Twenty-five years after Do the Right Thing was nominated but overlooked for Best Picture, Spike Lee is about to receive an Academy Award. At the beginning of that modern classic, Rosie Perez danced into our collective imaginations to the sounds of Public Enemy. Branford Marsalis’s saxophone squealing, bass guitar revving up, she sprung into action in front of a row of Bed-Stuy brownstones. Voices stutter to life: “Get—get—get—get down,” says one singer, before another entreats, “Come on and get down,” punctuated by James Brown’s grunt, letting us know we’re in for some hard work. In unison, Chuck D and Flavor Flav place us in time: “Nineteen eighty-nine! The number, another summer…” The track’s structure, barely held in place by the guitar riff and a snare, accommodates Marsalis’s saxophone playing continuously during the chorus, but intermittent scratches and split-second samples make up the plurality of the sounds. The two rappers’ words take back the foreground in each verse, and their cooperative and repetitive style reinforces the song’s message during the chorus, when they trade calls and responses of “Fight the power!”
Throughout the credits, lyrics and musical elements are shot through with noise: machine guns, helicopters, jet engines—even the sax, the only conventional instrument at work, seems to cede ground to these disruptions. The dancing form of Perez, unlike the other figures taking part in the performance, is silent but visible; she’s the only one who seems fully in control of the relationship between her body and the sounds. Perez’s performance of “Fight the Power” is an antidote to fantasies of masculine technological mastery: her movements, while sometimes syncopated, are discrete to the point of appearing martial—the steps are improvised but the skills are practiced; she’s ready to step into the ring.
Fulfilling Spike Lee’s request to Public Enemy to provide a theme for the movie, “Fight the Power,” made it onto the group’s iconic album Fear of a Black Planet the following year. In Anthem, Shana Redmond names the song “perhaps the last Black anthem of the twentieth century,” noting that it bridges divides like the space between America’s East and West Coasts (261-262). It does so as part of the film’s opening sequence through juxtapositions: the sound of helicopters, a signature of LAPD surveillance, crosses the New York City streetscape in stereo. On the album, however, a radically different opening sets the tone for the track. A speech by Thomas Todd taunts, “Yet our best trained, best equipped, best prepared, troops refuse to fight. Matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight.” The speaker draws out the breathy, sibilant ending of the word “switch” to create a double entendre; voiced this way, “they would rather switch” connotes both disloyalty in the “fight” and a swishy movement of the hips attributed to effeminate men. In later years, the crystal-clear sample would resurface across genres; it was the only lyrical component of DJ Frankie Bones’s “Refuse to Fight” in 1997, a track purely intended for dancing in the blissful atmosphere of the rave scene, which evacuated militancy to make room for “Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.”
On PE’s album, the version of the song introduced by this sample strikes a stark contrast with its rendition in the film as the vehicle for an inexhaustible and defiant female dancer in a neighborhood wracked by disempowerment.
Identifying Fear of a Black Planet as “the first true rap concept album,” Tom Moon of the Philadelphia Inquirer recognizes the role of the DJ and production team in achieving its unique synthesis between melodic and meaning elements. At first he calls the sample-heavy stage for the rap performance “a bed of raw noise not unlike radio static,” but he later parses out how this “noise” actually consists of a rich informational emulsion:
an environment that can include snippets of speeches, talk shows, arguments, chanting, background harmonies, cowbells and other percussion, drum machine, treble-heavy solo guitar, jazz trumpet, and any number of recorded samples.
The underlying concept driving the album is the ominous encounter between Blackness and whiteness, which has become an object of fear and fascination throughout centuries of American culture. As the role of their anthem in the film about a neighborhood undergoing violent transformation indicates, the meeting of Black and white is not a fearsome future to come, but a present giving way to both reactionary and revolutionary possibilities. And it goes a little something like this.
In this post, I provide track-by-track sonic analysis to show how, over the past 25 years, Fear of a Black Planet has contributed to Afrofuturism through its invocation of prophetic speech and through its place on the cultural landscape as a touchstone for the beginning of the 1990s. As the first song, “Contract on the World Love Jam,” insists, in one of the “‘forty-five to fifty voices’” Chuck D recalls sampling for this track alone, “If you don’t know your past, then you don’t know your future.”
This moment continues to resonate in the present as a repository of ideas and modes of expression we still need. Along with the hypnotic efficacy of rhetoric like “Laser, anesthesia, ‘maze ya/ Ways to blaze your brain and train ya,” and Flavor Flav’s subversive humor, I argue that Fear of A Black Planet engages with Afrofuturism by using sound to instigate the kind of “disjuncture” that Arjun Apparurai called characteristic of culture under late modern global capitalism. This kind of practice thematizes Fear of a Black Planet: it uses sound to confront the boundaries of information, desire, and power on decisively African Americanist terms. PE cut through the noise with a new sound, one that still resonates 25 years later.
Sampling is an indispensable strategy on Fear of a Black Planet. Yet as Tricia Rose contends, the sound of hip-hop arises out of a systematic way of moving through the world rather than as a “by-product” of factors of production. In Capturing Sound, Mark Katz identifies Public Enemy’s sampling with “the predigital, prephonographic practice of signifying that arose in the African American community” (164). Scholars and music critics alike have dubbed this era the “golden age” of digital sampling, a moment when new technology made it possible for musical composition to rely on audio appropriated from a panoply of sources but before the financial and methodological obstacles of copyright clearance emerged in force. As Kembrew McLeod and Peter Di Cola argue in Creative License, challenges imposed by the cost of licensing fees now associated with sampling make contemporary critics doubtful that Black Planet could be produced today (14). In retrospect, the album shows us how the “financescape” of popular music has evolved out of sync with the technoscape: by placing property rights in the way of the further development of the tradition inaugurated by the Bomb Squad (PE DJs Terminator X, Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee, and Eric “Vietnam” Sadler).
In 2011, when asked by NPR’s Ira Flatow about sampling as an art form, Hank Shocklee pointed out that, “as we start to move more toward into the future and technology starts to increase, these things have to metamorphosize, have to change,” further insisting that this means, “everything should be fair use, except for taking the entire record and mass producing it and selling it yourself.” Realizing how sampling entails not just the use of sound but its transformation, he stakes out a radical position on intellectual property, noting that the law tends to protect record companies rather than performers:
Stubblefield, [the drummer], is not a copyright owner. James Brown is not a copyright owner. George Clinton is not a copyright owner. The copyright owners are corporations… when we talk about artists, you know, that term is being used, but that’s not really the case here. We’re really talking about corporations.
Driven by such a skeptical orientation to the notion of sound as property, Fear of a Black Planet is both unapologetic and unforgiving in its sonic promiscuity. It weds a dizzying repertoire of references from the past to a sharp political critique of the present, embodying the role of hip-hop in transforming the relationship between sound and knowledge through whatever means the moment makes available.
A different Spike Lee joint (Jungle Fever, 1991, with a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder) enacts the spectacle behind the title track on Fear of a Black Planet. Interracial sexuality, as one of many dimensions of living together across the color line, is the most explicit “fear” a Black Planet has in store, but two tracks undercut the flawed notions of white purity at the heart of the issue.
Chuck D dismisses the concerns of an imaginary white man at the start of each verse: “your daughter? No she’s not my type… I don’t need your sister… man, I don’t want your wife!” He subsequently shifts focus to the questions of “what is pure? who is pure?” what would be “wrong with some color in your family tree?” and finally, whether it might be desirable for future generations to become more Black, owing to the adaptive value of “skins protected against the ozone layers/ breakdown.” Chuck’s line of questioning assuages the anxiety that the imagined white interlocutor might feel in order to address more fundamental planetary concerns, like environmental degradation. In addition to staging a conversation in which a Black man enjoins a white man to listen to reason, the structure of the track involves Flavor Flav in a parallel dialogue. Flav replies to each of Chuck’s initial reassurances the same playful counterpoint: “but suppose she says she loves me?” He keeps posing the hypothetical in one verse after another, despite Chuck D’s repeated insistences that he isn’t interested in white women, suggesting that “love,” an irrational but undeniably powerful motivation for interracial encounter, is just as compelling as a putatively rational browning of the planet’s people. “Pollywannacracka” riffs on the same subject with hauntingly distorted vocals and a chorus that includes a mocking crowd calling the Black woman or man who desires a “cracka” out their name (the drawn out refrain is the word “Polly…”) and a teasing whistle. These derisions reduce the taboo topic of interracial liaisons to the stuff of schoolyard taunts while playing out tense confrontations among Black men and Black women in between the verses.
Black Planet also presented PE the first opportunity to reconstruct their reputation after former manager, Professor Griff, made anti-Semitic comments–“Jews control the media”—in an interview. PE takes the public’s temperature on “Incident at 66.6 FM,” which reiterates snippets from listeners calling in to radio broadcasts; most of the callers represented excoriate the group but a few defend them, including erstwhile DJ Terminator X, who shouts himself out.
This inward-facing archive acquires more material on the album’s most self-referential track, “Welcome to the Terrordome.” The song elliptically places the scrutiny the group has faced in perspective through allusions that are rendered even more involuted through repetition and internal rhyme: “Every brother ain’t a brother… Crucifixion ain’t no fiction… the shooting of Huey Newton/from the hand of a nig that pulled the trig.” The brother who allegedly ain’t one was David Mills, the music journalist who publicized Griff’s comments.
Noting Chuck’s rather transparent analogy between this betrayal and the myth that the Jewish community was responsible for killing Jesus, Robert Christgau, in Grown Up All Wrong, concludes that “the hard question isn’t whether ‘Terrodome’ is anti-Semitic—it’s whether that’s the end of the story” (270-271). It isn’t. “War at 33 1/3” redraws these same lines by advising that “any other rapper who’s a brother/Tries to speak to one another/Gets smothered by the other kind,” hearkening back to the earlier song’s assertion not all skinfolk are kinfolk. The song samples speech from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that frames the titular “war” as a rhetorical contest.
The most collaborative jam on the album, co-written by Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha, “Burn Hollywood Burn” enacts an acerbic critique of media representations of Blackness against the most party-perfect hooks on the album, including a sampled crowd repeating the three words of the refrain like a protest chant, a timeline provided by a pea whistle, and a horn sample looped for the gods.
Sustaining a militant ideal of Black masculinity in defiance of Hollywood’s Stepin’ Fetchit and Driving Miss Daisy scripts (both referenced by name), featured MCs Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane occupy the track’s. Their forward-leaning posture demands they be taken seriously, like Chuck D, rather than coming off as whimsical and indulgent like Flavor Flav. Yet PE’s sound would be unrecognizable without Flav’s flavor to carry out the call-and-response structure of their performances. Flav voices a skit on the final verse of “Burn Hollywood Burn” in which he is invited to portray a “controversial Negro” as an actor; he asks if the role calls on him to identify with Huey P. Newton or H. Rap Brown, but to his chagrin, the invitation calls for “a servant character that chuckles a little bit and sings.” Contemporary audiences might associate Flavor Flav with the latter based on his reality TV persona, but the comic wit he brings to PE knowingly undermines strident posturing and demands that the audience listen more closely.
Despite the comparatively trivial content of his lyrical presence on most tracks, Flav enhances the repertoire of knowledge at work across Fear of a Black Planet, deepening its cultural frame of reference and accentuating different elements of its sonic structure. On “Who Stole the Soul,” for example, after Chuck says, “Banned from many arenas/ Word from the Motherland/ Has anybody seen her,” Flav repeats after him, “Have you seen her,” emphasizing the allusion to ”Have You Seen Her?” by the Chi-Lites. Then, before Chuck has finished his next line, Flav repeats himself, stylizing the question “Have You Seen Her” with the same melody used by the Chi-Lites. Ingeniously, Flav modifies the allusion that Chuck makes in verbal form by using the timing and melodic structure of his repetition to produce a new timeframe within the existing track, doubling the ways in which this line alludes to a prior work.
On his own, Flav’s performances on Black Planet laugh through the pain of urban dystopia, the. concentrated poverty, premature death, and alienation from the amenities of citizenship he explores in “911 is a Joke” and “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man.” “911” is especially notable for coupling Flav’s cynical appraisal of life and death in the hood to repetitive verse structures, a tight rhyme scheme consisting mostly of couplets, a chart-ready beat (the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles list), and an unforgettable quatrain as the hook: “Get up, get, get, get down/911 is a joke in your town/ Get up, get, get, get get down/Late 911 wears the late crown.”
The notion of getting down to misery is disturbing, but that’s all you can do. The track ends with a particularly macabre sample: the laughter of Vincent Price, the same heard at the harrowing conclusion of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man,” on the other hand, ends with Flav’s raspy laughter. While “911” ironizes the withdrawal of public resources from “your town” amid concentrated poverty, this song sends up the misfortunes urban denizens bring on themselves. The funky tune profanes the serious concerns of a man who’s fallen into a life of crime, offering no Chuck D-style self-help just “bass for your face.”
Mark Anthony Neal has called the generation that came of age in the 1990s the “Post-Soul” generation, and the many funk and soul references on Fear of a Black Planet, from the preceding sounds to the rallying cry of “Who Stole the Soul,” connect the first hip-hop of the 1990s to the prior generation of Black music. Repetition with difference allows the group to maintain a dialogue between their precedents in socially conscious popular music and the new intervention they intend to make. If “Fight the Power” signals the dawn of new era, so does the largely-forgotten “Reggie Jax,” the downtempo freestyle on which Chuck D coins the term “P-E-FUNK.”
Chuck’s neologism, which he introduces by spelling it out, “P-E-F-U-N and the K,” is a performative citation linking PE’s brand of hip-hop to the P-Funk of the 1970s: perhaps the defining expression of Afrofuturism in popular music. The morphology of “P-E FUNK” is highly novel, infixing a new element within an existing word and also facilitating the flow between the terms by enunciating their assonant sounds. This tactic for naming the fusion of hip-hop and P-Funk allows PE to continue a pattern initiated by their predecessor Afrika Bambaataa, whom they sample on “Fight the Power,” by inserting themselves into a particular artistic genealogy (traced by Ytasha Womack in Afrofuturism) animated by George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and the mind-expanding antics of Parliament/Funkadelic.
The intense polyrhythmic edifice of Fear of a Black Planet link past to (Afro)future, engaging in a radically heteroglossic practice of treating sound as information. Deploying the sound of knowledge and the knowledge of sound in the service of envisioning the world as it is, the album charts a dystopian itinerary for the 1990s that we need to comprehend how we arrived at the present. Rather than worrying that a Black Planet is something to fear, we might consider the lessons that emerged from past efforts to cope with developments already underway. If we listen to Flavor Flav and find that coping strategies are futile, at least we can party. And if we were right to call Chuck a prophet, then the dawn of the Black Planet he warned us about—characterized by neoliberal governance, gentrification, and boundaries that demand to be crossed—is a moment when the avant-garde tactics of Afrofuturism are becoming important to everyone. Citizens of Earth: Welcome to the Terrordome.
andré carrington, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of African American Literature at Drexel University. His research on the cultural politics of race, gender, and genre in popular texts appears in journals and books including African and Black Diaspora, Politics and Culture, A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance, and The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Blackness In Comics and Sequential Art. He has also written for Callaloo, the Journal of the African Literature Association, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. His first book, Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction, is being published by University of Minnesota Press.
Featured Image: Still from “Fight the Power” video, color altered from b & w by SO!
REWIND! . . .If you liked this post, you may also dig:
Straight Outta Compton… Via New York — Loren Kajikawa
Fear of a Black (In The) Suburb — Regina N. Bradley
Gregg Gillis, the mash-up artist who records and performs as Girl Talk, is always being talked about by someone. My co-author, Kembrew McLeod, and I risked adding to the overexposure by featuring Girl Talk as the star in the introductory section of our new book, Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling (Duke: 2011). And yet, I still have more to say about Girl Talk. His latest release, All Day (2010), came out too late for us to cover in our manuscript, but it reflects some aesthetic and legal developments that are worth understanding. But first, I should explain sampling, mash-ups, and what makes Girl Talk so musically and legally interesting to talk about.
Sampling means using existing sound recordings as part of new sound recordings. I leave musical quotation, allusion, and other forms of musical borrowing (or appropriation, if you prefer) out of this definition. In other words, sampling means using sound waves recorded at an earlier time—perhaps (1) editing or manipulating them, (2) combining snippets of multiple existing recordings, and/or (3) adding sounds generated by the sampling artist herself—but using the literal sound waves as basic material nonetheless.
Mash-ups, in my parlance anyway, are a sub-category of sample-based music. A mash-up artist usually does not distort the samples too much; mash-up artists tend to combine just two or three samples at any one point in time—the samples remain recognizable to the listener. And mash-up artists tend to add very few (if any) sounds generated originally by themselves.
Many mash-ups juxtapose only two or three existing recordings for the duration of a typical pop song. Some versions of this approach involve a comical or unexpected juxtaposition, like Britney Spears versus Metallica. Other versions of this approach sound like the sort of thing you’d hear at a club; in other words, it describes something live DJs have done for a long time. Mash-up artists The Hood Internet, for instance, recently released a mash-up of rap artist Nicki Minaj and indie-dance group Hercules and Love Affair by DJ STV SLV (pronounced “deejay steve sleeve,” which I’m pointing out because I think it’s fun to say).
What is unique about Girl Talk is that each of his tracks involves a string of overlapping samples. In an average song like “Like This” from Feed the Animals (2008), he moves from group to group of sampled sources, from Beyonce versus LL Cool J versus Soul II Soul, to the Jackson 5 versus the Beastie Boys, to Pras (featuring Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard) versus Yo La Tengo, and so on. Girl Talk’s live performances feature Gillis with his laptop in the middle of an insanely sweaty dance floor. A friend who recently caught a Girl Talk set noted that sweat was condensing on the ceiling of the venue and then dripping back onto the crowd. In short, Girl Talk is high-energy club music.
After the release of Feed the Animals, Village Voice reviewer Tom Breihan famously labeled Girl Talk as “music for people with such severe ADD that they get bored listening to thirty-second song-samples on iTunes.” Breihan also denied that Girl Talk’s music had any “internal dynamics,” which I take to mean that Breihan thinks the music has no narrative arc of, say, loud versus soft or intense versus calm. In both these statements, Breihan’s position is that the samples that make up Girl Talk’s music are disconnected from each other. The samples provide amphetamine doses of nostalgia or energy, but they have no intertextuality or deeper meaning. Girl Talk’s samples are just rapid-fire collections of pop-culture references. Call this line of argument as the name-that-tune critique.
My view, however, is that there are patterns and meaning in Girl Talk’s selection and arrangement of samples. He consistently pairs rap vocals with retro music of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, along with the occasional indie-rock and/or iTunes-commercial hit. Why are his groupings of samples interesting?
One answer is that the backing tracks in hip-hop songs have become stale. In the commercial music industry, sample licensing is required but prohibitively expensive. So Girl Talk is creating a collage in the background with the samples that rappers’ labels wouldn’t pay for or, even more likely, couldn’t have licensed from the copyright owner. This effect of copyright law on creativity is something that Kembrew and I detail in our book, especially Chapters 5 and 6.
Another answer is that Girl Talk finds the lyrical content of hip-hop far more interesting (or at least more provocative) than what’s being said in the classic-rock song. A similar point would apply to The Hood Internet, too, whose twist is that their pairing is almost always very contemporary hip-hop vocals mashed up with very contemporary indie rock. I can’t help thinking that one thing The Hood Internet is suggesting with their compilations is that some hip-hop backing tracks are too boring and some indie-rock vocalists have poor voices or nothing to say—so let’s mash-up the best parts of both.
So what to make of Girl Talk’s hallmark freneticism, the jumping from one group of samples to another group roughly every 20 or 30 seconds? No matter what, the point is that meaning—an argument over interpretation—emerges from the groupings of juxtaposed samples. First of all, meaning emerges when the transitions happen more slowly. The new album, All Day, begins with a two-minute-long pairing of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” against Ludacris’s “Move Bitch” (featuring Mystikal and I-20) and a few short snippets of various Jay-Z raps. The extra time to digest what’s happening tells the listener that the new album is more relaxed, at least at the start. Rather than a sprint, the new album has a longer narrative arc. Gillis may be responding to the name-that-tune critique, adding another dimension to the mathematical complexity of his recordings by varying the speed of his transitions.
More than a response to critics like Breihan, my observations about selection and arrangement as the source of Girl Talk’s musicality relate to his legal stance with respect to using unlicensed samples. Girl Talk and his label, Illegal Art, assert that using samples, transforming them, and placing them in a new context is “fair use.” Briefly, fair use is a doctrine in copyright law that allows certain uses without permission. For instance, a book reviewer can quote from a book without infringing copyright, at least up to a certain amount. Educators can use at least some portion of copyrighted works in the classroom. Transformative use is yet another category of fair uses. We know this category includes parody, thanks to a 1994 Supreme Court decision involving 2 Live Crew’s parody of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.” But the courts haven’t told us what else the “transformative” category includes. This is why Girl Talk and Illegal Art garner so much attention from the copyright law community.
The website for the new album has the following legal language at the bottom of the page:
All Day by Girl Talk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. The CC license does not interfere with the rights you have under the fair use doctrine, which gives you permission to make certain uses of the work even for commercial purposes. Also, the CC license does not grant rights to non-transformative use of the source material Girl Talk used to make the album.
Creative Commons licenses are ready-made online licensing contracts. A Creative Commons license is a deal creators choose to make with the public, in which the creator gives the public certain freedoms but also requires certain responsibilities. It represents a less generous choice than simply leaving something in the public domain, no strings attached. But it is much more generous choice than asserting one’s copyrights in full.
So what can other people do with Girl Talk’s music under the particular flavor of a Creative Commons license? The short answer is that they can share and remix whatever he owns without getting advance permission. But wait a second. If Gillis’s music is comprised almost entirely of samples of other people’s music (which themselves can be sample-based)—in copyright-speak, if it is a “derivative work”—what exactly is he licensing to the public?
Derivative works created without permission, without being fair use, or without avoiding infringement through some other copyright exception, give their creator no copyright in the parts of the derivative work that include illegally used material. Section 103 of U.S. copyright law punishes people who make unlawful derivative works by denying them any rights. By asserting a compilation copyright, Girl Talk and his label are expressing confidence in their fair use argument. They are at least acting as though they would not be subject to the punishment of Section 103 because they claim copyright for All Day via compilation: Girl Talk’s particular selection and arrangement of samples. Compilations are a special type of derivative work. In other words, compilation copyrights inhere in the “thin slice” layer of creativity that represents the ordering, grouping, and timing of the music.
Meanwhile, Girl Talk is sampling hugely high-profile artists, and listing them on the website: the Beatles, Prince, U2, all of whom are known for asserting their copyrights. Take this together with Girl Talk’s confidence that he won’t lose his “thin slice” copyright under Section 103. We can see that Girl Talk is aggressively claiming fair use. He’s daring people to sue him. And this strategy seems to have made copyright owners less likely to sue.
Interestingly, the “thin slice” the law is concerned with is the same thin slice music critics worry over. My closing point is that the copyright analysis of Girl Talk’s work depends heavily on interpretation of his selection and arrangement of samples. Humanists, including those in sound studies, have a great deal to offer to this discussion. Does Girl Talk’s selection and arrangement rise to the level of “transformative” work? Do we need to settle the debate of the aesthetic value of Girl Talk’s “thin slice” before we can answer the legal question of fair use?
Consider the meta-observation that there are plenty of arguments to be made back and forth about whether Girl Talk’s selection and arrangements are good or bad, original or unoriginal, and so on. Does that observation in and of itself mean that something transformative has occurred? Or is that too cute—setting up a test that no mash-up could ever fail, since it takes only two listeners to have an argument over the quality of a piece of music?
It is a truism that copyright law fails to mesh well with creative practices. But copyright isn’t going away anytime soon. I hope this brief discussion has illustrated how crucial it is to have a continuing conversation among legal scholars and humanists.
Peter DiCola will be reading at RiverRead Books in Binghamton, NY (5 Court Street in Downtown) on Thursday, 4/21 at 6:30 p.m. in support of Creative License. Following DiCola’s reading there will be a roundtable conversation featuring several Sounding Out! writers: Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman (Editor in Chief), Andreas Pape and Osvaldo Oyola along with Daniel Henderson.
- SO! Amplifies: The Electric Golem (Trevor Pinch and James Spitznagel)
- Can’t Nobody Tell Me Nothin: Respectability and The Produced Voice in Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”
- SO! Reads: Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow’s Personal Stereo
- SO! Podcast #76: F*** U Pay Us @ UC Riverside PunkCon
- SO! Amplifies: The Blues and Jazz Dance Book Club
Search for topics. . .
- RT @RadioSurvivor: “...nearly 10 percent of the United States’s population was African-American following World War II, you wouldn’t know i… 9 hours ago
- RT @Shocklee: ‘Dressed in Dreams’ Uncovers the Black Women Who Invented Modern Streetwear ow.ly/H1c730p0wvX 12 hours ago
- RT @ashleyrattner: Is there a draft of a @C19Americanists Podcast episode sitting dormant on your desktop? We're accepting submissions unti… 12 hours ago
Like us on Facebook!
Authors Sounding Out!
- Adam Craig
- Andy Kelleher Stuhl
- Wanda Alarcon
- Alexandrine Lacelle
- Alexis Deighton MacIntyre
- Alexander Russo
- andré m. carrington Ph.D.
- Tara Rodgers
- Andreas Duus Pape
- Aaron Trammell
- Andrew J. Salvati
- Bridget Hoida
- Benjamin Gold
- Bill Bahng Boyer
- D. Ines Casillas
- Colin Black
- Craig Shank
- Caitlin Marshall
- Shawn Higgins
- Christie Zwahlen
- Danijela Kulezic-Wilson
- Monica De La Torre
- J. Stoever
- Osvaldo Oyola
- Meghan Drury
- Daniel A. Walzer
- Elizabeth Newton
- Emma Leigh
- Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo
- Emmanuelle Sonntag
- Gretchen Jude
- Gus Stadler
- Holger Schulze
- James Hodges
- Jentery Sayers
- Josh Garrett-Davis
- Jonathan Sterne
- Josh Ottum
- Joshua Hudelson
- Juan Sebastian Ferrada
- Kaj Ahlsved
- Kelly J. Baker
- priscilla peña ovalle
- Lilian Radovac
- Yun Emily Wang
- Mack Hagood
- magz hall
- Maile Colbert
- Maria Sonevytsky
- John Melillo
- Melle Kromhout
- Michelle M. Sauer
- Nick Mizer
- Owen Marshall
- Steven Hammer
- Peter DiCola
- Parker Fishel
- j.l. stoever
- Robert Ford
- Ronit Ghosh
- Regina N. Bradley
- Roger Moseley
- Sarah Kessler
- Liana M. Silva
- Benjamin Bean
- Tim J. Anderson
- Karen Tongson
- Dr. O'C
- Benjamin Wright
- Carlo Patrão