Warning presents the video for “Colonize the Moon.” If you can get through his fast rapping style, which might be fueling his faster-than-the-speed of light acceleration through space, you will hear a song filled with head-spinning stream of consciousness as he lists off various social commentaries about living on the moon. All of this while he spews out what looks like tape as if he is a human record machine gone haywire.

“Colonize the Moon” is from the album, Perfect Hair, which will be released September, 8 2014.

Continue reading Otherworldly Videos: Busdriver’s ‘Colonize the Moon’

Modern Griots Interviews: Colored Girls Hustle Part 2


Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape*Become a patron and support my blog and other writing endeavors on Patreon!

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Here is part two of yesterday’s interview with Colored Girls Hustle’s Taja Lindley and Jessica Valoris.In this part, they talk about their plans and expectations for the mixtape and Colored Girls Hustle, and how their work is both futuristic and ancient. Enjoy!

5) What other plans do you have in addition to the release of the mixtape? Will be there be a Volume II in the works?

Taja: Right now, we’re focused on promoting this mixtape. We want as many people as possible to hear it, bump it, get with it, love it and love on themselves. In the next year we’d love to bring this show on the road! We’ve got some performances coming up and a menu of workshop offerings will soon be available so folks can bring us to their schools/universities and communities. And while we plan to continue to make songs on our own and with other artists, I’m not sure about another project just yet.

 

Some Colored Girls Hustle swag is on the way! We’re working on t-shirts and a mixtape zine will soon be available. These things will be available for purchase later this summer.

Continue reading Modern Griots Interviews: Colored Girls Hustle Part 2

Modern Griots Interviews: Colored Girls Hustle Part 1


Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape

*Become a patron and support my blog and other writing endeavors on Patreon!

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Hey, everyone! I’m returning after a short break with an interview I did with Colored Girls Hustle’s Taja Lindley and Jessica Valoris. A few weeks ago I did a review of their Colored Girls Hustle Hard mixtape and below they talk about their inspirations for the mixtape and the process of making it as well as upcoming performance they have planned. Tomorrow I will post part two!

1) What inspired you to make the mixtape and who or what were specific inspirations for each of the tracks?

Taja: Back in 2012 we were both talking about how Colored Girls Hustle needed an anthem… a remix of a popular song that talks about hustling. Jessica and I have been friends for 10 years and we’ve spent about half our friendship as roommates. So, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and we were stuck in the house for several days, we got the inspiration to finally write the anthem. That was the genesis of the mixtape. We released a webcam video of us rapping the “Colored Girls Hustle Hard Anthem” and we were surprised by how many views we received so quickly. Friends shared the video. Friends of friends. And their friends. And we got so much positive feedback! From there we were like yeah, lets keep this going. Lets continue to make songs! It was fun for us and people liked what we had to say. That led us to create the Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape.

Inspirations and meanings behind various tracks:

Continue reading Modern Griots Interviews: Colored Girls Hustle Part 1