Written in Ink
Written in Ink

The comments on the original article and this post on Clashtalk span the response range. I especially love Nilla's take.


The absolute minimum work of a critic is to engage with the piece. The trifecta of reflex exclamations (sad. creepy. gross) is understandably used by mommy bloggers in response to Paul Walker's personal life. When Kyla does it, its smug disengagement. The white people she is emulating by being a gatekeeper of black high art have been dead and buried since '69. (RIP modernism, hello consumerism)


At no point did she engage with Gambino's project in context with popular rap since 2000 so here's a short recap - 'Backpack' rap started being heard/celebrated by white people with Kanye almost a decade ago although he was just the face; Lil Wayne changed the game with his mixtapes. The link between Gangster shit which dominated the radio pre-2k and present day emo-rap is Eminem, groomed by Dre, the proto-whimpster crying about his overbearing mummy (when not being funny) over synth-goth riffs.

This shift in a rapper's attitude signals wider change in gender expectations. As female pop stars become more assertive of their sexuality (STILL GOT MY MONEY!), Men don't have to project machismo or pretend to be perpetual sex machines. In fact, beauty in art cannot exist without 'authenticity', the artist working on his flaws.


Here's an excerpt from Kyla's thought-catalogue worthy essay, 'To be hip, gifted and black',

When I say she looked like me, of course, I don't only mean physical features. She was black like me, but in Bed-Stuy, everyone is black like me. What I mean is class. How she presented herself. How she knew to present herself...

The traits associated with this genre of American are all related to privilege, in some fashion: lack of gainful employment with a strong financial dependence on one's parents; interest in the arts; middle-class background; high level of education; a love for irony, even...

But couldn't these qualities also be attributed to certain sects of the black race?... So what does that make us? Some would say "black hipsters" or "blipsters"—problematic terms because they reinforce the fact that hipsters are intrinsically white.


We see another mind lost to identity politics who will be playing, as another commenter put it, oppression olympics for life without addressing the root cause of 'privilege'. In her defense, it might be cool to be classy in America, but analyzing class is so uncool.

What would she think of Danny Brown talking about dying like white rockstars? Someone should have told her emo kids are their own worst critics. Everyday is like Ashura for the Shias. Gambino wins on his own terms, not that he could ever enjoy it.

I ain't got to do it big, I just gotta do it different

So here's something completely uncool - Christian emo-rap. Approach this wrapped in as many layers of irony as you can muster.

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