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Links 1 through 10 of 379 by Wayne Marshall tagged culture

'By any usual standard, “Hit The Quan” could be considered an amateur’s amusing spinoff of a hit by an established star. But this week, “Hit The Quan” reached a new peak: number 15 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. That’s higher than “Flex,” which reached number 26 over the summer. It's higher than every other song Rich Homie Quan has ever released, too, including his biggest hit, Rich Gang’s “Lifestyle,” which peaked at number 16 in 2014. The tail is wagging the dog, in a way that illustrates how virality drives chart hits in 2015. Both rappers performed their respective hits at the BET Hip Hop Awards this week—separately, despite the unusual way the two songs have been tied together in the public mind. It was probably appropriate foreshadowing. There are going to be people dancing to “Hit The Quan” who have never even heard of Rich Homie Quan, if there aren’t already.'

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<3 rembert's take on this production/video: 'Seeing them dance in the video changes the way you approach the song, changes how it hits you. And while Future and Drake are certainly gliding to the track, that pales in comparison to the intimate relationship Metro and Esco appear to have — physically — with every granule of it. … The past few years — in large part due to the rise of Vine, Instagram video, and dancing Atlanta teens being the most creative humans who exist — have produced a universe of dances, most of which eventually inspire songs. The dances begin in driveways, school parking lots, cafeterias, and living rooms, and they’re recorded and shared so much that a flurry of songs are built around them. … The song is begging for you to do a number of already established dances (as well as ones that haven’t been invented yet, plus things that aren’t technically dances but just feel good in the moment), but nowhere does it tell you what to do.'

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great post on ghana's post-azonto dance craze, the alkayida: 'It has a lot of similarities to azonto including an emphasis on side to side moves, incorporating upper and body gestures, and encouraging group routines as well as individual competition. But it differs from azonto in that there is less of an emphasis on miming everyday activities and less elaborate flourishes, in general. The dance is more relaxed, more free-form, involves more footwork, and incorporates more hip-hop dance moves than azonto does. An exact set of movements is hard to pin down, because it’s still evolving and its fluid style encourages adding personal touches. … The origin of alkayida is a classic chicken-and-egg mystery. But regardless of where it comes from and why it initially began to reference “Al Qaeda,” it’s spawning some really intriguing conversations about Islamophobia in Ghana as well as popular attitudes towards the movement towards Islamic fundamentalism elsewhere on the continent.'

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'The Sahel, the belt of parched earth that lies between the Sahara and the tropical Africa is a vast region that practically goes unnoticed, bookended by two massive and more known ecosystems. Encompassing much of Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, the landscape is covered by parched earth and scrublands and home to the last nomadic people. But it’s also a land of globalized innovation, where youth zip around on Chinese motorbikes, carry USB keys around their necks, and play the latest hip-hop from cellphone speakers.'

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the annual debate rages on:

'The debate comes after a decade in which the Dutch have rolled back many aspects of their famed tolerance policies, and in which anti-immigrant sentiment has risen sharply. Zwarte Piet is frequently defended as part of Dutch cultural heritage, and those who don't like it are often bluntly invited to leave the country. Many Dutch say Pete's black face derives from the soot he picked up climbing down chimneys to deliver presents — although that hardly explains the frizzy hair and big lips.'

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"Estrada composes with music software called FL Studio (a.k.a. FruityLoops). The programme is widely used among young producers in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. fl Studio promotes cyclical time: engaging the world not as a start-to-finish symphony but as a proliferation of loops. The DJ’s 700+ songs exist only as digital files – copies without originals. Roughly one percent of these songs are available for purchase. The rest can be downloaded, for free, until the ephemeral file-hosting links expire. … Further vexing chronological order, Estrada maintains no discography.

Estrada’s music complicates the narratives of newness or progress that propel global dance music. If there is no newness and everything has already happened then we can jettison related concepts like ‘original’ or ‘old’, and start listening to music in its promiscuous, iterative glory. Which is how Estrada and countless young musicians make it."

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the definitive story of #seapunk (with twitter screencaps!):

'When the idea of #seapunk was born in a dream, neither @LILINTERNET nor myself predicted the #splash heard 'round the world. With varying degrees of amusement, amazement, and eventually eye-rolling distaste, we watched a tongue-in-cheekstyle/philosophy that defined our summer become a press tsunami. #Seapunk grew into a genre, a record label, a visual language, and a subculture, a ship steered on a very strange course by new and self-appointed captains. We have remained quiet through multiple, oddly aggressive attempts to rewrite history by those we thought were in on the joke, but our seas remain silent no longer. … We bring you the true tale of #seapunk, an accidental meme that became a scene, via an empirical timeline created through our own and others' memories, as well as a little help from the internet.'

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'Mother Jones: You guys like to say that you represent South African culture. How do you view that culture?

Ninja: We like to absorb all the different elements of South Africa that we find interesting and attractive and unique. We're like sponges. There's things about the Xhosa culture that we love, and we love things about the Afrikaans culture; that's very amusing and interesting to us. And then there's the colored culture, which is a whole other thing.

MJ: …mixed-race?

N: Ja. They refer to themselves as coloreds, not "blacks." The PC-version people try and promote this image of South Africa as a rainbow nation and make it all like pretty and stuff. But it's actually like this fokked-up, kind of broken fruit salad. 'Cause all those things don't mix that well together in the real world. But for us it does mix. That's why we say it's, like, "fokked into one person." 'Cause that's how we feel on a certain level. Like we absorb all these things, but they're not harmoniously flowing…'

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'Sprouting from the digital petri dish of social networking, seapunk is a whimsical style that mashes together cartoonish aquatic themes, rave culture and a nostalgia for ’90s Internet imagery. The iconography, which exists almost entirely online, includes clip art of dolphins jumping through pyramids, aquamarine-haired mermaids with SpongeBob T-shirts, and psychedelic orbs flying over computer-generated waves.

Like LOLcats and pedobear, it is an inside Web joke that feeds off its own ridiculousness. …

Seapunk has also given rise to a tiny music sub-genre, although the “punk” element would not be recognized by Joey Ramone. The spacey electronic dance music borrows from Witch House, Chiptune, Drum & Bass and southern rap. Some tracks remix songs from R&B; acts like Beyoncé and Aaliyah.

Despite their subculture status, seapunkers insist that their sensibility has been appropriated by the mainstream, or at least leeched by celebrity stylists. … '

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