Month: February 2023
“Get Out” and Negrophilia (*spoiler alert*)
(This was written back in 2022)
This is my 3rd attempt at writing a review of “Get Out”. I had to re-watch the movie and do some research to find Easter eggs and things I did not realize the first time I watched it. I did some snooping around on Youtube and that helped me realize everything that I missed. There are things that I don’t want to talk about because I do not want to have too many spoilers in my review.
There is a term that caught my attention from a Youtuber I was watching who mentioned “negrophilia”. I have been surrounded by it all my life, especially in high-school, but I never knew what it was called. Negrophilia was introduced to me starting in middle school and became much more noticeable after Eminem became famous. During my freshman year of high school a lot of white boys dyed their hair blonde and got the same haircut as him. There were also white boys rapping around middle school either in the halls, classrooms, and the occasional talent show, but that was nothing compared to high school, when an onslaught of white boys bombarded urban and suburban areas alike trying to sound and look like Marshal Mathers.
Negrophilia has existed much earlier than “Hi! My Name Is”. It is derived from the French word “negrophillie”, which means “love of the negro”. The French, it turns out, were obsessed with fetishizing black culture in the 1920’s. I remember reading Anais Nin’s diaries from when she lived in NYC in high school and learning about her love of jazz and surrealism. She loved surrealism in movies. She and her friends immersed themselves in negrophilia with every movie ticket they bought and every jazz dance floor they visited, executing dance moves that were most likely stolen from black people.
Tiktok proves that negrophilia is alive and well. Black culture and the white people who fetishize it spread like wildfire after the advent of radio, motion pictures, and eventually television, followed by the internet and social media. This obsession is what the film “Get Out” tackles.
Negrophilia in today’s white liberal Americans is what “Get Out” is about specifically. Their attempts at being allies is damaging and gives black people the heebie-jeebies. Chris, the protagonist of the movie says flat out that being around white people while being the among the few and/or only black person makes him extremely uncomfortable. With each passing old white person his girlfriend introduces him to, you can see him start to recoil and become more and more “cringed out”. He wears their strange and invasive questioning like a sweater full of itching powder throughout the entire party scene.
He finally finds another fellow black person at the party and the more that Chris interacts with him, the more that itching powder feels like terror, and then Chris takes a picture of him on his phone with the flash on. Everything, and I mean everything, goes downhill from there.
I could go into the downward spiral that follows, but I don’t want to give too many spoilers. I will say this: in America, in the North, white supremacy in certain white liberals seem to scare a lot of black people more than the blatant in-your-face racism that is prevalent to the South. After I have dissected “Get Out”, I’ve decided I don’t blame any Black American for feeling that way. Learning about “the coagula method” made me just as uncomfortable as when I learned about “the Ludivico Technique” in the novel “A Clockwork Orange”.
The Ludivico technique is basically a way to brainwash young violent white males who are so privileged that they believe they can do anything they want to help the decay of society because of the safety net their white skin gives them. They are taught that violence and rape is a very terrible thing.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
“The Ludivico Technique is a brutal form of aversion therapy that includes movie clips of rape, violence and Nazi atrocities. The treatment causes them to become physically sick if they even think about committing a crime.” (similar to the aversion therapy given to some gay people to “straighten them out”).
“While government officials deem the procedure a success, the prison chaplain, who had befriended Alex (the narrator and star of the book), questions the ethics of removing one’s free will. According to him, good behavior should be a choice.”
Alex’s choice was taken away just like Chris’s choice was in “Get Out”. The thought of being that completely stripped of your freedom is a frightening concept that haunts white Americans and something white Supremacists have been trying to avoid in America at all costs. The tables being truly turned on them must keep them up at night. It certainly would for me if I were one of them.
Who Does Hip-Hop Belong To?
Sometimes the things that are most dear to us belongs to someone else. Sometimes the person you love the most belongs with someone else. Sometimes you let what you love go and t never returns. Sometimes you know you are going to lose something or someone you love too soon, and it doesn’t seem fair.
Hip-hop is something I love dearly that I know all too well belongs to someone else. It belongs to a certain kind of culture that is used to other cultures copying them and pretending it belongs to them. Those it belongs to feels a resentment that burns much hotter than another “culture” with a much, much lighter skin tone will ever know. Hip-hop is something that does not belong to me but it is something I am allowed to have in my life nonetheless.
That is what a lot of Caucasians, especially those who live in the Northwest Hemisphere and he UK forget and take for granted. Some have been around enough to know this and do not care to teach this to the younger generations. I am not one of those people.
Hip-hop is an independent, urban movement that began in 1970’s Bronx, New York City. It changed the definition of the term “emceeing”. Emceeing technically means “the master of ceremonies”. It was derived in the 1600’s and it is describing the person who is an official that presided over royal ceremonies. According to wiki, the first records of emceeing emerged from America in the 1930’s. “MC” means “master of ceremonies.
MCing thrived beyond the Bronx. It made its way, district by district, across the urban developments of New York City. The pioneers and inventers of hip-hop were African American. Hip hop is known throughout the scene as “urban poetry”. It became an outlet for African Americans to express themselves in a way that belonged to them and them only. After years of Caucasians ripping artistic mediums out of black communities they way they did with rock and roll. This type of music was supposed to be for the black communities. It was invented to help heal the wounds of oppression African Americans were forced to deal endure not just when slavery was legal, but from the wounds brought forth by the civil rights movement.
Hip-hop took root during urban house parties, BBQ’s, and block parties in the Bronx. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it became more mainstream in the 198’s and 1990’s. It is where rap was born. Both are a music style that blends instrumental music with rhythmic and or rhyming speech. For example, “gangster rap” is not the same as hip-hop. Hip-hop is lyrical and does not concentrate on the African-American men who invented it, or does it concentrate on violence, drugs or misogyny against black women.
Hip-hop contains the following four elements: deejaying (or turntabling), rhyming, graffiti (also known as “graf”), and break dancing or “B-boying”, which is the dancing that is linked to hip-hop music.
The first popular DJ was Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc, and an 18-year-old Jamaican immigrant. With his two record turntables, Campbell would manipulate the oldest and newest vinyl records he owned on those turntables so that the two separate records melded together and created a new sound that no one had heard before. Other DJ masters included Grand Wizard Theodore, Africa Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash. They stretched the break beat by “scratching” it while both records played, which was invented by Grandmaster Flash.
From these urban house parties, BBQ’s and block parties also came hip-hop dancing, the improvisational art form that brought us break dancing and B-boying. This also created hip-hop B-boy battles. B-boys would wear different color handkerchiefs on their jeans to let people know they were a B-boy. Improved B-boy battles would happen all around New York City, thanks to the invention of the boombox, and is something that has become a tradition to this day.
George Clinton and Isaac Hayes contributed their Jamaican rhythmic speech known as “toasting”.
The first mainstream hip-hop hit was “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. Since then, hip-hop has been an outlet for African Americans and black artists around the world in general. It belongs to them, no matter how many white MC’s make their breakthroughs. It is a privilege to listen to and their form of therapy. Hip-hop has saved and nourished countless black lives. It matters.
(ps: I can rap. karaoke, but it still counts!)