Thursday, March 17, 2005


David says: To even begin exploration in hip hop, they must abandon the idea of "keepin' it real." For this one (possible imaginary) hip hop fan, only those with links to the mother tongue can be "real B-boys"; are the Japanese-only types "fake"?

Nick says: As for the "real b-boy" comment, it's one of the key elements of faking things that we fake authenticity rather than faking fakeness (whatever that might mean). So becoming a "real" b-boy by adding one more element is not inconsistent with still being a fake b-boy, and being quite aware of that fact, and perfectly happy with it. In fact, since b-boy is an 80s term, it would be possible to argue that even a black in the Bronx couldn't be a "real" b-boy today. Authenticity is slippery and relative, a receding horizon, and sometimes the only "guarantors" of authenticity are things completely external to the question of realness itself: my threat to beat you up if you doubt my authenticity, or your habit of thinking of me as "real", or an unthinking concensus about the "realness" of the thing concerned.

David says: I know that you don't believe in authenticity, but there are some Philistines out there who still believe it's a real functioning thing and use it to guard against the barbarians. Whether the B-boys in the Bronx are "real" or not, what if some Japanese still believe they are "real"?

Nick says: Personally, I think the whole point of the idea of superflatness is that it's very, very literal. A superflat social system must be horizontal. Superflat art must recognize no distinctions between high and low. A superflat character must look, well, flat.

And I say: So something that is Superflat must be super-flat. Something that is hip-hop (according to this logic) is required to be super-BLACK and/or kick your ass? That doesn't sound too hard...

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