Appropriate Not Appropriated

Appropriate Not Appropriated

HOY2: D236

Wednesday Wonderer

I was watching my usual morning movie this morning, which, if anyone’s curious, was Ant-Man. This, of course, is not about that movie, but just as an aside, I do find the thing quite entertaining. It’s one of my favorites of the MCU simply because it’s really lighthearted, and Paul Rudd was a surprising choice that I think worked out surprisingly well. But again, this is not about that. As the movie’s credits were rolling, I was overcome with the intense sensation to experience the new Black Panther trailer. I had seen it once at this point, but I needed to watch it again because something was gnawing at me.

 

The thing I so thoroughly enjoyed about the trailer was the soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the trailer, the music in the thing is a kickass beat of a, most definitely, hip-hop nature –that’s the part that made me wonder. When I watched the trailer the first time, I remember thinking, “Holy shit, that beat is so sick.” Immediately after that thought, I had this thought, “I hope some non-hip-hop-affiliated white guy didn’t produce that track.” The entire situation was quickly forgotten because the lifemate and I were in the throws of Game Four of the NBA Finals, so unfortunately, I did nothing about the latter thought … until today.

So, I had this pressing desire to watch the Black Panther trailer again because I wanted to hear the trailer’s theme song again (I don’t know if the song is Black Panther’s, the character’s, official theme song), and then I wanted to find out who created it. Luckily for Marvel, they have not disappointed. I learned that the track is, in fact, legit, created by the duo Run the Jewels. The song’s called “Legend Has It,” and it’s legit, meaning, it’s culturally appropriate, not culturally appropriated. Honestly, I’m a bit uncomfortable right now writing about this topic because I haven’t really written about anything like this before, and I honestly don’t know if I have the right to talk about the race of the members of the duo, Run the Jewels, in a way that won’t seem racist, especially since I don’t know how people of African-American descent want to be identified. I hear things and read things about what’s “okay” these days, but I’m still not sure. So, I will just say what I want to say in the way that I would say it, and if what I’m saying is not the correct or proper way to say it, please just let me know, inform me of my error, and I will make the necessary corrections. Okay, here it is.

Black Panther, inherently, is about a black warrior/superhero. I was concerned that some white people appropriated black music (rap and hip-hop) to create the “appropriate” sound for the hero. I was relieved to find out that the studio had a legit duo (Killer Mike is black and El-P is white, but they are nonetheless, legit hip-hop/rap artists). From what I can glean from the trailer, the movie is going to spend a lot of time (if not all) within an African nation (doesn’t matter if the nation of Wakanda doesn’t actually exist), depicting African culture, and so I would have been appalled to find out that the mere “sound” of hip-hop was being appropriated to “fit” the race of the title character. Does that make sense? And not to say that I immediately thought Marvel is “the worst;” I merely was hoping for the best, and by the way, Hollywood, overwhelmingly, is the worst when it comes to cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, to further my delight, I also learned that the studio hired Ryan Coogler, a black director. Anyway, it happened to be Wednesday, and I wondered, and I was delighted to learn that the music is legit. So, you can find the video for the song in the previous post, or you can watch the video HERE on YouTube, and you can watch the trailer HERE, again, on YouTube.

 

 


 

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