Thursday, June 11, 2009

Owning The Hood

Some people resent artists like Elvis Presley for taking what was once considered "Black culture" and repackaging it and selling it to a wider audience as a new American invention.
Many of these same people are the ones who complain about Asians, Indians or Arabs coming into a majority Black areas and opening up a nail shop or corner store.

But owning what was once thought of as Black culture isn't being racist, it's just smart.
It's just understanding that there is an under-served market.
It's just doing what the indigenous people should have done.
No one owns the hood brand.

That is until entrepreneurs like Master P or Too Short (or Barry Gordy with MoTown - a generation earlier) came along decided to brand their image (and that of their surroundings) into a product that could be sold to an audience outside of their own neighborhoods.
These men understood the value of the lifestyle they were living.
These men took what they knew and translated that into a product/brand that they could control.

Now Gatorade is putting the ownership of the hood (or hood imagery) back into the hands of corporate America.
"That's 'G'" takes on a whole new meaning.


DPizz said...

It's not JUST that they have appropriated Black or urban culture for their own gain, but part of the issue is attribution, acknowledgment and respect(or lack thereof). There is sometimes a perception that these folks come in, pimp the culture and never give credit where credit is due. They never acknowledge that it is the rich urban culture that is the underpinning of their success. Or in the case of members of outside ethnic groups (especially them Asians, South East Asian and Middle East folks) opening up shops in Black or urban neighborhoods, etc., they often do not seem to respect the patrons of their establishments, often don't seem to be a part of the community in any other way except to extract dollars from its citizens.

I guess I'm one of those resenters. So much so, that it bothers me when I see those White and Asians kids on MTV using urban slang when you know they probably don't even know anybody of color (Black or Hispanic). And you know damn well their parents wouldn't let them date any either!

At the same time, you're right about seizing an opportunity and exploiting an under served market. Can't hate on that too much, that's just smart.

Attribution, acknowledgment and respect. If you are going to bite (or exploit) someone's ish, at least pay homage Mofos.

FreeMan said...

My only issue with it is simple if Black people do it it's called ghetto or pimping or something derogatory. If MTV or Gatorade does it it's called cool and trendy. Our culture has always been ahead of the curve.

The real Hustle is taking our culture and making companies that put out the image of cool using the other races. The haters are mad that didn't capitalize on it in a major way. That's why Dpizz feels disrespected because they take without recognizing us. Now me I like money so pants sagging, saying the word G is funny coming out of other people's mouth. They have just shown us that our slang, dance, and culture is highly desirable and if we would take it up a notch we could control a lot more than a funky corner store.

Our culture influences a lot of things. If we would open our eyes to the opportunity a bit we would realize the shit we are ashamed to take credit for these other races love. It would be a hell of a joke to us to have others imitating ignorance. At least it would be funny to me and I think we should control and profit from it all while laughing at other races be complete idiots.

Citizen Ojo said...

Pat Boone is still wack!!!