Identity Dynamics (Essay Sample)
Blog 3: For this entry, you will turn to representations of race, particularly African-American (Black) identity, in music videos.
Begin by choosing a music video featuring a Black artist or artists (if you are unsure if an artist would be described as “Black,” just ask me). This can be any genre (style) of music that you would like.
Next, analyze the identity dynamics at work:
Which traits of the main artist, or group of artists, are emphasized? (This may be appearance, clothing style, behaviors, lyrics, etc.) Also: are there non-Black people in the video, and do they represent different traits?
Does the main artist(s) fit into any of the five stereotypes of African Americans in early film (Coon, Uncle Tom, Mammy, Black Buck, Tragic Mulatto)? How so?
*Within your blog entry, include some mention of other identity categories, and how they intersect with race. For example, gender: are there typical traits that define women, and traits that define men, in these videos? Or, class: do you see markers of “class,” such as style of clothing?
Blog 3: identity dynamics
Wiz Khalifa - Black And Yellow Official Video
< HYPERLINK "/watch?v=bUwCucgQX18" /watch?v=bUwCucgQX18>
Even though, there are various genres of music associated with the African American culture from jazz to blues, Hip Hop is popular among the youth. The lyrical content of the song is somehow surprising and at times offensive. The artist uses urban slang and he seems to suggest that having as many girls as possible and ‘getting stoned’ is something worthy to sing about. It as though living a flashy lifestyle is something to aspire to, and the urban clothing style represent this notion. It is primarily aimed at the African American youths especially the urbanites.
In the music video, there is an aspect of over sexualizing, given the lyrical content demeaning women. There is no mention of raping women as originally depicted by the Black Buck, but it is as though the artist support ‘thug life’ and domineering over women. Wiz Khalifa inadvertently represents the stereotype that African Americans are violent, deviant, lazy and promiscuous. The women are first desexualized as though they are merely objects of satisfaction for the men. The portrayal of mummies historically also desexualized African American women, and showed them as overweight and unwanted. In the case of the music video, the song reinforces the negativity that has been associated with humiliating African American women in film and literature.
Hip Hop is typically associated with the working class African American, and it has evolved over time. Khalifa alludes to his car being a source of jealousy for the fellow African American men, b...
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