What’s a wigster?

Combat Jack over at DallasPenn has got the Internet going nuts with his recent beatdown of Village Voice hip-hop blogger Tom Breihan. In his post, CJ labels Breihan “hip-hop’s most dangerous blog critic” and articulates several complaints about Breihan that have been brewing for months now—the chief of which is that Breihan doesn’t have sufficient knowledge of and/or respect for hip-hop culture. To illustrate this, CJ links to a number of shock posts in which Breihan makes some fairly outlandish claims, including that Jim Jones trumps Jay-Z, and that Pitbull is a better rapper than Nas. CJ also takes issue with Breihan’s use of the word ninja as a substitute for the N-bomb, criticizes the Voice’s comment delivery system (which involves a substantial lag time and tends to shield the writer), and laments the fact that a privileged indie rock critic has been given such an influential position in the hip-hop media.

Tempers exploded on all sides. The consensus in the rap blogosphere seems to be that Breihan’s writing doesn’t contribute much and is out of proportion with his profile. Breihan supporters, on the other hand, have accused CJ of “reverse racism” and have argued that DallasPenn is trying to claim rap writing as the sole domain of black people. The Breihan defenders believe that CJ is pulling the “race card” in order to cover up weaknesses in his argument.

To begin with, if I never hear the term “race card” again, it will be too soon. In my experience, that term is only ever trotted out to silence discussions of race. It’s lame and unimaginative and disrespectful, and I wish people would stop using it.

Secondly, I have to say that CJ’s criticism is merited. Breihan is a good writer and I—like kris ex and CJ himself—have at times found his earnestness and his exuberance refreshing. However, it must be said that a lot of his recent work has amounted to knee-jerk hipsterism. There’s a flippant, almost superior tone to some of his posts that, for obvious reasons, doesn’t work particularly well for white people in hip-hop. Breihan is not writing in a vacuum here. His work is part of a larger context, a broader pattern of white hipsters feeling justified in mocking and/or fetishizing black culture. The comments on the Idolator board make that dynamic very clear.

Thirdly, I don’t get the sense that anyone is attacking Breihan because he’s white. Noz is just as high profile a blogger and nobody seems to care that he’s white. Why? Because he knows his shit inside out, adores hip-hop, and has something valuable to contribute to the conversation. Same goes for Oh Word. The folks that are trying to oversimplify this debate need to ask themselves why they feel the need to do so.

I don’t think anyone is confusing whiteness with economic privilege either. There’s lots of broke white folks that don’t have access to opportunity. But I’m guessing that Briehan is not one of them. If he’s going to write about music that means everything to broke folks of all races all over the world, in such a high-profile venue like the Voice, he needs to examine his motives, his position, and his approach.

Lastly, I think it’s worth noting here that there comes a point in any white rap writer’s career when you cope with critics who call your perspective into question. Most white rap writers, regardless of our intentions, bring some level of baggage with us. Sooner or later, somebody is going to call us on it. No doubt it’s painful (no white boy crying on Making The Band). But it’s also an opportunity to become a better writer and a better human being. You either face it and grow, or you run. And if you’re not up for it, I think you have to ask yourself why you wanted to get involved with hip-hop in the first place.

The key question for me in all of this is: how will Breihan respond?

  • Combat Jack

    Good post T. I love u!

  • Omar

    So that’s where Bol got his Jim Jones, King of NY bullshit from.

  • a

    HIPHOP IS BIGGER THAN ALL OF THIS THANK YOU FOR SHOWING DIFFERENT ASPECT OF HIPHOP

  • Roc the Trashman

    I think youre post about rappers not respecting their craft has been jacked. http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/entertainment/music/16208475.htm?source=rss&channel=cctimes_music

  • http://xxl.com Malik B

    Noz is white?

  • Were Read 2 Def

    >Noz is white?

    ^^^co-sign.

  • http://www.myspace.com/deensekou sATaLyte

    Good lord that whole Tom Breihan thing just snowballed.

    Tom is like some Wigster Tupac now.

  • 110 street

    Wow real beef, NOT.

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    Noz is just as high profile a blogger and nobody seems to care that he’s white.

    ^^^u blew his cover!

    But fuck The Village Voice…

    The shit’s for queers!

  • DocZeus

    Tara, I think you just outed Noz’ whitenesss. I seriously had no idea.

  • http://www.myspace.com/deensekou sATaLyte

    He blew his cover first in those idolator comments.

    Also he says hes been talking about it forever, but I been reading Cocaine Blunts for a minute and had never heard anything of it.

    It doesn’t really matter though, damn good example of how hip hop is definitely more than a black thing, and us blacks don’t own the shit anymore and need to stop acting like we do.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    Racism will always be around. Deal with it.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    Dont care if NOZ is pale..he’s more legit than Bol’s wierd ass

  • OnE3nD

    Noz…WHITE??? hahahhahahaaha j/k he is a great blogger.

  • Incilin

    Oh shit, I aint know Noz was white. That’s a surprise. You know, we always like to make fun of rappers when they talk shit over the internet instead of smacking the shit out of somebody, how come when bloggers do it we’re supposed to care? I don’t know either one of these guys or thier stories, but you raise an interesting point. I’ll say this, this guy isn’t getting called out because he said Jones beat Jigga (Aint Bol say that too?). And if it’s cuz he’s white, how come Tara never got “called out” She’s white (And Canadian!). Maybe it’s because she has something worth reading and this other guy doesn’t. I don’t know, but maybe I should start reading more hip hop blogs.

  • http://www.myspace.com/poisonousdarthfc Poisonous Dart

    Oh Shit…Noz is White! Nosa, I been knew that…where the hell have y’all been?

    As for ANYONE who writes about hip hop, if you don’t know your shit (history, theory, etc.) then expect to get called on it. If your posts/blogs have no significant merit other than to shock people or bait them into arguments, expect to get called on it. I’ve had my fill of people that don’t truly know or love hip hop getting paid off of it….That shit is dead…Hip Hop isn’t.

    One.

  • the truth

    When I hear &/or read anything from Danyel Smith I’m generally captivated. I think she’s brillant regarding issues concerning our culture. I’m beginning to hold you in the same regard.

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Get ‘em, Tara! Kudos on the ‘no homo’ analogy. UNO!

  • http://www.ohword.com Sach

    Nice take on the subject.

    20 nerd points to Tara if she can spot the hidden Canadian rap reference in that article of ours she linked.

  • P

    “There’s lots of broke white folks that don’t have access to opportunity. But I’m guessing that Briehan is not one of them. If he’s going to write about music that means everything to broke folks of all races all over the world, in such a high-profile venue like the Voice, he needs to examine his motives, his position, and his approach.”

    word.

  • Meka Soul

    holy shit… noz is white?!

  • jacquez
  • http://aramhiphopetc.blogspot.com I Fux

    Yo Noz is white, whatever now it makes sense that he knows everything, he has to cover his tracs, Kidding……Yo fuck that Breihen dofus, he is 6’11 white and cant ball, the great white hope couldnt ever master any of his ambitions so no he acts like he knows his rap history……Fuck a Wigster

  • http://aramhiphopetc.blogspot.com I Fux

    No Vito Sucking Dick!

  • Meka Soul

    noz = more gully than some of the black hip-hop writers.

    no charlie haas acting black on “wwe raw.”

  • Meka Soul

    i never got a response for my proposition some days back, ms. henley.

  • SukedowN

    So would this qualify as a white woman on a computer talking about a black man on a computer talking about a white man on his computer talking about hip-hop?

    Sheesh.

  • http://aramhiphopetc.blogspot.com I Fux

    Yo if your bored click on my name, I have this video clip of this Latina Chick Name Jery Sandoval she is super hot!

  • LBz

    good one Tara

  • INVISIBLE_HAND
  • therealdeal

    BLACK PEOPLE PLAY THE RACE CARD ALL THE TIME LIKE OJ, JACKO AND BLAIR. sO I DON’T BUY YOUR ARGUMENT THAT THE RACE CARD SHOULD NOT BE SILENCED. i WILL SAY THAT THIS HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT TOM IS WHITE. I AGREE HE HAS SAID SOME MESSED UP THINGS LIKE PITBULL BEING BETTER THAN NAS BUT COME ON LIKE BOL DOESN’T POST HIS BULLSHIT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE ARE DOING BAD IN SCHOOLS AND CAN’T FIND JOBS BECAUSE OF HISPANIC PEOPLE BUT I don’t see you complaining about that.

  • J.O.S.E.(RAP IS LIKE WRESTLING)

    NOZ IS WHITE? who gives fuck.. stop hating on BOL. ya’ll give him the reaction he is looking for dummies..

  • INVISIBLE_HAND

    Tara, I think you just outed Noz’ whitenesss. I seriously had no idea.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    forreal! makes no difference though

  • The Historian

    Good post. These people claiming that combat jack is just pulling the race card have to come up with another defense. It doesn’t matter what color you are. U either love Hip-Hop or u don’t. You either know your history or u don’t. This guy is entitled to his opinion, he can think Jim Jones is better than Jay(hell no)and whatever else he wants but don’t try and act like your an expert on Hip-Hop and try and come off superior when your writing clearly says something else. Props to Combat Jack and Tara. For the record I’m Mexican and I love Hip-Hop.

  • paper chaser

    The problem people have with Tom is he is white and some people don’t want him writing about black culture. And Tara I want to ask you a question why don’t you get upset when Bol says things like black people can’t get jobs because of hispanic people and they can’t do well in school because of hispanic people. And people should not complain when that race card is being played for no reason come on. Facts are facts black people play the race card all the time trust me.

  • paper chaser

    The problem people have with Tom is he is white and some people don’t want him writing about black culture. And Tara I want to ask you a question why don’t you get upset when Bol says things like black people can’t get jobs because of hispanic people and they can’t do well in school because of hispanic people. And people should not complain when that race card is being played for no reason come on. Facts are facts black people play the race card all the time trust me.

  • Old skool Sandy

    Opinions are like assholes everyone has one….some are nicer than others though. My slow flow is remarkable I got more weed than ^Tony Montana has Yayo… Let me combine all the juice from my mind….Allow me to introduce myself, My name is HOV…..real hip hop is gone…..

  • thoreauly77

    well done miss henley. youre on a roll these days. interesting…

    bol gets called out on his bullshit all the time, by other bloggers, rappers, and boards all over the place. he gets ethered every day. tom gets called out by CJ (who has a reputation for ethering people), and he uses a racist term like “wigster” in order to incite debate; i believe he even responded on the dp.com board saying he wanted it to be controversial. that said, there is a decent argument that while breihan may have some underlying racist tendencies (though i personally doubt it), CJ didnt try in the very least to hide his disgust with breihan’s whiteness. so, is CJ the racist here? i presonally do not think he is either, but it is inarguable that if breihan were to ether CJ in a blog response and call him some some racial pejorative, there would be an absolute shit-storm.

    so when CJ ethered breihan, did his argument become null and void precisely because he was doing exactly what he claims breihan does?

  • SukedowN

    Combat Jack = Frontrunner for 2006 Psuedo-Intelligent Self-Notarized Hater of the Year Award

  • B-Ease

    BLACK PEOPLE PLAY THE RACE CARD ALL THE TIME LIKE OJ, JACKO AND BLAIR. sO I DON’T BUY YOUR ARGUMENT THAT THE RACE CARD SHOULD NOT BE SILENCED. i WILL SAY THAT THIS HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT TOM IS WHITE. I AGREE HE HAS SAID SOME MESSED UP THINGS LIKE PITBULL BEING BETTER THAN NAS BUT COME ON LIKE BOL DOESN’T POST HIS BULLSHIT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE ARE DOING BAD IN SCHOOLS AND CAN’T FIND JOBS BECAUSE OF HISPANIC PEOPLE BUT I don’t see you complaining about that.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    because BOL does it in a tongue in cheek manner meant to illcit responses more thoughtful than the post. plus hes black and whether you like it or not, whites position in society prevents them from saying some of the shit we get away with (truly a small price to pay for white privelage).Tom (who i do read) just comes off kind of arrogant even thought sometimes he is equally as insightful.By the way OJ, Mike, and Blair to a certain extent all wouldnt have been able to play the race card so effectively if the racist whites involved in each of their respective stories didnt expose their biases (Furman, the DA that hounded Mike, the jealous NY Times staff)

    On another note, FANTASTIC POST TARA.you seem to excel when writing aobut issues of substance and race more than just your typical hip hop blogs.a white females views on race and hiphop are rarely if ever heard, keep doing your thing!

  • B-Ease

    so when CJ ethered breihan, did his argument become null and void precisely because he was doing exactly what he claims breihan does

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    no,he didnt prove to be the same as Tome, he proved himself to be sensationalistic and poorly researched.but he was accusing Tom of being racist, something a black man cant be (we can be prejudice though, but thats not what was happening here).

  • thoreauly77

    a black man can’t be racist? you have written some insightful commentary so far today, but that is not one of them. any man or woman can be racist, period.

  • thoreauly77

    however, i would like to hear your argument for that assertion. youre not kevin powell are you?

  • Franco

    White people always stealing our art.

    Jazz—-stolen

    Blues—-stolen

    Country(yes country)—stolen

    Rock & Roll—stolen before any black artist could really blow

    Soul—-tried to steal it,failed, so they imported The Beatles to destroy Soul

    Disco—-stolen

    Pop—-stolen

    Techno(yes, techno, we started it)—-stolen

    Hip hop—-trying to steal it

    They should stick with their Classical..thats the only sh*t they inevented(thats why bits so Borrrringggg!!!!)

  • R.L

    All y’all super lame, it’s the internet.
    It’s like you got regulars who respond in a blog section, and people know them by name and rep. You nigga’s worse than some World Of Warcraft nerds. Who cares? Looking way too deep into things

  • R.L

    P.S I got a good hunch 80% of y’all are not black, nothing wrong with that but masking it with “Noz is white? wow” is a horrible attempt

  • http://www.foodmantooth.blogspot.com Furman P. Sltohra

    I don’t understand what “kneejerk hipsterism” is. Do you mean like, when a bunch of real hip hop fans are sitting around listening to Kingdom come and someone with thickly rimmed glasses thinks “huh since I’m fetishizing black cluture and I don’t really give a fuck about hip hop, or anything really except my circle-jerking indie rock blogger friends, I’m gonna call this crap and shit all over the canon of ny hip hop to piss off a guy named Combat Jack”?

    Or how bout when someone makes a joke about a miami rapper being better than a ny rapper who has failed to live up to his one classic album too many times to forgive and lets guys who call time outs when there aren’t any in NCAA games and a member of the douche eyed peas produce his album…and the joke flies 100,000 leagues above their heads? is that kneejerk hipsterism?

  • http://www.xanga.com/vivache hoosteen

    A black man can be prejudiced against people of other races, but he can not be “racist” per se because he does not benefit from a system that privileges white people.

    I think B-Ease is operating on the definition of racism we use in sociology, which is that “racism” is the ideology that supports the white power structure. People of color can be (and frequently are) prejudiced against people of other races, but only whites can be racist because only whites benefit from racism.

  • http://www.foodmantooth.blogspot.com Furman P. Sltohra

    “their heads” referring to the heads of “heads” who write blogs at ohword and xxl

  • MC Spectakular

    great post tara a new aspect of hip hop is blogger beef haha

  • Viski

    B-Ease you are one ignorant person…how can black people not be racist, do you think its impossible for people of the black pigmant to be racist? You dumb fool shut your damn mouth…hoosteen i understand where your coming from but come on that definition of racism has transformed from a definion in this country when whites oppresed black to something every race is able to do.
    ANd im tired of everyone saying white people cant judge rap culture fuck that. I am a white 17 yearold male and i love rap music and the basic roots and orgins of rap, and loving it has nothing to do with race . ANd by the way i can understand groups like public enemy or even rappers like KRS 1 pertaining to black people because they talk about the black issues. HOwever in todays world of hip-hop only a select few really talk about black issues cause sellin drugs and bustin guns have nothing to do with race…therefore this guy has everyright to make judgments on rap music because at the end of the day rap music is for everyone to enjoy and judge not just black people

  • http://dallaspenn.com/weblog/?page_id=291 Dallas

    Tara,

    Thanks for finding time to air this issue out on the XXL forum. If I could be so bold I would like to take five seconds to clarify Combat Jack’s post for any folks who want to know what happened without having to actually read all the pyscho-babble.

    Tom Breihan needs to bring his ‘A’ game to the table if he chooses to continue to write about Hip-Hop for the Village Voice. The same effort he exudes to review an indie rock band has to used when discussing Hip-Hop acts.

    The Hip-Hop community at large will not suffer for someone that doesn’t care for the art he is being paid to analyze. There are too many thoroughbreds out here that deserve that Village Voice scrilla, Noz, Robbie from UnKut, kris ex, Sach and Rafi from OhWord! and my main negro playing Stratego, William X. Sunday.

    Hip-Hop may is not dead, and I’ll be damned if I let it get raped in front of my eyes by a cracker (no Terrence Howard in that movie ‘Crash’)

  • thoreauly77

    hoosteen- anyone can be racist. first, sociology is not a science due to human dynamism. that is, a blanket phrase cannot be applied to a mind-state or the capabilities of any race, such as “black people cannot be racist”, because black people, or any race of people, are different in different regions due to their cultures. so to say for example that “black americans cannot be racist” is equally erroneous. i have met many people of many races all around the world, from different classes all around and guess what, there were racists in every group, regardless of skin color. all racists need to be taken to task, not given an out.

  • Pingback: links for 2006-12-13 at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  • mannyworld33

    noz is white!? (no soulman)

  • Bang

    Breihan’s a joke, and no one should listen to his worthless opinions. Outsiders who lack the understanding, the respect, and the history of Hip Hop can’t be looked at as anybody who can ever speak for us

    Seriously, dude needs to off himself in front of a school bus to show the kids that if you amount to a lame shit in the real world, then that is what will become of you

    wigsters = really not worth the money they put into Hip Hop, when you get down to it

    fuck that

  • Bang

    ~Outsiders who lack the understanding, the respect, and the history of Hip Hop can’t be looked at as anybody who can ever speak for us

    or even to us, really. to me, he holds no weight

  • B-Ease

    hoosteen Says:

    December 12th, 2006 at 11:24 pm
    A black man can be prejudiced against people of other races, but he can not be “racist” per se because he does not benefit from a system that privileges white people.

    I think B-Ease is operating on the definition of racism we use in sociology, which is that “racism” is the ideology that supports the white power structure. People of color can be (and frequently are) prejudiced against people of other races, but only whites can be racist because only whites benefit from racism.

    this is exactly what i was going to write.the bottom line is, it is difficult for a white person to see this (especially one that is only 17 years old, not judging you, just saying) because then they would have to achknowledge the benefits of white privilage in white sociey and that would true acceptance of this structure would make non-whites sick to thier stomach.so instead of vomitting, they pretend that we’re almost down the road of equality and that what a black man thinks or feels has a much weight as what a white man thinks or feels.

  • B-Ease

    hoosteen Says:

    December 12th, 2006 at 11:24 pm
    A black man can be prejudiced against people of other races, but he can not be “racist” per se because he does not benefit from a system that privileges white people.

    I think B-Ease is operating on the definition of racism we use in sociology, which is that “racism” is the ideology that supports the white power structure. People of color can be (and frequently are) prejudiced against people of other races, but only whites can be racist because only whites benefit from racism.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    this is exactly what i was going to write.the bottom line is, it is verydifficult for a white person to see this (especially one that is only 17 years old, not judging you, just saying) because they would then have to achknowledge the benefits of their white privilage in white sociey. true realization of this structure would make a non- racist white sick to his stomach.so instead of vomitting, they pretend that we’re almost down the road of equality and that what a black man thinks or feels has a much weight as what a white man thinks or feels.

  • B-Ease

    Facts are facts black people play the race card all the time trust me.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    you play the cards you’re dealt.

  • thoreauly77

    b-ease- recognizing and understanding the benefits of being white, particularly the socio-economic benefits, i am still a single father, full-time college student, worker, and broke as fuck. and i am not lamenting this fact. i am doing what i have to do. with the recognition of there being a white power structure intact and fully functioning to this day, i am of the opinion that it is my duty (and every like-minded human being’s) to help change the white power structure. yes, this power structure is sickening; all the more reason to do something about it, even if that means trying to talk some sense into your average viski or dj n-cred. what any man thinks or feels has as much weight as what the next man thinks or feels, regardless of race… unless theyre just plain full of shit, and in that case, they need to be called on it.

  • thoreauly77

    *substitute “even if” with “especially”.

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    ZZZZZzzzz..>>this post.

  • the truth

    “Race Card” as a term is used to divert & belittle the systemic and social gains created & sustained by non-minorities in this country through the practice of racism… The term itself has absolutely no validity… Specifically speaking the dynamic of race in this country is not an African-American invention… So to assume that is summoned and used to the benefit of those who have suffered in its wake, is nothing short of assinine…

  • del.t

    I haven’t read much of Tom Breihan’s work outside of pitchfork.com, but I’m glad to see that people are finally calling him out on his lack of hip hop knowledge.

    Just from his work on Pitchfork, it’s clear that Breihan’s a fringe fan of hip hop who doesn’t really understand it beyond mainstream crossover rap. And that’s not knowledge worth speaking about, much less wielding it as a critical voice.

    Breihan will almost always choose mainstream over underground, hardcore over conscious. What’s more, he is lured to the excitement of a new artist and is quick to dismiss a veteran, without supporting his opinion. The rap he likes seems to meet three criteria: it glorifies violence, it exploits stereotypes, and it comes from new blood. I’m not saying I disagree with his taste all the time, but it seems to me that he doesn’t know how to appreciate any other type of hip hop if it doesn’t fit his mold. He’ll praise an artist who’s deserving of it, but then he’ll do the same for someone who’s straight garbage. I listen to ALL types of hip hop, because the diversity keeps it interesting and is key to its progression. Breihan, on the other hand, suffers from the same affliction as does the mainstream music industry: he sticks to a stale formula because he seemingly has trouble recognizing talent in hip hop. You can pretty much guess what rating Breihan will give an album just by who the artist is, before reading a single word of his review.

  • http://yahoo.com quin_c813

    i wanna fuk u ,u already know!!!!!

  • B-Ease

    the truth Says:

    December 13th, 2006 at 11:51 am
    “Race Card” as a term is used to divert & belittle the systemic and social gains created & sustained by non-minorities in this country through the practice of racism… The term itself has absolutely no validity… Specifically speaking the dynamic of race in this country is not an African-American invention… So to assume that is summoned and used to the benefit of those who have suffered in its wake, is nothing short of assinine…
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    damn,that was heavy…

  • http://www.xanga.com/vivache hoosteen

    “anyone can be racist. first, sociology is not a science due to human dynamism. that is, a blanket phrase cannot be applied to a mind-state or the capabilities of any race, such as “black people cannot be racist”, because black people, or any race of people, are different in different regions due to their cultures. so to say for example that “black americans cannot be racist” is equally erroneous. i have met many people of many races all around the world, from different classes all around and guess what, there were racists in every group, regardless of skin color. all racists need to be taken to task, not given an out.”

    I’m not saying that people of color can’t be racially prejudiced. They can. My Dominican friends talk shit about the “dirty, stupid” Mexicans like my grandparents all the time (Mexican isn’t a race, I know, just making a point), my Indian boss thinks all black folks are thieves, I’ve got a Yemeni aquaintance that distrusts white folks based on their whiteness. These are instances of race-based prejudice, and as you say, you can find instances of these throughout cultures around the world.

    But when white people act or maintain beliefs that further cement the white power structure, it is racism. The difference is that whites are dominant, and their prejudices systemically reinforce the status quo that they benefit from. When a black man talks shit about an Asian man, the deep-seated prejudices between those two communities can deepen. But that black man is not going to receive economic or social benefits based on his blackness, no matter how many Asians he hates on. The racist system we have in place is designed to place whites at an advantage because they are white. White behaviors (whether conscious or not) that reinforce that power structure, by extension, are racist precisely because they reinforce the white power structure.

    If you can’t roll with my definition of racism, it’s whatever and we’ll agree to disagree there. But the inevitable conclusions of that definition (that people of color can not be racist) needed to be teased out.

  • Cuban Link

    wtf how can you think Pitbull is a better rapper than NaS?

    Get em CJ

  • Viski

    “thoreauly77″ i recognize what your saying and i agree withyou that the power strucure is fucked up nonetheless i never said it wasnt, all i was trying to say was that any race can judge rap and it doesnt have to be just black people. RAp music has gotten to the point where it affects all cultures not just black ones. and i never have said that we are almost down the road to equality cause we are no where close the system needs to be fized. “hoosteen” i totally understand what your saying on the other hand i agree to disagree with you but props to everything your saying even if i am white. B-ease i didnt mean to just blaintantly attack you i jsut got upset when you said black people cant be racist however i do see where youre coming from (that i might not see eveything being a white male, however the fact about age, plays no role in this discussion because i am able to formulate my thoughts and give insightful opnions and have seen evreything that a person older than me has), i had no ill intentions with what i said towards you im sure your an intellectual human being i just wanted to challenge your opinions.

  • MINDLESS RANT

    chicken is fowl… yet so good!

  • jihad joe

    is this bitch retarded 99.99999999% of the time black people or any other racial group for that matter of fact cry rasicm they are just doing so to get people to see that way. The race card is the reason y no white people actually do care about rasicm. All them minorities need to read the boy who cryed wolf because noone belives that shit any more

  • http://www.xanga.com/vivache hoosteen

    (for the record, I’m half white half hispanic)

  • thoreauly77

    then i suppose the argument is semantic. i feel that being racially prejudiced is the same as simply being racist, no matter who benefits from it. ultimately i feel we are all being short-changed by these fools and i for one am not going to sit back and be a passive observer; that is why i have tutored at battered women’s shelters and after school church programs to children from abusive homes. it is also why i am studying to be a professor of english. again, i think this is a semantic argument, but your point was excellent.

  • http://foodmantooth.blogspot.com Sordid Puppy

    This post is pretty weak. It doesn’t sound like you’ve actually read Breihan, which is something you should do if you’re going to call a writer out. You claim to have done so, but all you do here is repeat, almost verbatim, what CJ said.

    You refer to yourself as someone who “wanted to get involved with hip-hop,” and you imply that the same can be said for all white hip-hop writers/fans/etc. What does this mean? Hip-hop is a hobby? An activity? Don’t be so quick to make generalizations about people who have the same color skin as you. Some of us have been in love with the art form all our lives.

    You keep referring to Breihan as “priveleged,” you “guess” that he didn’t grow up broke, though you acknowledge that some white folks do. Do you have evidence of this, or are you just making this up? Are you making assumptions about his economic background because of his writing style? That’s effing presumptuous.

    I’m not trying to beat you down, just to criticize; get your craft down a lil better if you want to be taken seriously.

  • http://foodmantooth.blogspot.com Sordid Puppy

    P.S.
    This is not a working definition of racism:

    I think B-Ease is operating on the definition of racism we use in sociology, which is that “racism” is the ideology that supports the white power structure.

  • NickeNitro

    Tara nailed the problem here so well there’s not really anything left to add, but I wanted to veer the comment discussion back on track. The tone shared by these indie-rocking “hip-hop critics” is bothersome to say the least. They remind me of (are?) the old college rockism guys who would say ignorant things like, “hip-hop’s not really music” and equivocate all sampling with stealing, where the obvious racist undertone was that, with an equal amount of creative energy, some black guy’s song of rhymes over beats will always be less meritable than some white guy’s crooning over melodramatic guitar play.

    Except now the disparagement comes out more spuriously as some slight acknowledgment of hip-hop as music, but only when it can perform a function as ghetto sideshow entertainment, which seems like a jealous and bitter attempt to re-marginalize hip-hop now that it’s become such a prominent cultural force. To me, hip-hop’s inherent flexibility enables it to deeply embrace a wider range of subjects and emotions that any other type of music I’ve heard. But even when these guys actually praise something to do with hip-hop, it’s always backhandedly in the form of “hip-hop and these rappers unquestionably suck for this and that and these reasons, but maybe this is a single notable exception,” or something like including 4 rap albums in a year-end top 50 list, the underlying notion being that there’s more than 10 good rock albums put out for every good rap album.

    What annoys me is when I encounter people who get their ideas of “how things are” from these writers. The flippant and superior tone that Tara noted ends up permeating beyond the computer. Because there’s such a big demographic of indie-flockers who tend to take everything certain music media outlets publish as divine truth in trying to acquire some objective idea of “good taste” that doesn’t really exist, publications can actually sell positive reviews and adjectives like ‘genius,’ ‘artistic,’ ‘smart,’ and ‘introspective’ to record labels that want to give their musicians hipster/rock cred. When someone like Tom Breihan takes a baselessly assertive pot-shot at hip-hop music or someone who makes it, it’s destructively misleading.

    -I don’t think this Combat Jack did his argument any favors by focusing so hard on race, but that seemed to come from emotions he’s justified in having. Rock critics have always been racist — as the editor of Wax Poetics noted, Parliament/Funkadelic never gets a fraction of the reverence they deserve.
    -Peter Macia’s the worst. He makes Tom Breihan read like a mid-nineties issue of The Source. At least Breihan knows his Rap-A-Lot.

  • NickeNitro

    Actually, considering Breihan’s writing in light of this book: How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses, by Mark M. Smith (University of North Carolina Press, 2006, 200 pp.) (http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/interviews/m_smith_interview.htm), I would have to say that TOM BREIHAN IS A FLAT-OUT RACIST.

    Just read his opinions. He loves everything that reinforces ideas of black people as being real ghetto, and then absolutely hates everything that doesn’t in any way. Does Breihan want to perpetuate sensory differences between black and white people? You betcha. Read his review of the Rock the Bells show and tell me he doesn’t have reservations about associating with black people.

    This guy needs to get fired. It’s not about whether his opinions are right or wrong, or whether he knows what he’s talking about well enough to talk about it, it’s about having a racist write about hip-hop. It’s sickening, really. A major publication shouldn’t be able to get away with that.

  • http://foodmantooth.blogspot.com Sordid Puppy

    speaking of “shielding the writer,” why have my comments been moderated out of existence?

  • Bang

    for real, xxl needs a better format to read these shits. get a forum for this, fuckers

  • Sidi Moctar

    I agree with Dallas on some points.
    Aint kow white boy calling me “nigga”.
    Never, so many people suffered, so many motheres cried with the original word “nigger”. I myself as an african, I rarely use that word. Anyways, personnaly I don’t want no indie rock fan reviewing rap. I don’t hate indie rock, I just do not listen to it. In rap, there is an unwritten rules that says you need to know your history. This rule applys specially to other races trying to get in. For example a dude born in the bronx weather purto ricans or black is automaticaly immersed in the culture, because let’s say his mother was a b-girl, his bros hustler and rapper etc. A white dude in oklahoma at his adolescence has “to make” a choice to be hip hop. A lot of them is on some trendy shit as when they grow up 30+, they leave rap alone and go to rock. It is a problem already to go at Village voice or Pitchfork to read their bs reviews. In my opinion, hip hop culture is for everybody, but you need to respect. I know for a fact that Noz and the dude at unkut.com are good example of knowledge, that’s why I like reading his post

  • sam

    “reverse racism” is a stupid term. It’s racism just the same.

  • pat

    The real thing about Tom is that deep down he is a punk rock fan, if you read enough of his posts this becomes pretty clear. Unfourtantely anyone over the age of 15 can tell you that punk as a musical artform is severly lacking in quality, all the same sophmoric bullshit. So what you have is a guy that basically a really good writer with really bad taste in music that manages to cover it up by apearing eclectivc. The last time this dude wrote up a rating on albums Justin Timberlake was number one, stop and think about that for a second. I don’t think anybody can take away his ability as a writer, he makes some of the dumbest music sound great, but as far as actual taste dude is like a 13 year old trapped in the body of 6’11 man in his late twenties.

  • pop a poppa

    anybody that is buying all this beefing bullshit is pretty gullible.

    its obvious Combat Jack has some kind of vendetta against Tom Breihan. he goes on about how Breihan has no knowledge about hip-hop culture but then praises Bol in the same paragraph (WTF???).

    if anything Tom and Bol as writers are one and the same. the only reason to read either of their blogs is for a good laugh. honestly how can you take the word of someone who digs Gin Blossoms (who?). nullus.
    knowledge and depth is what reading Noz’s blog is for.

    there are points in both argument’s favor though.

    *****Tom Breihan does give high praise to hip-hop that has a “vulgar” element to it. for instance the main reason he liked the video to Busta Rhymes’s “Ghetto” was because of all the harsh visuals that accompanied the song.

    *****Combat Jack did a bitch move though in his post. he brought up the whole issue of the white takeover of rock’n'roll and saying that Tom is a part of the people who are doing that with hip-hop today. but i don’t get the impression that Tom is trying to be a part of that. he just seems like a kid that truly likes hip-hop and has some hilarious viewpoints on music that i don’t see from any other blogger.

    this same thing happened with Benzino and Eminem over at The Source. the jury is still out on Em’s intentions on whether he is leading a white corporate takeover of hip-hop or not. the white companies definitely own the hip-hop radio stations nowadays (which is why there will never be anymore politically charged rap superstars like Public Enemy again), but i’m not sure you can blame Eminem for that.

  • pop a poppa

    I Fux Says:

    December 12th, 2006 at 5:29 pm
    Yo Noz is white, whatever now it makes sense that he knows everything, he has to cover his tracs, Kidding……Yo fuck that Breihen dofus, he is 6′11 white and cant ball, the great white hope couldnt ever master any of his ambitions so no he acts like he knows his rap history……Fuck a Wigster

    ^^^^^
    and I Fux you should be careful who you are throwin’ rocks at. its cool to say “Fuck a Wigster” but you are in the same boat as Tom (only your blogs ain’t funny).

  • http://www.ohword.com R.H.S. from OhWord

    Hey this is R.H.S. from OhWord. I am not white. Peace.

  • http://gaccuworld.blogspot.com Antonio

    Great post.
    You highlighted the best parts of CJ’s post. Well done.

  • http://www.xanga.com/vivache hoosteen

    Sordid Puppy, why is the sociological definition of racism not a working definition?

  • http://differentkitchen.blogspot.com/ ian

    To NickeNitro: UR so on point. U just about said it all. Pls start a blog so I soak this kind of game up on the regular.

  • DJ Lucky Luke

    They just better not crush my dreams and come out with some: “Tara Henley is white.” I just know it ain’t true.

  • http://www.shanemorrislife.com Shane Morris

    Being white and being part of hip hop should not be independent or even dependent of each other. I’m not here to talk about either blogger, because I don’t know them personally. And in my experience it’s not wise to vocalize against people, unless I know their background.

    I’m one of the few white people who grew up in the many projects in South Atlanta. I like to think that I understand hip hop culture. Hip hop in largely part of a black subculture because it largely has African roots. But as in tune with the culture I am, I will never really understand a greater part of angst that is an undertone. Racial profiling, inclinations toward poverty, and susceptibility to not getting a higher education will never be part of “white” culture.

    In my experience, if you’re going to write about a culture or industry, you had better be damned sure you understand a few basics about it. Those basic principles aren’t about being “right” or “more right”.

    Is Pitbull better than Nas? It depends on context. Pitbull makes club music. Nas makes poetry. They’re almost hard to put into the same group. Is Jim Jones better than Jay Z? I could honestly make an argument for Jim Jones being a better pure rapper. Jay Z is a brilliant entrepreneur. They’re different people.

    But as a basic stance, the Village Voice needs to look a little more closely at who is writing for them.