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Posts tagged "video"


I’ve watched this series of interviews five times today. It’s never not adorable.

(AKA, here’s that video we promised including interviews with Rocket Raccoon, two Star Lords, a bunch of Doctors, the sweetest Mulan, a Buzz Lightyear, and bunches more. I will continue to post this video until Rocket and his brother have their own Disney Channel sitcom, they are that precious.)

This video is currently hosted by BleedingCool.com, and is one of the few non-Racialicious things I worked on during SDCC. However, several of the children from our SDCC Gallery are featured here (doesn’t matter which outlet I’m working for, I’m always gonna keep it diverse) and listening to them talk about their cosplays will make you forget all your troubles for at least a good five minute stretch.— KJ

'Cause y'all know we crush—OK, just me, but still—on Azealia Banks around here. So, here latest vid for her cut, “1991.” (Yeah, I clicked the replay button quite a few times while I was finally finishing a long-overdue, cloud-casting-over-my life project. And the song helped me through it, like her songs usually do.)  


pound the alarm - nicki minaj

tbh I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen very many people talking about Nicki Minaj’s video for Pound the Alarm, especially in relation to Trinidadian politics. I feel like she gets overlooked a lot because she’s so hypersexualized and everyone seems to magically forget she was formally trained as a musician (too much of the narrative on her fame is about her body and relationships with male rappers, as if she’s not an intelligent artist who is very intentional about her image and her work), but a lot of her music has some pretty strong politics in it, albeit not obvious to anyone who isn’t base-level literate in her culture(s). 

Trinidad & Tobago was under martial law for a sizeable portion of 2011, and the fete scene was forced underground to 6-to-6 house parties. Trinis were understandably upset about the curfew and state of emergency, considering it was credited to an escalating murder rate that has more to do with police brutality and persistant socioeconomic factors that the government has yet to substantially address than anything else. While the curfew was lifted in late 2011, the state of emergency continued and in the last 8 months, several US and UK officials have implied threats of intervention, and there was an (unsuccessful) vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar this March. The nation is still under the British Commonwealth, receives military and law enforcement aid from the US, and is currently economically dependent on its gigantic oil industry (though illicit drug trafficking is also a major enterprise on the island, being a transit hub between Venezuela and the rest of the Caribbean & the US/Canada). 

Nicki Minaj is a US-raised Trini, and (though months after T&T’s Carnival) released a music video tribute to T&T Carnival at the height of this (Caribbean) carnival season. The very first shots of the video are famous places all over the island—Port of Spain, Chaguaramas beach, Caroni swamp, & the gate over the entrance to St. James (the party district outside Port of Spain, known for nightlife and as home point for mas camps—also Nicki’s hometown, and one of the most racially diverse places on the island), all to the tune of the chorus on steel pan (what is essentially the national instrument, having first been the instrument of low-income Trinis and now a mas tradition). Later we see her in Carnival costume that harkens to fellow Caribbean-American artist Rihanna’s 2011 costume, featured in her tribute to Bajan Crop Over last year (Cheers; did you see both videos even have shots of them each on wagons waving to the crowd with Digicel stuff in their hands??! got me feeling lame out here with my Lime phone). Towards the end, we even see her with a T&T bandana tied to mask her face, walking thru some kind of post-mas apocalypse-type aftermath. 

Nicki isn’t the first Trini to release nationalist or politically charged party music in the last year, but think about what it really means to produce that video within the context of the political climate in and outside Trinidad: the curfew was set in place because the Trinidadian government believed it would be easier to prevent and monitor gang violence (the perceived cause of the high murder rate) if people didn’t congregate at night—to party was a form of resistance against the criminalization of low-income and youth Trinis (and the imperialism which fueled and necessitated it). Making a music video homage to Trini party culture (with the title Pound the Alarm!), with the Bissessar government’s prediction as the final shot (a party-produced wasteland), and connecting that to implications of aesthetics of militant nationalism (ie bandana), is a big deal. (and connecting it to Bajan nationalism & party culture, re: Rihanna, is important—more and more Barbados is becoming a node of US power and means to monitor T&T, and that West Indian solidarity shouldn’t get swept under the rug.)

That said, the video is nowhere near perfect. Others have pointed out how shockingly whitewashed Nicki is, and the video as a whole certainly has a strong absence of dark-skinned Trinis. I’m also not a fan of the “Plains Indian-style” headdresses & outfits worn—I suspect this has more to do with the growing popularity of hipster headdresses & catering to a US market than anything else; traditional carnival outfits do include feathered headdresses, but they are not North American Plains-inspired (the hipster headdresses are a US-imperialism related import, I think, since the normal carnival outfits have a long history tied to sugar cultivation seasons, and mixing of African & indigenous cultures/identities). 

anyways, there’s a lot more to say about the video (the race & nationality politics, considering Nicki is US-raised and mixed, and that in relation to the racial politics in T&T and Guyana right now is pretty interesting…also the fact that Nicki has Gunshot and Fire Burns on her new album says a lot, especially in relation to Beez in the Trap—that’s a whole new post on transnationalism, identity, etc), but the point is: this video is really fucking important, and even if you don’t like Nicki, she deserves some credit for everything she’s doing with it. again, I really think people gloss over her work when talking about ‘politically engaged rap’ because of her image, and don’t realize all the meaning they’re missing by overlooking her; just because you’re not literate in the discourse she situates herself in, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Over the course of the last few years, you’ve probably heard me mention Shawn Peters in relation to the great curating he’s been doing at Weeksville Heritage Center for their annual Garden Party series. However, it’s becoming clearer that the work he’s probably most proud of is his visual work, both as a photographer and a director of photography. He’s shot videos for Gregory Porter, Blitz The Ambassador and Pharoahe Monch, to name a few. He’s also handled the behind-the-lens duties for Afropunk’s Triptych series, as well as the Terence Nance-directed An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty.

So it was great to see Shawn profiled at Jay-Z’s Life And Times in an interview by Fanon Che Wilkins. Here, he talks with Wilkins about the impact of Morehouse on him and his group of contemporaries and fellow classmates that include Saul Williams, Sanford Biggers, and Tahir Hemphill, to name a few:

“Well what’s interesting is that Morehouse is not known as a school that focused a great deal on the creative arts, but many of us pursued art because of our tremendous desire to offer something artistically meaningful to the world that was particularly relevant to reclaiming our dignity as a people. I mean Saul Williams was a philosophy and theatre major and his efforts in those arenas shaped his poetry and music prowess. Martin Luther majored in mass communication and was a filmmaker in college. The great thing about Morehouse was that we all learned about the importance of articulating ourselves, whether it was behind the camera, on the stage, in the pulpit, or in front of the classroom. I mean Sanford Biggers work focuses primarily on cultural identity and ‘reriteing’ history through art—that is seeing history itself as a malleable art form. Recognizing that history is written out of a creative selection of ‘facts,’ Biggers’ work seeks to treat history like sculpture with an eye toward remolding the past. So in essence, all of us share a common interest in using our voice to advance the collective interests of our people and humanity in some kind of way. Morehouse taught us that and I am forever grateful.”

Friend of the R and alt-Black rock dude Rob Fields presents to some and introduce to others emerging visual artist Shawn Peters. Read more about Shawn here.  (via secretarysbreakroom)

(via mylovelylifelongings-deactivate)

Racialicious MiniTape Bonus Track: So grooving to TheeSatisfaction’s “QueenS,” and soooo loving the vid, which marks writer dream hampton’s debut in that role.  



Black AND Latino

Loving this vid on what being a Black Latin@ means, from family dynamics to casting to non-familial social interactions…and all the microaggressions that people say/do in trying to “relate.”

And you get a mini-history lesson, too.

(via fuckyeahblackbeauties)