One evening during my recent week off ‘Blogging I was working with the radio on and heard an advertisement for 1 Xtra, a (relatively) new digital radio station extending the celebrity-/booze-/shagging-obsessed tabloid youf franchise of Radio 1 to Britain’s blacks. The ad’s female voiceover trailed a “documentary” about Condoleezza Rice with the words, “She has become one of the most powerful women in America, but why is she not respected by hip hop artists and fellow African-Americans?”
I didn’t listen to the programme trailed, so I could be jumping to conclusions here. The contributors might well have been a succession of feminist rappers. But I’m willing to bet that 1Xtra’s definition of “hip hop” extended solely to recent examples of its rap sub-genre (and particularly the sorts of acts appealing to white middle-class media execs looking for something “dangerous”) and I suspect that a black British professional female on national public radio was going to ask us to judge a mixed-race American woman who has attained a full professorship at Stanford University by the standards of people who chant recycled misogyny over recycled beats. Because, after all, hip hop is what Black Culture is all about.
Tim Newman and one of his commenters had a point a few weeks ago when they posted this.