Extended play/extended performance : Black women’s cultural production in the music space

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2022-05

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“Extended Play/Extended Performance” examines Black women’s cultural production in a specific socio-cultural moment where Black women continue to create in spite of and in response to, a time of societal upheaval and turmoil for Black Women across the diaspora. At this time of increased visibility for Black aesthetics, my project investigates Black women’s cultural production in the space of music. While the contributions and work of Black Women in music have been discussed by scholars like Joan Morgan and Daphne Brooks, and a slew of work has been written on Black women in music like Beyoncé and Janelle Monaé, “Extended Play/Extended Performance” pushes the conversation forward, both by analyzing artists in the Hip Hop space that embody their own unique versions of crude and explicit performance, but also by exploring Black women in the DJ and music producing space, two areas that are still heavily under-researched within music, Black feminism, and pop culture scholarship. Utilizing Black feminist thought, textual analysis, and auto-ethnography, to analyze and uplift Hip Hop artists Meg Thee Stallion and Rico Nasty, and DJ/ Music Producers Honey Dijon, and BAMBII, “Extended Play/Extended Performance” makes clear the value and liberatory possibilities that lie in the work of Black women in the Hip Hop, DJ, and music producing spaces. Crude work, crude cultural production by Black women in musical performance offers Black women a space for different modes of being and the ability to engage with various aspects of their own identities. This is done in a myriad of ways, such as crude cultural production’s ability to create physical and sonic spaces for Black women through the artists' music. Crude cultural production is necessary for Black women because of its inherent ability to push up against restrictive notions of respectability often used to other and harm Black women. Moreover, crude cultural production by Black women bears access to a holistic liberation for Black women, even as they contend with the realities of the ways their work and various forms of labor operate in a capitalist space.

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