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Blog Post

25 Nov

One person that I wouldn’t mind talking about is Donald Glover also known as Childish Gambino. Donald Glover is an actor, writer, comedian, rapper, and producer. He’s known for being on shows such as NBCs Community, Sesame Street, the Regular Show and a writer for 30 Rock. He has been in movies such as The Muppets, Magic Mike, and Lazarus. On top of all of that, he’s headlined four concerts and won a Comedy Award and a TV Guide award. I think this is an interesting topic because he has been in multiple industrys including the radio and television industry. Having the opportunity to be in both, he has spoke on privilege and double conciseness before in his interviews. Watch the clip below at 8:00. If you ever read his poem he spoke about how he wanted to be big and white. Now some people would question him and ask, “Embrace your blackness, why do you want to be white?” He than followed up with this statement,” Whiteness is blankness, they look at it like a blank slate, like when you come in you can be anything; Like when I walk in, even if I have a bow tie, they might be like, ‘is he Muslim?’ They’re not going to do that with a white dude.” This goes along what we talked about in class about intersectionality and having privilege. Even DJ Envy, the person interviewing him, agreed to that statement. He stated that even when he walks into a car dealership people assume he doesn’t have money because he’s black and young. But if a young white person walks into the same car dealership, people will assume that his parents have money. In this same interview he also spoke about Double Conciseness. Double Conciseness is when you’re a member of a marginalized group, you understand how to be and act in the world of the dominant group but also your own group Donald Glover is from Stone Mountain, GA which is one of the worse hoods in Georgia. But you would never guess that because when he is around certain people he knows how to act. He stated in an interview,” People see me work with a lot white people and just assume that I’m soft because I don’t talk or sound hood. But people fail to realize I’m from Stone Mountain.” Being able to balance and control how to act will get you far in life. I believe that you should never forget where you come from, but at the same time there’s a time and place to act a certain way.


Kanye West aka Yeezus aka the GOAT of Hip Hop

11 Nov

I think this is an interesting/important topic because Kanye West is one of the most influential people in the music industry. His music, his achievements outside of music, and even his awards make him the most interesting person in music. Lets start with his music. Kanye’s music has influenced many artists such has Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, John Legend, 2Chainz, and even artist who aren’t on his record label like Drake. Drake is also known as one of the “GOATS” or pioneers of hip hop. In an interview with MTV he stated,” Before I ever got the chance to meet him, Kanye West shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes. We always, always, always took the time to listen to Kanye’s music and appreciate it beyond.” As far as his achievements outside of music he has several clothing line collabs with top designers like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Bathing Ape, APC, Nike, and he just recently signed a deal with Adidas. Here’s a fun fact about his shoe collab with Nike. The two most popular and expensive shoes Nike every came out with (without a celebrities autograph on it) were the Jordans #2 and The Nike Mags. The Jordan #2 retail price are $180 but were sold online for $31,000. The Nike Mags retail price were $1,500 but sold online to close to $15,000. Kanye West shoe “ The Yeezys” retailed at $250 but sold online for $90,000 making him the top non-athlete seller Nike has ever had. Finally, the awards he has won speaks for themselves. He has 21 Grammys making him the 8th highest person in Grammy history. He has the 6th highest won by males and is the second, I repeat second highest for a producer. In class, I would first like to discuss how influential he is, as an artist in music and as an artist in the fashion industry. This relates to the course content in a few ways. Cultural appropriation can be looked at from different point of views. Cultural appropriation occurs when an individual (or group) uses someone else’s cultural symbols to satisfy a personal need for self-expression. He does this in his music when he samples different artist from different genres in his beats. He takes somebody else’s beats and makes it fit to his style of music. He also does this by the clothes he wears. He once wore a kilt on stage, that looked like a skirt to prove to people that clothes have no gender. This isn’t his first time wearing women clothes or baggy but fitted shirts that look like a dress. When you think about males wearing kilts, skirts, or long t-shirts that look like dresses, people assume that, that person is gay. According to Cultural appropriation A celebrity “plays” being a marginalized minority of a lower-socio-economic class by “performing” parts of the culture (fashion, music styles, etc.) but at the end of the day, they can wipe it all off and go back to being a person of power with privilege. Regardless of Kanyes intentions, good or bad, he will still be a person with power. Finally, we could also talk about the cultural diamond and how he influenced the fashion industry.

Blog post

28 Oct

In the past two weeks in class, we talked a lot about race. Race is defined as the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of biology and various sets of physical characteristics like skin color, facial characteristics, etc. We have made some progress in the United States, but race is still a huge issue. We automatically assume or judge a person just on by the way we look. Before we go any further, remember race and ethnicity can be separate. Ethnicity can be defined by population of human beings whose members identify with each other & share cultural identity on the basis of a real or a presumed common genealogy or ancestry. An example of this would be a person who looks like they are from Japan, (racial category: Japanese) but be ethnically American because they were born and raised in the U.S.

We often tend to assume what a person likes or how they grew up just by the color of their skin or their ethnically. We watched a video in class that was called “ If Asian people said the stuff white people say.” It was about the stereotypes white people assume about Asians. After watching that video I noticed it wasn’t just what white people assumed, but pretty much what everybody thinks about Asians. While the video was playing I was thinking to myself wow, I really have asked this questions before. Before I show you a prime example of what I’m talking about, lets define stereotype. A Stereotype can be defined as an exaggerated image/perception of a group that still remains even after contrary evidence has been given.

Take this clip for example. Skip to the 2:43 mark where they’re talking about the difference between a white kids name and a black kids name. The stereotype that this clip is showing is that a persons name is always easier to pronounce than a black person. As true as some people might think this is, this is a key example of a stereotype. I’ve personally only been in one situation that a black person name was difficult to pronounce. Yes it’s true that black people, specifically people from Africa, have more unique names than the white culture. But you can’t say all of our names is difficult because it’s not true. It’s popular in pop culture to view this stereotype as true.

Take the newest show Key & Peele below. This flips the typical stereotype we are use to seeing. In this skit you have a black teacher getting the entire white students names wrong. The reaction on the white students faces is exactly how a black student would react in this situation. At the end of the skit, the finally calls on the black student who’s name he gets right the first time.

Hilarious ->

Blog Post 5

30 Sep

In this weeks blog I will be talking about how masculinity is represented in popular culture. This is the example I am going to be using in this blog about masculinity. Skip to the :35 second mark. In this commercial, and like many other Old Spice commercials, Old Spice is trying to convince the audience what a real man spells like. He says and is assuming that your “man” is using female body wash and can’t be the man you want him to be unless he uses Old Spice. He is also assuming because he doesn’t smell like a man, he cant do man things like buy you tickets to a place you want to go to, or buy you diamonds. Because of course, diamonds are a female’s best friend. At the end of the commercial Old Spice has a text that says, “ smell like a man, man.” This is saying anything that you use for body wash besides Old Spice is for females. This commercial does support a one point Kat discussed in her article. One point that it does support is the association of muscularity with ideal masculinity. She mentioned in her article that men might feel uncertain about how to respond to the challenges of women in many areas of the social relation. I do agree with that. As we see in our society some men are afraid to talk to women. But as far this commercial goes she mentioned that in general, men have advantage over females in the area of physical size and strength. I also agree with that statement. In this commercial the actor is clearly physically fit. He’s not your average skinny male with a high pitch voice. So while he is saying that using this body wash makes you man, also looking like him makes you more of a man. That’s why he is telling the females to look at her man, and comparing it to how he looks. I do not think this is a healthy representation of masculinity in society because not every man looks like him. Everybody isn’t physically fit with a deep voice. I also know for a fact there are other body washes that are for men that wont have you smelling like a female. This commercial is trying to target men that might question if they’re really a man or not. When in reality, you can be skinny with a high-pitched voice and use another brand like dove for men and still be a man. It can be improved by not trying to call out men who don’t use Old Spice body or who are skinny.

Blog Post 4

22 Sep

I feel like we learn a lot about gender now in pop culture than before. Back then they would have ads that clearly shows a women getting disrespected. But in a sense, people didn’t take it as serious as they do now. Whether it’s music, movies, or television, people always find a way to point out gender roles. A good example would be the motorcycles add we looked at in class. Most motorcycle companies market their bikes in two different ways. Either they have a male riding the bike, or a female half naked posing on the bike. One thing that we talked about in class last week that I found interesting is that males are always doing something. I never noticed it until the teacher brought it to our attention. If a male celebrity is walking on the beach with noting but a speedo on, people will just think he’s taking a walk on the beach. Reverse that scenario and have women with a bikini on walking on the beach, and we call it flaunting her “goods.” In our book, Pop Culture Freaks, the author talked about how society brands woman as the social inferior of the man. After reading this chapter a few things the author talked about started to become clear to me. The author mentioned that no matter how much progress women make in this society, men would always have the upper hand. We can even bring race into this conversation. Some, not all, employers would rather look to hire a white male than hiring a black male. But if you throw a woman into the equation, that same employer would hire a black male instead of a woman. What does this say? This shows that some people don’t think women can do a job as well as a man. Pop culture has influenced my own life of how I act. I’ve never been gay or thought about being gay. But if you see somebody gay do something on television that you do, you might think twice about doing it again. I’m not saying this is right, but it just shows you how much power pop culture has on people. Everybody is scared what the next person might think of him or her. So if I see a celebrity that I look up to do something people would consider straight and cool, I might try to imitate him so I can get the same reaction from people. The only example I can think about is when Kanye West brought back the skinny jeans. People automatically correlated skinny jeans with female jeans and called him gay because most females wear skinny jeans. But comes to find out, wearing skinny jeans changed the whole rap culture. You don’t see rappers wearing bagging jeans or bagging clothing in general like they use to.

Blog 3

16 Sep

My thoughts are the same about this class. I’m still interested in learning about pop culture and the different aspects of it. One thing that I like about this class are the activities that we are doing. I like the love/hate debates that we plan to have because you will get to hear people’s different opinions about different topics. I’m also looking forward to the lip sync contest we are going to have. I love classes that are interactive rather than just us sitting and learning every class period. This helps some students learn better. I’m looking to learn more about the cultural diamond that we talked about the other week. I think it’s interesting that there are different ways to view pop culture. It makes me think about the roll that I play in society. Right now I would say I’m the receiver like most people are. But soon I want to transition to start being the creator. That’s where the money is and that’s how you start to get notice. I DJ and make mixtapes so in a sense I am a creator. I create music content for rap artist in the Carolinas to enjoy. I put out the content onto social media, which is the social world. And from the there, people who listen to my tapes become the receiver. So in a way you can say I am a cultural object, or at least becoming one. I think the biggest challenge for me will be keeping up with the readings and passing the quizzes. The last quiz we took I studied for but when the quizzes were handed out I could barely answer the questions. After a few more quizzes I know I’ll get the hang of it. I’m going to overcome it by trying too study a lot more and more often. If I have a question about the material or a concept I will start coming to you (the teacher) a lot more for help. I need this class for my major so I have to pass. I’m trying to get at least a B in this class. An A would be perfect, but a B will have me satisfied. You can help by always being available to help me when its needed. Another way you could help is always making sure we understand the materiel before we have a quiz the next class.

Blog Post #2

9 Sep

There were a few things about Media Economics that I found interesting in last weeks discussion. A few key terms that I am going to discuss are Monopoly, Oligopoly, and Interlock. I’ve heard these terms before in the past but I never knew what they meant. Monopoly is when one company dominates an industry, and Oligopoly is when a few companies dominate and industry. These two definitions immediately reminded me of Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel Communications is a mass media company that has 850 AM and Fm radio stations, making them the largest owner in this industry. This company started off as a Monopoly. It was one company that dominated a large amount of the broadcasting industry. Not only radio, but also Clear Channel later started buying television stations, and also started its own advertising firm. This can be referred as Vertical integration. Anything that they needed to brand their station they owned. They owned radio, television, and even advertising. People who held high positions within this company also held high positions in their other media departments. This is also known as interlock. Interlocking refers to a board member of a major media organization is also a board member of another corporation. So in a way, their employers were getting paid off of three different media outlets. Even the CEO of Clear Channel was the CEO of both radio and the advertising firm. In 2006, Clear Channel decided to sell all of their TV stations as well as 161 radio stations making radio industry an Oligopoly. Instead of Clear channel only dominating in radio, major companies such as Providence Equity Partners and Brian Capital Partners started to dominate also. I work for a few radio stations now that dominates the radio industry in the south. I’ve witnessed first hand the cons of working for a company that owns multiple stations. One of the worse benefits is the music head director treats all the stations the same. Whatever the hot song of the month is, the song gets over played because it’s on all their stations. Lets say Taylor Swift new song is the hottest pop song of the month. No matter where you go, if you turn on a pop station, that song will be playing. It will also be played over and over again every thirty minutes. Some people see this as a good marketing plan. I mean, if everybody loves the song, why not play it as much as you can right? Wrong. There is no creativity or diversity when you do this. No matter where you go you will hear the same music. In my opinion that is one of the reasons my generation has turned away from radio and turned to their iPods.