Fuck Your Ethnicity - Kendrick Lamar
The election of Barack Obama brought on for a little while articles and TV reports about the idea of a “Post-racial” America—a magical place that pretended race stopped being an issue for the Americans and assumed through the power of one election a country would moved beyond its problems of racism that been with the country since its founding.
“Fuck Your Ethnicity” is the opening song of Kendrick Lamar’s 2011 album Section 80, and does not describe a “Post-Obama” America where people though a sense of false self-satisfaction and belief in human progress believe colorblindness is the best way to deal with issues of race. Instead puts down focusing on the differences between people, but only to the effect that those differences could be a means of separation between people instead of functioning to provide better dialogue.
Schoolboy Q, a fellow member of the Black Hippy crew (that also includes Ab-Soul and Jay Rock), excellently showed this “Fuck Your Ethnicity” ideal at the Pitchfork Festival; when he told a mostly white crowd “This is a real cool time for you to say ‘nigga’. So I need a little bit more energy from you on this one” after they had lacklusteredly performed the chorus (“Stay blessed by nigga…Really think about it, could be worse my nigga”) unsure to his song “Blessed” unsure whether to say the offending word.
Not everyone person in the same position would use the tact as Schoolboy Q, but that he brought the crowd together in this particular moment is great. There might have been some black people, who were offended at the use of “nigga”, but Schoolboy Q saw that there could be a better live show if people were allowed to break this barrier people could be brought together instead of creating another sense of an “us” verses “them” dynamic.
Personally, I’d take the trade of a taboo word or two to increase dialogue between people and as the narrator says to open the song “I recognize all of you. Every creed and color, with that being said. Fuck your ethnicity. You understand that? We gonna talk about a lot of shit that concerns you”, which seems to be a mantra that everyone in Black Hippy and the hundreds of people at a Kendrick Lamar show yelling these words back at him could stand for.
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- bmichael said: Excellently put.
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