Mon April 7, 2014
Strange Fruit: Jalin Roze on Hip Hop & Social Change; Fly Young Red Brings Visibility to Queer Rap
This week we spoke with local hip hop artist Jalin Roze, who was recently announced as part of the lineup for this year's Forecastle Festival. We talked to Jalin about hip hop's place in young people's lives, its importance as a genre, and how he became an artist himself. He also brought us a tune called "That's It," which we played a sample of in the studio, leading to a conversation about what the N-word means in the context of hip hop culture.
"At least when I personally use it—I don't use it to kind of glorify that word, I'm just using it to paint the picture," he said.
Jalin also sat in on our Juicy Fruit segment this week, where we started out with a discussion of a new song and video by gay rapper Fly Young Red. The song is called "Throw That Boy P****" (note: we say the full title on the show) and it's been making the rounds online this week for its controversial portrayal of the feminine-performing gay men who dance in the video.
Earlier this week, friends-to-the-show Darnell Moore and Wade Davis hosted a great discussion on their Tongues Untied blog about whether the video is revolutionary or, as Darnell said, "misogyny and sexism in queer drag."
Jaison had concerns with the impression the video gives of LGBTQ people of color. "I don't like the fact that there are some straight people who know nothing about black gay men, who are gonna see this video and think that everybody's talking about boy p****," he said. "The first thing you're exposed to about black gay culture is gonna be this video? It's very reductive to me. Versus Big Freedia who's making good music about everything, that everybody can dance to, and happens to be gay."
We also spoke briefly about Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta's Benzino having been shot by a nephew during his mother's funeral. And Jaison was interviewed for an article in Next Magazine called Getting Off Scot-Free, which looked at free versus paid online porn, whether or not people are willing to pay for porn, and how piracy affects the adult industry.
Our thanks to Jalin Roze for stopping by the Strange Fruit Studios and sticking around to weigh in on Juicy Fruit. His latest release, Grand National Dreams is now available, and you can also keep up with him on twitter, at @JalinRoze. We can't wait to see him at Forecastle!
Arts and Humanities