Show Review: “Squad Season”

Hip-hop’s overall artistic climate, like many others, has been increasingly hybridized in recent years. People are now more than ever resisting the staunch segregation of rappers into “gangsta” and “conscious” factions. This resistance, which to be clear has always existed, is being galvanized in my opinion by an increasing awareness that the division of rappers in this way is corny, arbitrary, and largely imposed by external forces (y’all know which ones). This leads me to Squad Season. Broken in its initial inception into two parts, “The Party” and “The Show,” Squad Season is a homegrown, scene-specific, music-centered, event series that just launched on April 15th.The Party, held on the 15th, was thrown with the intention to generate hype for The Show to be held one week later on the 22nd. This decision was more rhetorical than anything, the benefits of which are more clearly illuminated in hindsight. Not only did the party generate hype as intended, but it generated community. The people in attendance mingled, talked, danced, and ultimately forged a sort of nanoculture that persisted until The Show next week. The bill for The Show consisted of eleven different rappers: john.AVERAGE, P.U.R.E., Kaedus Hines., Shalom Little, Rhonnie O’Neal, Bias laRose, Glenn Saddler, Nihlus, Yani Mo, Jamee Cornelia, and Eriiic J. In an effort to avoid both the stereotype of the preachy “conscious” rapper and that of the myopic “gangsta” rapper, all simply presented their authentic selves, which like most people, occupied spaces both between and beyond the two categories. The eleven emcees rapped about topics ranging from racism and police brutality to the type of sex, drugs, and...

CTW Response Essay #3

Aaron Scott Humphrey, in his review of educational comics, raises some very interesting questions for art and academia as a whole. Even when the two are not merged in such a circumstance as an educational comic, there are certain conventions followed by each individually which significantly limit the scope of potential for both. From the title, which includes the words “Authorship and Authority,” one might assume that this text endorses the establishment of a strong writing (or more broadly “creating”) voice in order to control a piece and imprint a sense of ownership on it, but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, Humphrey explores a quite contrary notion in his analysis of Marx for Beginners and of other works as well. Humphrey finds it notable that the author Rius uses different characters and different handwriting/typesetting to embody different voices from different authors and as a result yields a degree of his own authority to the people who he cites in his work. The effect of this, not the particular technique itself, but the notion of yielding “authorship and authority,” is impactful not only for these individual works but potentially for the entire world of academia. Whether it’s the writing of Bill Finger, the voice of Kevin Conroy, the directing of Christopher Nolan, or the acting of everyone from Adam West to Ben Affleck, Batman is a Gestalt creation, the end result of years of contributions from widely various sources, a constantly modified entity whose nature in many ways remains true to his original iterations and in many ways adapts to our rapidly changing world, and so, now,...
css.php