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Brothers Gonna Work It Out: Sexual Politics…

Brothers Gonna Work It Out: Sexual Politics in the Golden Age of Rap… (2005)

by Charise Cheney

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In Brothers Gonna Work It Out, author Charise Cheney examines Black Nationalism, and masculinity and gender politics within the context of hip hop. Specifically examining the early 1980s/late 1990s, Cheney discusses how raptivists artists like Public Enemy and KRS-One both forwarded and expanded on Black Nationalist ideas through rap music. Cheney focuses on how masculinity is defined within rap nationalism and the movement as a whole, as well as the role of women in the movement.

Brothers Gonna Work It Out is a dense and very academic text, having originated as a PhD thesis for Cheney. It is not for the casual reader or someone with a passing interest in hip hop history. Cheney explains thoroughly how Black Nationalism has defined masculinity and became a politics of masculine protest, oftentimes at the detriment of women and homosexuals within the movement.

Cheney’s analysis is thorough but didn’t include enough examples of rap nationalism to satisfy my interests. I wanted to hear more from the artists themselves, especially concerning women’s roles in hip-hop. I felt too much of the text was spent giving background on the various Black Nationalism movements such as Black Power.

While definitely an interesting read for serious scholars, I would recommend more to those interested in Black Nationalist gender discourse than those interested in hip hop perspective or activism. ( )
1 vote greeneyed_ives | Sep 29, 2013 |
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To Constance "Tootie" Mann.
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While in Europe for a recent academic conference, I walked the streets of the Marais district in Paris in search of a restaurant an epicurean friend promised would be both trendy and tasty.
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