Monday, April 30, 2007
Blame Imus for the heightened passions flowing after our final DT event: a film screening and panel discussion at University of Chicago, part of a 2-day symposium that asked, "Does Hip-Hop Hate Women?" The Natalies were sitting on a panel of academics when an older black gentleman stood up in the audience, his tan tailored suit suggesting his marched-with-King Civil Rights bonafides. The man proceeded to trash, then dismiss hip-hop with a wave of his hand. Then he stormed off.
Let's be clear: our pre-Imus book contains many, many rants against the misogyny rampant in some kinds of commercial rap--at times subtle, other times expletive-filled. But with all due respect, The Natalies could not sit quietly as our elders condemned the entire culture and generation that we call hip-hop without taking the time to learn anything about it. So Nat. M tried to shed some light:
"You know, I'm really tired of hearing from these Civil Rights Generation folks, who are really smug..."
Yes, as our fellow panelist Mark Anthony Neal remarked later--Nat M. went there.
As the event winded down, a 60-year-old black woman made a beeline down the auditorium steps toward Nat. M, interrupting her conversation with another jaded CRM audience member. "You were out of line!" the woman scolded Nat.
She might as well have sent her outside to fetch a switch off the tree.
Somehow, some people seem to have the mistaken impression that those of us in the Hip-Hop Generation are still children. Um, The Natalies are 30 YEARS OLD! One of us even got kids! We are too damn old to be grounded.
Ironic because the overwhelmingly positive response to the book from our parents' generation has been the most surprising and heartening development we've seen on the book tour. We will take the fact that this little fisticuff happened on our final out of town event as progress.
Turns out we actually are grounded--kinda. We've had a blast touring these past several months, jetting from coast to coast to promote Tyrone. It's been grand, but it is time for us say goodbye. In the words of Megan: 'Well, Mr. Berger - I guess this is it...'
This Spring we both will be starting new gigs--Natalie M. has accepted a position covering Chicago's South Side for Chicago Public Radio. Natalie H. has taken a position as an assignment editor in the Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section.
So...all those snotty jabs you heard us make against mainstream media? How we said there was no one media C-O-N-spiracy because we've worked in MSM and they are not that organized? That stereotypes don't die because they have always worked and media types are too lazy to figure out something new? How the MSM are "not evil," but have "evil-like qualities"?
Just kidding! We will be putting hot sauce on our crow.