Archive for May, 2011


First off, for anyone who thinks I’m trying to be black because I like hip hop or because I prefer dating black men, then you have another thing coming. I can’t even remember a time I wasn’t in love with hip hop. Ok, maybe I’m lying. Since I came from a family who lives in the country, I too, used to listen to country. But don’t tell anyone! 🙂  Mind you, that was probably when I was like 10 or younger and my memory is terrible so it seems like much longer to me. It’s been a little weird for me trying to figure out why I’m a white girl so intrigued with a black man’s music and culture, but it’s me so that’s the only conclusion I’ve been able to come up with.

What made me completely stop listening to country is probably the next thing you’re wondering. I guess at first, I wanted to be part of the “cool crowd”. I fell under the “everyone is doing it” thing, but everything happens for a reason and look where it got me. I don’t usually do what everyone else is doing, but when it came to listening to hip hip, that was an exception.

My like for hip hop turned into a love for the people and the industry. The first time I ever listened to rap or r & b for that matter, was Mase. It might take some of you a minute to even recall who Mase was, it’s been so long. Thankfully, my interest in the artists of the industry grew and grew. Now it’s ALL I listen to. I’ll sneak some r & b in there every once in a while when I’m feeling like taking it easy or getting my cake on, but hip hop is at the center of my attention the rest of the time. I’d much rather hear Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem, or J. Cole spit on a track than listen to Beyonce sing. She is an amazing artist. But I’d rather look at her than listen to her music. Her hubby Jay-Z wins more playing time with me than she….But it’s all good 🙂

I’ve taken it beyond just listening to hip hop, though. As I’ve already mentioned, my African American Lit paper for Dr. Drake at UIndy was about hip hop. I was able to take the knowledge I already gained from listening and following the work of Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z and apply it to the new knowledge I acquired from reading the critical discussions on hip hop. Believe it or not, hip hop is just as popular in our culture than you even think. Do a little research on Eminem. He is highly anthologized in critical hip hop discussions. Hip hop may not be a part of YOUR culture, but it is part of society’s culture and YOU’RE a part of society. Take that however you want.

  

I’m knowledgeable about hip hop because I’ve listened to it for so long. But just because I’ve listened to it for a while, doesn’t necessarily make me an expert just yet. I’m an extremely truthful person which is why I  gravitate to hip hop so much. My truthfulness is sometimes too true, just like hip hop. Most of society doesn’t want to hear the truth, no matter what it is, but truth is what I do. Truth keeps me more focused on how to get better at something than how to avoid it….Truth also makes me avoid those special people who are as fake as press on nails. I’m very blessed and thankful for who I’ve become and for who my family raised me to be. I come from a long line of fiesty, truthful people such as my mother and grandmother. I’m very proud of the woman who raised me; I am who I am because of her.

Mommy and Me

I would love to write hip hop and I’ve tried, but so far I’ve been too afraid of the way others would see me. I’m very comfortable with who I am, but I definitely don’t want to be mistaken for trying to be black. In my research I explain that in deeper detail, but I’ll give you guys a little taste….In hip hop history, women haven’t been as popular in the industry as men have. Does that make it all-male music industry? I’ve questioned that myself. Women are accepted for their bodies, for that fat asses and fat boobies, but are they taken seriously in the hip hop world? As much as I want to say yes, I can’t. When was the last time you saw a successful white woman rapper make it in the industry, anyway? Never. By the end of the paper, I define what it means to be a white woman in the industry, and I conclude that I’ve have to be a ghostwriter, like Keri Hilson started out doing, in order to be half-way accepted in the hip hop world. And even with that, there would be no guarantee. Some encourage me to go for it, but since I’m a realist, I know the reality that lies ahead, so we’ll see……

In the meantime, I will continue to promote the hip hop white girl that I am…..The pose below was taken for this website specifically, not just because I wanted to wear a hat and heels together. The pose is supposed to capture my hip hop side and my sophisticated one. I’m a bit of a fashionista so I thought by combining the two looks, I could begin to create my own brand. As you can see, I chose the other pose for the website. I did so because it’s more of a hip hop look….and because I like the orange and black Yankees hat better 🙂

One of Kayla's poses for her portfolio website

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Going into writing my research paper, I knew that many many people didn’t understand rap, nor will they ever understand it. In the beginning, I just liked hip hop/rap because of the beats and the truth in the lyrics. But the more I listened to it, the more it spoke to me. I’m a very truthful person and it’s something about the urgency in the lyrics that makes it come alive for me.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve liked hip hop. I can usually point out an artist’s voice within the first verse of the song, and if I don’t know who it is, I look it up. It’s something about motivation in hip hop that keeps me listening to it. Not only are the beats head bangin’ but the artists delivery and lyrics make the song even more fun to listen to. Hip hop, for me, is motivation. Lil Wayne’s music can motivate anyone because his delivery in so distinct in the fact that he freestyles instead of writing anything down, just like Jay-Z.

They both represent different brands of masculinity which keep their fans intrigued. Their music is motivational because they’re at the top of their industry and they’re not afraid to brag about it. The fans enjoy listening to them because they aspire to be at the top in one way or another. It doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be rappers themselves, but rather be on top of their industry, occupation, or just life. The music is also motivational because we all have haters, but hip hop artists remind us that haters are motivation. They make you strive to be better.

The main topic of my research paper is how identity is established by artists in hip hop. I studied Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. Eminem was actually the most fun to study, although it was odd that I was allowed to study him in an african american lit class. But Eminem isn’t just any white rapper. According to 50 Cent, “the best rapper is a white man” referring to Eminem in The Anthology of Rap by Adam Bradley and Andrew Dubois. The reason  it was so interesting to study him, though, is that Eminem is the only white male rapper who is truly anthologized and discussed in critical literature about hip hop. The reason for that is that he incorporates three different types of identity within his music (Eminem, Slim Shady, and Marshall Mathers which is his real name) and because he is the only white rapper who has truly gained the respect of black rappers. I think he created those identities so that he couldn’t be denied in the hip hop world. His angry delivery makes his identity more noticeable and more relatable to others.

Lil Wayne doesn’t appear in such critical discussions as Eminem, nor does Jay-Z, but those two cannot go ignored because they’re businessmen and artists who claim to be the best rappers alive. Their hip hop identities are very similar in that aspect. Lil Wayne has preached the “best rapper alive” statement for as long as I can recall. He even has a song called “The Best Rapper Alive”. In “Dr. Carter” from The Carter III, he takes on the persona of a doctor of hip hop who in the end saves hip hop’s life.

This is a common theme in hip hop because some say hip hop is not the same as it used to be. There will never be another 2Pac or Biggie, though. The sooner people realize that, the better. We must work with what we have now, or someone needs to work on changing it.  Hip hop has changed because times and people change every day and every year. 2Pac and Biggie really lived the beef they rapped about, and that type of beef isn’t AS popular as it was then, therefore the lyrics aren’t as deep as what 2Pac and B.I.G. had to say. The industry has changed significantly because of technology as well. Nowadays anyone can jump on a track or make a quick album, even if they have no real talent. But Jay-Z and Wayne are not THOSE artists.

Jay-Z also reps the “best rapper alive” phrase. The two men have truly taken hip hop to another level. Both business savvy and lyric savvy, they are and have been at the top of their game for the entire time they’ve been in the industry. They won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. True mentors for other artists, Wayne and Jay-Z will help other talented artists rise to the top just as they have.

I will soon be posting blogs about what I discovered in my research of hip hop, how I fit into the culture myself, and what I may end up doing with that….Leave comments, questions, or concerns that may help me develop this site or that may just help me in general. I’m trying to find time to juggle everything that’s going on right now which is a good thing. Boredom is no good for anyone! But stay tuned!

It’s been since April 10 since I’ve written last, I know. It’s time for me to take this new free time that I have, with no school, to post blogs more regularly. Generally on this blog I would be blogging about hip hop music, how I fit into the culture, or something along those lines, but I decided I’m also going to use this as an opportunity to keep everyone up-to-date on my tasks as a writer, business woman, and recent college grad. On May 7th, I graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a bachelor’s degree in English/Creative Writing and a Professional Writing minor which is a good reason why I haven’t posted anything in forever. Since this site was done for a portfolio website for Writing for the Web class, I took this as a chance to display my writing abilities post-graduation.

I’ve just recently taken on two internships. One intern position is with an entertainment company located in Indianapolis; the other is with a company that sells products online. With the entertainment company, I am learning the entertainment industry by dipping into the business side of things with tasks such as blogging on Indy Mojo, posting flyers and updating Facebook and Twitter accounts, helping with the creation of the new ABA team and league they are becoming a part of, and also helping them set up parties at various venues in Indianapolis. I attend staff and business meetings about parties, upcoming T.V. shows where the company will be represented in some way, and any other upcoming events.

With the other internship, I will blog for their products and help them with anything that needs to be edited or rewritten. I am super excited about all of the knowledge that I will gain from both of these internships. They will both help increase my writing skills, so hopefully soon you all will notice an improvement as well! I did major in English/Creative Writing, but writing is something that must be continually worked on because a writer can always be better. It’s important to have your own distinct voice even in writing. Developing that in writing doesn’t always happen overnight. It takes quite a bit of time for a writer to develop the person they want to be in writing.

It took me the whole four years of college, not just writing classes, but knowledge wise, to write the way I wanted to write. Even now, I know I can improve. Some many thoughts are always being formulated in my mind that I find it hard to write them all down the way I see them in my head. But now that I’m living in reality instead of college life, I’m better able to understand my thoughts more which helps when trying to write them down. These internships will definitely help my writing skills and I’m super excited about that! I’m ready to turn any and everything I can about both of the industries I’m interning with.