I am so over black creatives trying to distance themselves from “blackness” in order to achieve some higher caliber of art. To try to erase blackness from your creative vision in order to achieve artistic purity is to conflate blackness with impurity. It is to characterize…
see I don’t think that is what he’s doing by saying he doesn’t want to be considered Urban. And maybe as a writer my concept on this is skewed because I know that Urban means a very specific thing in the writing community. It essentially means black erotica. Nothing wrong with it, but if it’s not what you’re writing, it is irritating for your work to be pushed in that category because it limits your readership. I think the world’s concept of what blackness is is very limited. So when someone says they don’t want to be considered “urban” it sounds like they’re rejecting blackness when in fact it could just as easily mean they want to expand the idea of what people think black is and what “being black” means.
( I dont know anything about Childish Gambino so I can’t speak on that)
It’s the ceiling that Kanye West talks about. In a certain area you reach this ceiling based on what you have been defined as. Jean-Michel Basquiat addresses it as the same where the art critics continually describe his art at primitive and childlike and African when all that he wants to be known as is an artist. He felt as if being know as a black artist he would only be recognized as doing black art. I think that what West and Gambino are trying to avoid to be placed in one box or genre. They should be able to do all things and their blackness doesn’t not define or box but is always intertwined a apart of a more complex identity.