A multi- layered riff from Brer Greg Tate’s FB page.
Many thoughts about Questlove’s screed ”How Hiphop Failed Black America”. Gonna give most of them and his post a day to marinate before responding. One thing which immediately sprang to mind though was Toni Morrison’s prophetic thoughts about Black Music from the 90s—summarized here by Mendi Lewis Obadike:’In her “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation,” Morrison argues that traditionally, music has been the primary art form of healing for black people. Because of the changing place of black music as a commodity in US American culture, she asserts, ”music can no longer do this work alone.”.. ”Morrison thinks that one characteristic of black writers is “a quality of hunger and disturbance that never ends.” Her novels “bear witness” to the experience of the black community and blacks in that community. Her work “suggests who the outlaws were, who survived under what circumstances and why, what was legal in the community as opposed to what was legal outside it.” In the past, music expressed these things and “kept us alive. Unfortunately music no longer serves this function and other forms of expression, like the novel, are needed.