My Drink N My Two Step

04/27/2009

Tricia Rose, professor of Africana Studies at Brown, recently released her book “The Hip Hop Wars,” a study of the question “Is hip hop dead?” In an interview with Time Magazine Tricia Rose was asked what makes some artists more marketable than others, and responded:

There’s a long history of a particular pleasure in consuming the ideas of black-ghetto-excess dysfunction. It used to not be ghettoized in setting because black people weren’t always urban people, but the same images can be found in American history for centuries. So this idea that a certain kind of sexual deviance or violent behavior defines black culture has had a huge market in commercial mainstream culture for at least 200 years. Also, sexist images, which hip-hop has a lot of, seem to do very well across the cultural spectrum. So sexuality and sexual domination sell. Racial stereotypes sell. The market is more consolidated, which makes it easier for those images to perpetuate themselves.

Central to this discussion is Rose’s final point, “the market is more consolidating, which makes it easier for those images to perpetuate themselves.” As most critics and artists discuss the viability of hip hop music considering the dilution of politics, family, “hood culture,” and the main elements of hip hop, it’s easy to conclude that this is largely attributed to the overwhelming emphasis on dance and consumer hip hop.

So let’s talk alcohol consumption and hip hop–I’m just tired of hearing about “got my patron” on the radio. There have always been references to bling, alcohol, violence, sex, and a emphasis on dancing in hip hop; rather, as rapper I Self Divine said to me once, “That all used to be a slice of the pie, now people think hip hop, and think that’s the whole pie.” Honestly, I might post something that chronicles the numerical growth of hip hop business through the references of alcohol, from 40s to Courvoisier and Patron.

So I did some googling, and some digging, and came up with a few things.

1. Did you know Cassidy was trying to get endorsed for his Patron references in his song, “My Drink ‘N My Two Step”

2. NPR did a segment which discussed the correlation of alcohol, violence, and listeners of hip hop, which you can find here.

3. KRS-One, the stubborn rap guru, argued that companies like Nike and Smirnoff are helping keep the “true” hip hop by subsidizing classic artists to collaborate.

4. Pete Coors has clearly failed to establish himself at a Patron level.