A rather peculiar blog war has broken out in recent weeks. Hip hop writers are taking sides. Although no fatalities have been reported, there's been some serious name calling.
At the crux of the dispute is Gucci Mane's merit as a rapper. His populist appeal is not in doubt, but bloggers like Noz and Brandon Soderberg insist that he's underappreciated by hip hop tastemakers. A couple of weeks ago Soderberg wrote a well-considered treatise on what writers talk about when they talk about Gucci, although Soderberg goes a bit far in my opinion when he claims that white people can't properly evaluate the emcee's merits.
...it's only a matter of time before the mixed metaphor of bloggers/white writers as colonialists wanders into the debate or accusations of flat-out racism get tossed around when someone like Gucci's given a good critical look-over, part of the debate really is Black and White. Not "Black vs. White" but rather, Gucci's cultural context switches in a way that's simply not available to white or essentially, non-black listeners.
The whole thing is made weirder by the fact that Soderberg is white himself. Not surprisingly, this proved irresistable for We Are Respectable Negroes blogger dissertation-style treatment by breaking down its lyrics.
How much 'unh can one girl take
How many cakes can one man bake?
In this context, unh refers to penis. For Gucci, this rhetorical question is not a macho sexual boast; it is a nod to radical lesbian feminist awakening. Another way of framing the question is, how much rapacious male sexuality must a woman endure before she rebels against hegemonic patriarchy and becomes a fully realized, liberated human being?
The post is hilarious, but Soderberg was not amused. "Go fuck yourself on this one, seriously," he wrote in the comments section. (Numerous other influential bloggers weighed in below the post as well.)
Personally, I would have to takeSoderberg, I think Gucci's music is underrated by the northeastern bloggerati, but I don't think one is well served by overly-intellectualizing his music, and to suggest that he is "delivering a non-traditional... form of lyricism that gets people to take note of writing" is a stretch.
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