Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pump and dump: CocoRosie and Tha Pumpsta

Full disclosure: I was going to start out writing a post about CocoRosie given their slobbering review in the NYT Mag. I was all set to hate it, and I wound up liking it especially songs like "By Your Side" that reminded me of a mix of Bjork, Ani DiFranco and Cocteau Twins. Then I listened to "Jesus Loves Me" featuring the lines:

Jesus loves me
But not my wife
Not my nigger friends
Or their nigger lives
But jesus loves me
That's for sure

Do I get the irony in that? Yes. Do I get the Christian imagery in said irony? Yes, but I can't really get behind it. Nigerian Boy says it better about a different song of theirs, "Armageddon":
I get irony, I get reverse psychology, I even get shock for shock sake, but I don't get this; and what sucks is I enjoy them otherwise, and now I can't listen, I just can't. I'm not even trying to be poetic with this entry, I tried trust me to understand this song, but it always hit me the wrong way, as a person of color it's pretty hard to find any value in those lyrics, it leaves me cold and lost and alone, particularly because of the song's musical setting.
And now that I have all that off my chest, I finally figured out who Bianca Casady sounds like - it had been bugging me for a while. Yes, it might be shocking to folks that Bianca Casady's voice might grate. But, SHE SOUNDS LIKE ADAM SANDLER!!!!!

- - - - - - - -

I just had a collective brain shudder reading about and subsequently listening to the so-called music of "Tha Pumpsta", a 25 year old kid originally from Atlanta who now runs dances in Williamsburg (where else?) Brooklyn marketed under the name "Kill Whitie!"

It's all in the name of ironic hipster fun, though you hear? And even though the parties are promoted on flyers featured headless big-bootied black women, saying things like "free admission to anyone with a bucket of chicken," well, I had to go check out this guy's music and website. And it is all terribly bad.

Really bad music - just noise signaling nothing. If you don't believe me, check out the video on his site. It features him grinding an African American woman and closes with him gnawing and gobbling fried chicken in a very disturbing gut-churning fashion that matches the lyrics. And yes, I went to his myspace page. I listened to 3 songs, which was as much as I could bear. I listened to Sallie Mae out of interest, thinking that it might at least be an ironic yuppie take on foreclosures but "Sallie Mae, I don't wanna play . . . . You can't play you can't play you can't play, you can't walk away" is technically accurate and yet a third grader's understanding.

Basically, his schtick reminds me of these guys who started up a "humor magazine" that later crashed and burned because they tried to write satirical pieces about race. These were white boys who were mega wealthy and rather poor writers. As with everything, it's in the execution. If they had been really great writers, they might have gotten less flak.

(If you're waiting for the connection here between CocoRosie and Kill Whitie, Bianca enjoys going to Kill Whitie parties and was interviewed by the Washington Post:

Bianca Casady, a multiply-pierced woman with a scalp divided between long dark hair and a buzz cut, grabs her female friend by the hips and shakes her like a blender. She steps outside, catches some fresh air and talks about the party.

"It's about being nasty, people come to grind on each other," said Casady, 23. "It's like friends being sexual with each other."

Casady was raised in Santa Barbara, Calif., but quickly notes her worldliness by listing the cities where she has lived along the trail to Brooklyn. A regular Kill Whitie partygoer, she tried the conventional (that is, non-hipster) hip-hop clubs but found the men "really hard-core." In this vastly whiter scene, Casady said that "it's a safe environment to be freaky."

Brainwashed has the takedown at CocoRacist, You're so Worldly, How's Mom's Audi?)



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