Segments in this Video

Rap Battle (02:11)


At Alpha Phi Omega fraternity house at Indiana University, a white male who belongs to the fraternity and calls himself "Automattic" raps against a male of color who does not belong to the fraternity.

Culture Exploited (03:03)

Paul Mooney, a comedian at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City makes jokes about white people acting like they are not white and says white people steal culture from black people. DJ Wise says black culture is mimicked by people who do not know its foundation. M1 from Dead Prez says that white people excel at things black people have been struggling to do all along.

Acting Black (03:34)

Maurice Berger, professor at The New School, asks if white kids today see themselves as being black. "Blazek," "Eyedea," "Abilities" are white rappers; Empire Isis is comprised of two white women with fake Jamaican accents. Vanilla Ice talks about how he received his stage name.

Identity (03:30)

Aesop Rock from Def Jux Records copied everything he listened to and says he would steal an entire flow. The women from Empire Isis say people can do what they want if they are representing themselves and that other people’s standards do not matter. See footage of Eminem singing “White America” at a concert.

History of Culture Theft (03:23)

John Leland, author of "Hip: The History", talks about the history of people acting like black people. Vanilla Ice talks about how he was a puppet because the image he presented in his earlier music was not his image. The narrator talks about the marketing power of authenticity in hip-hop.

Hip-Hop Culture (04:45)

Grandmaster Caz takes people on the Hush Hip-Hop Tour in New York City and talks about the culture of hip-hop as he takes customers by Frank E. Campbell’s Funeral Home, where Notorious B.I.G.’s final services were held. Aesop Rock, the women from Empire Isis, and Sage Francis justify using and identifying with hip-hop culture.

Wigger (05:40)

The narrator asks Pom Pom Squad, a high school dance group of all white girls performing a hip-hop routine, how they feel about the word wigger and what it means. The girls say it refers to what people are wearing: big earrings, sagging pants, grills, etcetera. At a school in Morocco, Indiana, there was white-on-white violence when a group of white supremacists believed other students were "acting black."

Hip-Hop Unites (02:27)

DJ Kool Herc says hip-hop brings people together. Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records says hip-hop educates people by teaching them about others with different experiences. Amiri Baraka says the working class has never been able to unite because it is separated by racism and ignorance.

Popularity of Music (07:29)

Ed Greenbaum, former president of the Al Jolson Society, says that when Jolson painted his face black, he was popularizing music created by black people. Jolson did not find his true voice until he put black shoe polish on his face. NWA sold the most records in the suburbs because the culture is attractive and the music gives people a license to be macho, aggressive, and say things they usually would not.

New Minstrel Show (11:22)

Crack'd Owt, a duo made of John Daly and Brett Gelman, make jokes by acting like they are gangsters who have a crack-cocaine addiction. Too White Crew, a hip-hop tribute band, wear costumes to perform—they know that their act is offensive to some people. Power, producer of Wu Tang Clan, says neither of these groups appreciate the culture and do not deserve to pretend to copy it.

When is it "Blacking Up?" (05:11)

A break dancing mime who performs in New York City says he depends largely on money from young white kids. People comment on boundaries created by race. When do the actions of the people presented in the film cross the line into being offensive?

Credits: Blacking up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity (01:04)

Credits: Blacking up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

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Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Explores tensions surrounding white participation in Hip-Hop. For some, it is an example of cultural progress. For others, it is just another case of cultural appropriation.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL165954

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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