I found my own Trinidadian upbringing confusing. On one hand, I was made to believe that race mattered very little, echoing sentiments of postraciality that surfaced after President Barack Obama was elected. My schoolbooks emphasized that Trinidad and Tobago was a rainbow utopia, evident by the shoehorning of as many creeds and races as could possibly fit into small, grayscale pictorial representations. I’d look at my face in the mirror—my light but definitely brown skin, my broad nose—clocking my features against the fact that my last name was confusingly Chinese (my great-grandfather on my dad’s side came from there) and wondering what the hell I was.
In the Caribbean, there are so many complex relationships with our Blackness, what Blackness could look like and who got to be Black in the first dang place. In islands like Trinidad where you have a more visible history of non-Black people of color (primarily Indian and Chinese) marrying and loving Black people, Blackness is complicated. And so is your understanding of where white supremacy fits in to the conversation. Because the people in power in Trinidad, in the Virgin Islands, in Jamaica… aren’t actually or typically white people. And yet, white supremacy thrives in these places to the point of harming people of color who live there.
If you haven’t checked out my essay series on Antiblackness in the K-pop Industry and its Fandom Spaces, you should! Because it’s a good way to get a grasp on my complicated and always in-flux feelings about Korean pop and hip hop music (and its stars) as well as my feelings about Korean hip hop as an art form.
I went into Yoongi’s sophomore outing as Agust D knowing that I would probably find a ton to love about the album. After all, I literally love Yoongi’s voice. I’m talking about from the literal raspy sound of it and how he delivers his fierce verses to the way that he uses his Voice to unload sharp, intricate, and interesting commentary that often seems to revolve plainly around his past, present, and future as a rapper.
Mind you though, I was primed to like Yoongi’s return to the stage as Agust D.
For one thing, I am and will probably always be, fully fucking feral for every member of BTS’ brilliant rapline. (You may remember this from my review of BTS’ February release Map of the Soul: 7 because I couldn’t shut up about it then.)
Stick around because I’ll try to have a bonus featuring my BTS nieceling’s thoughts on the album and our thoughts on the official music video for ON ASAP.
(Not a 1:1 match with the audio as I did go off script a few times and might not have caught them all.)
Regular readers and listeners know that complaining is my love language. The first two episodes of Stitch Talks Ish probably proved that considering that that’s like what… over an hour of me complaining across the episodes?
But we’re breaking from the trend with the third episode of my series where in I give into the urge to get downright obnoxious on main about all things BTS following the release of their seventh studio album (fourth if you’re only counting the Korean ones). Map of the Soul: 7.
If you’ve managed to miss everything I’ve been going through for… what I want to say is a year and a half edging close to two years if you count the offline fandom-ing I’ve been doing – I’ve spent a lot of my time talking and thinking a lot about Korean popular culture. Like I will keep my foot on the Star Wars fandoms’ throats until the damn fandom stops being shitty, but in the rest of my time?
Well… I’ve been k-popping.
(Look, y’all know that I’m a cheesy mess at best and I needed to get that out.)
The quest for authenticity in hip-hop features quite heavily across Bad Rap, a 2016 documentary following the career of popular Korean American rapper Dumbfounded as well as three other Korean American rappers popular in the scene – Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks.
(Other Asian American rappers like Jay Park, Traphik, and Decipher show up across the film in brief segments, but they’re not the focus.)
Directed by Salima Korona, the film opens with some necessary hip-hop history. One of the things I appreciated the first time I watched this documentary was the way it nodded to the impact that Filipino rappers had on the game and gave viewers an introduction to a side of hip hop history that many of us don’t know.
These are rappers that probably WON’T be showing up on Netflix’s big hip hop history documentary series – which sucks because it’s a history we don’t talk about and don’t focus on – despite needing to.
So off the bat, I appreciated the look at these pioneers of Asian American hip-hop and I want to learn more about them. What are they doing now? What do they think of current rappers? Are their flows still fantastic?
Content warnings: ableism, sex worker shaming, abuse and abusive relationships, and racism.
The worst part about it was that she was right. I couldn’t just put a bullet between her eyes, not unless she threatened me. I glanced at the waiting zombies, patient as the dead, but underneath that endless patience was fear, and hope, and . . . God, the line between life and death was getting thinner all the time.
Anita after realizing that the zombies Dominga raises are sentient because she put their souls back inside their bodies. So far, this is the one thing that Anita won’t do. It’s a small comfort considering all of the things that she does do in future books.
I just want to get this off my chest before I go any further: The Laughing Corpse is a hot ableist mess. On top of this second book in Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series continuing the trend of being ridiculously racist – specifically towards Black and Latinx people – it’s also full of the kind of ableism that shouldn’t even have existed in the Nineties when this book was published.Read More »
Art: Karl Kerschl with MSASSYK and Mingjue Helen Chen
Colors: Serge LaPointe & MSASSYK
Letters: Marilyn Patrizio
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 21, 2015
Last month, Gotham Academy #10 got downright Shakespearean when the search for the mysterious Calamity saw Olive Silverlock, Maps Mizoguchi, and the rest of the Gotham Academy gang of intrepid teen detectives placed right in the middle of Macbeth and Clayface’s vendetta against the school’s drama teacher Simon Trent.
This month in Gotham Academy #11, the gang heads off campus to Gotham City proper in search for the truth about Olive’s mother and the connection with the costumed villain Calamity. Oh yeah, and there’s a guest appearance by Red Robin (Tim Drake) because cameos by the Batfamily are always welcome!
For the rest of this review (and my first with Word of the Nerd!!), head on over to the site to check it out!
Nothing in this review should spoil the film. I talk about stuff made explicit (or implied) in the films many trailers, tv spots, and press releases/interviews.
At the end of the credits, there’s the tagline “A Joss Whedon Film”.
I rolled my eyes so hard that they just about fell out of my head.
The thing about Joss Whedon is that when he’s directed anything, you know it. You fucking know it. We make fun of directors like Michael Bay for his use of lens flare and the Coppola’s for their allergy to casting people of color as main characters, but okay can we at least agree that Joss Whedon movies are so imbued by Whedonisms that you couldn’t possibly mistake his work for anyone else’s.