6.05.2005

more proof that indie rockers hate black people

i ran across this on boingboing. it is an MP3 of a cover of N.W.A.'s seminal hit, straight outta compton done by...nina gordon of the semi-famous band veruca salt. it's done in a folk singer type way, with gordon singing the lyrics, cussin' and all, over a plaintive acoustic guitar. the same kinda thing was also done about ten years ago when the decidedly unfamous group dynamite hack covered boyz n tha hood, also by N.W.A.

what's interesting about this to me is that i've always kinda thought that indie rockers have their heads up their asses. despite all their bitchin' and moaning about how the world sucks and how their vision of the world is better and you can tell because of the their music and if you don't get it than it's because you're part of the problem attitude, that indie rockers are just as myopic as everyone else, because if you go to a sleater kinney show or a veruca salt show, chances are you will see exactly zero black people in their audience. which means that their vision of the world only appeals to a certain segment of the population, and since it doesn't take race into account, it is really just the indie rocker saying, "the world would be a better place if i felt better about it." which of course, here at the ragin' asian, means all they're really saying is "what about me?" i call this the "pavement hates black people" theory.

anyways, here's what cory doctorow of boingboing wrote in the post about the song
Nina Gordon, late of Veruca Salt, has recorded a mind-blowing cover of NWA's Straight Outta Compton, in the style of a Baezesque guitar folksinger. It's funny at first, then it's beautiful, then it's both.
hmmm...beautiful is not the word i would have used. it seems to me that this commonly used phenomenon of a white person talking like black people is used mostly as a gimmick to get attention. you see, back in the 1920's, this was called "blackface" and was generally considered pretty racist. and honestly, i'm not sure what's so different about it in this context, and well, i'm not so sure how this is not at least a little bit racist as well. i'm not saying nina gordon was out to oppress black people, but she sure isn't helping with this lame recording.

and by extension, neither is boingboing, which is generally considered a rather liberally minded blog. again, not that boingboing is racist, but i think that they have a vision of the world, that is seen by most as progressive, especially in terms of digital rights management, copyright issues, and intellectual property - issues that don't necessarily take into consideration the fact that not everyone, namely poor people, who also happen to be overwhelmingly people of color, have access to a computer and that not everyone's rights are being infringed upon when the music industry raises a ruckus about file sharing. rather, they are fighting a fight that materially affects people like themselves, white middle class people.

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