The teenager seems to have replaced the Communist as the appropriate target for public controversy and foreboding. ~Edgar Friedenberg, The Vanishing Adolescent

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quotes from the Jared Ball Readings

Hey Teenagers and/in the Media Class-
Since everyone is only assigned one reading I thought it would be helpful to post some quotes I found important in each reading to give you an understanding of the broader picture Jared Ball is trying to present in this 4 part series.  Remember this is what I found to be important, so you may have found different quotes or ideas to be more important then the ones I'm listing and thats fine too.

Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization READING 1
"Given the societal need and function of mass media and popular culture, all that is popular 
is fraudulent. Popularity is in almost every case an intentionally constructed fabrication of what it claims to represent."

"Like mass media and popular culture, hip-hop too is often removed from its proper context (Hip-hop is often taken out of the existing context of political struggle, repression, or the primacy of a domestic/neo-colonialism) as the cultural expression of a domestically-held internal colony otherwise known as Black America."

How colonialism is still present in US
1)   "Black people remain held in spatially distinct communities, neighborhoods, projects, etc. where they, 2) form the basis of this country’s source of cheap labor and, 3) raw materials – which include cultural expression and, specifically, hip-hop."

"held intentionally in poverty so as to create conditions of desperation, Black people must then sell their labor cheaply and/or be willing to conform themselves to the needs and will of an elite in order to “succeed.”

"corporations are themselves legal entities that give sanction and anonymity to those involved in the process of protecting the ruling elite. Therefore, their ability to sign (via contract), promote, disseminate, etc. the cultural expression of the colonized allows them to determine the direction or content in most popular hip-hop."

"there can be no popular representation of the colonized that does not reflect a justification or omission of their colonized status. It is the status of a neo-colony that needs changing, not the beats used by those expressing a desire for something different."

"Fewer people, almost all exclusively within the same self-identified racial, class, and gendered interest group, have a greater ability today than at any other time to produce a global consciousness conducive to their interests… In a society where culture is used as a primary component or mechanism of
social control, that which becomes “pop culture” is fraudulent in that it is forced, as Fanon has explained, to “testify against” its creators and to serve those able to determine its reach or societal penetration."

"Hip-hop’s popularity has done nothing to improve Black America’s overall wealth, education, health-care, or certainly rates of imprisonment. In fact, the popularity of hip-hop is used to deny these conditions or explain them as natural to the conditions of African America."

Hip-Hop and the Corporate Function of Colonization READING 2
"Within the last few weeks alone we have seen recent decisions and trends evolve demonstrating the intent and need among those in power to further ensure that mass media will perform its primary (only?) function of manipulating popular consciousness for the purpose of manipulating behavior of the audience (victims). These developments can only be understood in the context of a continuing process of subjugation in which media play a primary role in suppressing dissent."

"This elite uses the structure of corporate governance to maintain this control in relative anonymity where CEOs and commercial spokespeople become mere illusions masking their position as modern-day colonial administrators… they are simply that group which, as administrators, administer to society that which limits or confounds ranges of thought so as to keep people from stepping – intellectually or literally – beyond acceptable parameters."

"This corporate-led lockdown of mass media and popular culture is part of a long historical process to maintain “order” over populations whose ability to produce and popularize a revolutionary culture and, therefore, conscious behavior would mean the end of established power."

"This popularity then encourages perceptions of the colonized that support their colonization and, in fact, encourage a behavior among the colonized which produces self-inflicted wounds that while in reality result from externally-based oppression are justified via perception."

"Censorship is political not linguistic. It’s not the “fuck” in Young Buck’s Fuck da Police that was censored."

"Money… itself exists only to manage/manipulate the behavior of the majority who have none"

"Corporate lockdown of popular media is a political necessity … Our approach to the study of and response to media must be akin to that of Huey P. Newton who said he “studied law to become a better burglar.”

Colonialism is the Lens and Hip-Hop is the Mirror READING 3
"colonialism, without conscious and organized interruption, reproduces itself even as it goes often unnamed or perhaps misunderstood."

"Colonialism demonstrates itself daily and discourages any consideration of its application so it is perfectly appropriate … to establish colonialism as model, method or lens through which to explore its contemporary expression."

"Artists described their inability to book space in the city’s theaters as well as their difficulty in reaching much of the youth of DC who either never hear of their work or who upon hearing/seeing cannot penetrate the established and accepted notions of themselves. But this is inevitable in will by definition be difficult to find places to perform what have been forced to be counter-images of themselves."

"if youth are to be forced by the city’s two leading Black-targeted commercial radio stations to hear Keyshia Cole’s “Let it Go” or T.I.’s “Big Things Poppin’” a combined 120 and 80 times per week (respectively) then it is, again, inevitable – whether the songs are liked or not – that these will largely define their standard for cultural expression."

Why is Hip-Hop Controlled?” …by controlling the means of selection, promotion, distribution and, therefore, societal impact it is labels who manage hip-hop for their international conglomerate owners themselves in need of mechanisms of limiting ranges of thought and behavior among as wide a population as possible."

“these indigenous peoples – nations, actually – compris[e] a ‘Fourth World’… upon the expropriation of whose lands and resources all states depend for their very existence” what land would D’mite have us buy and with what money? In other words, Black poverty is not the result of the choice to purchase “spinning rims” as D’mite suggests, it is that fundamental to colonialism is the monopolization of land ownership which forces, promotes and relegates only the purchase of rims and other trifling goods to the poor. And if this basis is understood all systems of media and popular culture can be more clearly identifiable as to their function and necessity in keeping image, thought, and action within what those in control find to be acceptable ranges."

"Colonialism must be or be part of any lens constructed to analyze hip-hop just as its being a mirror must be understood to be reflecting the colonial process currently in play."

Hip-Hop and Colonialism: Recognition and Response READING 4
"My point within this series can best be 
summarized similarly and in microcosm; our concern cannot be with the
prevailing wisdoms contained within popular hip-hop journalism, scholarship or
media reform which often argue or describe a struggle for “power” within a
colony. Ours must be a concern over how,
in this case hip-hop, can demonstrate the existence and need to overthrow the
colonial status or the very existence of colony."

"attempts to understand anything
about our current world, including hip-hop, without recognizing the
fundamentality of this colonial relationship would be like trying to
“understand the tides absent recognition of the moon.”

"colonialism requires a
domestic and foreign policy to which empire-promoting concepts of people and
the world, of the exchange of money and culture can be grafted, shaped."

"So Chang does well to note the global
popularity of hip-hop which has by now become “a lingua franca that binds young
people all around the world” but in that same sentence negates the power of the
first thought by concluding that this gives “them the chance to alter it with
their own national flavor.” For if that
which binds are chains – or more appropriate to the immediate moment,
nooses – than what good is it? Or better yet, for whom is this bind meant to
benefit and for whom is it meant to hurt?"

"important point of colonialism which is that individual or even small group
collective agency is no even match for the power of mass media and
communication or their ideological content which they are employed and designed
to impose on we the subjects."

"hip-hop has not eradicated one ghetto or slum
or done one thing to slow the increasing
gaps in wealth or freed one political

"colonialism cannot sustain a situation where Malcolm X becomes the standard for
pan-African unity. It needs, as Chang’s
article states, for exported hip-hop to be what some in Africa have realized
more than we; that, musically popular hip-hop has been made to be what
McWhorter is to us politically, “white-boy oppressor music” even if performed
in Black-face by Black faces."

"None can or
are willing to discuss this intentional shift as part of maintenance of power
and as being connected to a legacy and continuation
 of colonialism where the cultural expression of the colonized must be formatted
to the needs, goals, aspirations and ideology of the colonizer."

"Just as in politics there must be abnormal
 organization there must be the same regarding the pursuit of quality cultural expression 
or answers to ending the cycle of colonization which remains unfortunately 


  1. That first quote was definitely one that resonated with me as a Providence Teacher. I wrote in my blog about how over the past three years I taught in "The Hartford Projects YO" and that Housing really made things seem desperate at times.

  2. "held intentionally in poverty so as to create conditions of desperation, Black people must then sell their labor cheaply and/or be willing to conform themselves to the needs and will of an elite in order to “succeed.”
    This quote is especially troublesome to me. It is apalling ot me that in this time in history we still have such segregation. "held intentionally" is not resignating with me though. I understand that racism still exists but it is hard to comprehend that this is happening.

  3. Diana- Marco does a great idea of showing this intentional hold of colonialism that is still present in our society today. I am hoping that this quote will be less troublesome for you after his presentation in class today.

  4. Kayla - Thanks for looking at all four pieces. Reading through your quotes made some of Ball's message a little clearer. See you in class!