Before I continue with substantive posts about hip-hop, social issues, dope tracks, fire mixtapes, and entertaining rap beef, please allow me to spit a few clarifying words about my own position in the socio-political blogosphere.
*Let me clear my throat*
On Tuesday of this week I received a text from a friend of mine asking if we could talk about one of my posts. The post, dealing with homophobia in hip-hop, had been extremely well received. Yet this friend wanted to discuss, among other things, word choice. I have yet to talk to him (it’s midterms week here at Dickinson College) but I feel that his concerns about my word choice, whatever they may be, warrant a quick post about how I write and what I write.
I’ll be the first to admit it, I am a pretty basic individual. I am white, straight, I come from Maine, I wear Bean boots, Clarks, college hats with slightly curved brims, and puffy vests. I have two dogs and three cats. I wear a couple leather bracelets to make myself seem more interesting. I study political science. And I write a blog. What I mean to emphasize with all this is that nearly everything I do is fairly mainstream. I have almost never been the subject of any sort of marginalization. I used to be somewhat chubby. And now I’m not. So where does that leave me?
Being so mainstream, so free from any sore of persecution, it is hard for me to write about socio-political issue such as homophobia, misogyny, or racism with any sort of substantial context. While these are issues that I am passionate about exploring, my inherent alien status within the issues means that I am considerably less versed in the appropriate language and processes used in discussions regarding them.
I am constantly attempting to educate myself, and to engage in conversations that will give me context, but I know that there will times at which I slip up. Things such as my word choice may upset some. I may at times appear insensitive, arrogant, ignorant, etc. These are not intended results. Yet it does not mean that it is permissible to slip up. So I need you, the reader, to help me help myself.
I will do my part. I will educate myself about socio-political issues as best I can so that I am evolving along with them. But when I do slip up, I need readers to call me out. I need people like my friend to shoot me a text, and email, or a comment (or just yell “hey, Nick! You fucked up!” across campus). That way we will be able to engage in a productive dialogue about what I can do to better my own scholarship and subsequently the discussions on my blog. I would greatly appreciate your help.
If you’re wondering where the title of this blog comes from, please check out DJ Kool’s behemoth of a live performance of Let Me Clear My Throat. It has little to do with my post, other than that I needed to “clear my throat” before the above words of clarification. Plus, it features Biz Markie. Chances are, if you know one rap song, it’s Biz’ Just A Friend.