I think we're going to actually be fortunate enough to have experienced back to back, fiery and informative Afronerd Radio interviews this week, folks! While taking a brisk morning "cyber" jog through The Huffington Post, I came across an excellent entry by writer and self-described Black Rock evangelist, Rob Fields. It appears that Mr. Fields has a beef with hip hop entrepreneur (and former Jay-Z business partner), Damon Dash regarding an upcoming rap/rock collaborative project entitled, Black Roc. I reached out to Mr. Fields and he is scheduled to appear on our show this Sunday to discuss this latest controversy and of course Black folks who rock. I must say that I concur with Fields' take on the naming of Dash's effort but let's take a look at an excerpt from the entry in question:
Courtesy of the Huffington Post-
How can you call something “BlakRoc” when the black folks on the project only rap and the rockers are all white?
BlakRoc is the name of Damon Dash’s upcoming project, a collaboration between white rockers The Black Keys and rappers such as Mos Def, Q-Tip, Ludacris, and Raekwon, to name a few. Ordinarily, I could care less what Damon Dash does. But in choosing this name for the project, he crossed a line: You can’t match black rappers and white rockers and call it “BlakRoc.”
No, BlakRoc has nothing to do with black rock, something I’ve spent nearly the last three years championing on my blog. The conflation of the two is offensive. There’s too much history there. It’s like he’s acknowledging the existence of black rock with his middle finger.
“BlakRoc” is a slap in the face to those of us who have been working to develop audiences for black artists who don’t fit neatly into pre-conceived categories. It’s an affront to those of us who still face apathy and dismissiveness when it comes to the place of blacks in beyond hip hop and R&B.
It’s galling, too, coming on the heels of Dash’s former partner, Jay-Z, saying bands like Grizzly Bear were going to push hip hop. Some hipsters are going to save hip hop? Great. Statements like this ignore all of the black artists who are embracing live music, forming bands, telling more substantive stories, and the audiences who are supporting black alternative music in growing numbers. That’s going to force hip hop to evolve.
So stay tuned for more information regarding Sunday's broadcast but in the interim, click on the first link to get the Fields article in its entirety and the second link for his excellent blog, Bold As Love:
Dash's BlakRoc Disses Black Rock
Bold As Love
And then there's the Spike Lee-Ed Gordon interview when the noted director appropriately splashes "haterade" on minstrel disseminator numero uno, Tyler Perry: