The DFW-Eminem Connection

Granted, there may be more depth here than what’s presented, but this sounds like a pretty spurious connection to me:

Lately, I’ve been in an almost KRS-One state of mind: everyone is hip-hop. My favorite section in the book is “You Might Be A Rapper”: I really think everyone can access that creative, artfully aggressive sensibility. I’ve been fascinated for a long time with David Foster Wallace. One of his first books to come out was “Signifying Rappers,” (he co-wrote it with Mark Costello). It came out before the mid-nineties explosion, and it’s about Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul—all before Biggie and 2Pac and Jay-Z. I think of him as being very similar to Eminem, in the sense that there’s a hyper, caged-in intellectual sensibility that’s estranged, in some way, from the world it’s engaging with; someone who has these flairs of creativity and artistry, but still has a very strong integrity, a respect for formalism and craft. There is a lot of respect and history embedded in their work.

My beef with this is that there are also about a billion other creative types for whom you can say the same thing, including Eminem and Wallace. So that doesn’t make them very similar, and nor is it a very interesting connection.

I also don’t get postracial and postmodern both being “liberal-arts bling.” Postmodern is a fairly interesting term that a lot of very smart people all over the world have gone to enormous lengths to define usefully and write about compellingly. Postracial seems to be something people started saying after Barack Obama was elected president, and (to me) appears to be more of an aspiration for U.S. citizens in particular than an interesting, global concept.

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