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Tag Archives: critique

Skepta is now top of the tree and his Konnichiwa album has protest songs (so says the BBC). But how long can you sing songs about being held by cops; when you are a slick hitmaker? The glamour, the people, the money, the need for minders that surround you… the busy schedule that steals your day away …. he may have got there by a DIY route and kept control late in the day. Will he be able to keep it real when its all red carpets and feigning models. I mean Puffy Daddy has run his own businesses for many years; there comes a point when DIY ceases to mean much. It was cute that just before his album started the Time Out rolled up this house and found it used as a storage place for his business. but even then he wasn’t sticking stamps on himself like wot real DIY publishing means.

How long is he gonna rap “The feds wanna shift man / Wanna put me in a van / Wanna strip a man / I ain’t a Chippendale / Wanna strip a male / Put me in a prison cell / Got me biting on my finger nails.” with any conviction?

The analysis will have to get more political, more theoretical, more abstracted from his personal situation. And probably threatening to his own pro feet ability…

Can integrity survive success? Can a radical message survive institutionalisation or being framed on corporate media?

But for now Ok this Tottenham boy wants people to ‘shed preconceptions’ that’s not bad thing. I’m reading Mike Hales book on ‘Thinkwork’ from 1980 and he had this idea of ‘pre conceptualism’ and it set me thinking about whether cultural works can reach out into that pre-idea stage of thinking. There’s a hope music or art might be able to get past the normalisation of our thinking as it enters onto cultural or intellectual platforms… But to do that it would have use very undercapitalised platform, autonomous underground venues, collectively run shows, illegal shebeens maybe, but not a gallery. How is it done? How is it done?

 

for more thoughts in this vein see my now FREE ebook…

This blog is to signpost news of agit disco related events and stories that come to my attention though daily media. It does not mean that I agree with he viewpoints offered. Obviously the BBC World Service tends to have a ‘benign’ paternalistic imperialism behind what it does and does not say.

I find the story of the ‘Halal Rappers’ interesting because it shows a flexible and adaptive approach to making culture rather than one that is hidebound by convention.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02v4y97

or try YouTube direct: https://youtu.be/4JMbqSZ42so?list=PLQesuWE5KRGxpSrOD251uO1WhBlgXcDbr

On another side of another coin are the Russian rappers which might be seen as a détournement of local racism by rapping pro Putin!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30153955  or

https://youtu.be/6AqE_yT1XuM

Another one of a Vietnamese rapper living in USA doing agit disco stuff:

BBC blurb “Son Nguyen A.K.A. ‘Nah’, a young Vietnamese rapper studying in the United States, has launched a scathing criticism of Vietnam’s Communist Party. ”   https://youtu.be/8SNESJQ4at4?list=PLQesuWE5KRGxpSrOD251uO1WhBlgXcDbr

The world is full of contradictory tactics.  Am I serving imperialism by lazily picking up on BBseize establishment voice? Maybe… I’d appreciate hearing of more direct sources!?

As a working-class artist, growing up in north London, he realised that “my lyrics were my only power”. The music business was corrupt and he decided to take them on with his LP ‘Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround Part 1’.

Tuesday 27 November on BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes at 1530 GMT

Pete Townshend gives the inaugural John Peel Lecture and makes a very good point that gets reported around the world about how exploitative of musicians iTunes is. Meanwhile Apple has so much money stashed away it doesn’t seem to know what to do with it… Take a tip from Pete.

Guardian

BBC iPlayer

Rolling Stone

Spider seen attempting to enter Tate Britain. February 2007.
Spider at Tate Britain
 
Mark Wallinger’s recreation of Brain Haw’s one man protest in Parliament Square disturbed me.

Its as if the last 50 years of understanding how meaning depends on context has evaporated in the heat of the new global warming enterprise opportunity. Wallinger has suberb skills as a postmodern artist/artisan. This is how the work can be appreciated from a trad art POV. Awe in the face of the skill of its (re)construction.

But what is also happening is that a spectacular copy of revolt is being made that disposses us of the immediacy of revolt. That replaces revolt by its ideal virtualised facsimile reframed by the state. The illusion is that if the sovereigns Blair and Bush  can be sacrificed in the Tate Britain, with no disturbance to the state, then what can our own pettily resourced efforts achieve… Its is a wind up to the desperate to resort to violence, it is the parallel symptom of systemmic feigned indifference, that causes the teenagers to shoot it out. It is a vacination against the possibility of an epidemic of working class creativity.

But maybe Wallinger has put all future rights to the work of art in the estate of the family of Brian Haw. Or something that undermines these commodity effects and can throw this gripe back in my face. I hope so.

Anyway in contrast I found to my suprise the nearby bronze works of the Chapman Brothers, ‘When Humans Walked the Earth’ to be more radical and subversive in their classicbronze casings. I hadn’t been mad about their work in the past finding it often unpalatably extreme for the sake of shock for the sake of attention seeking. This seems to have matured, but the radical and visual analysis seems to have sharpened.

http://www.parliament-square.org.uk/

http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/chapman/default.shtm