SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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You Can’t Stand the Nigger I See!: Kanye West’s Analysis of Anti-Black Death

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Hip Hop has redefined the political and public landscape of America. Black political philosophy encompassing the work of W.E.B. DuBois to the anti-humanism of the Caribbean thinker Sylvia Wynter can all be found in the work of Kanye West. This paper is an attempt to show how West's discography addresses anti-Black death, Black male sexuality, and racism under neo-colonialism.

Focusing on the most popular songs from Yeezus, "New Slave," and "Black Skinhead," this paper argues that West's (afro)pessimism is in fact rooted in the long established idea of racism's permanence in America. Despite the illusions of such market forces like capitalism and the prison dictate the political and economic mobility of many Black (male) citizens. By focusing on the specific consequences of Black manhood in a white supremacist society, West's aesthetics arises from his signification on the racist concept of "the Nigger."

Author(s):

Tommy Curry    
Texas A&M University
United States

 

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