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Old 07-13-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
First of all it's music and not a study of historical documentation. I agree a lot with what BajanYankee said in his earlier post. You can't interpret every expression a rapper makes in their lyrics so seriously.
Shakespeare depended on a certain historical truth to give a ring of authentic credibility to what were in fact purely fictional plays.

It would be a serious mistake to assume that something employed in art or literature must of necessity be regarded as fiction, and have no historical relevance. All art is based on the principle that the beholder is conversant with historical traditions and therefore recognizes them when they appear as context in the work of art.

In fact the use of historical reality plays an important part in perception. A song that mentions World War Three, for example, is clearly intended to convey the idea of future threat, rather than past reality, to the perception of the audience. So a Rap song about "descendant from Kings and Queens" or "Raining Cats and Dogs" of "Frog in my Throat" is dependent on the listener understanding the concepts and being able to correctly place them as pieces of the work of art as a whole, and being acquainted with a cultural presumption of the relevance of the phrasing..

Therefore, a rapper who mentions "descendant from Kings and Queens" can only do so with effect if the meaning of that expression resounds in the experience of the listener. This can only be done if the expression does in fact pre-exist, as something his listeners can utilize in their interpretation of the lyric with a relevant historical and cultural connotation.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:56 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
I think it's an over simplification of our African ancestory.

Yes we had empires and kingdoms ruled by kings in west and central Africa. But not every black-American is going to be able to trace their ancestory to a king. Most of our African ancestors were common people. Also every continent had kings/royalty. Europeans had kings and queens but you don't hear them saying that "we whites are descendants from the great kings and queens of Europe".
This has to do with images of certain people and to not understand that is odd, in my opinion. While what you are saying isn't wrong, you need to dig deeper than the words at face value, given perceptions, images and stereotypes of Black people.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:04 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Shakespeare depended on a certain historical truth to give a ring of authentic credibility to what were in fact purely fictional plays.

It would be a serious mistake to assume that something employed in art or literature must of necessity be regarded as fiction, and have no historical relevance. All art is based on the principle that the beholder is conversant with historical traditions and therefore recognizes them when they appear as context in the work of art.

In fact the use of historical reality plays an important part in perception. A song that mentions World War Three, for example, is clearly intended to convey the idea of future threat, rather than past reality, to the perception of the audience. So a Rap song about "descendant from Kings and Queens" or "Raining Cats and Dogs" of "Frog in my Throat" is dependent on the listener understanding the concepts and being able to correctly place them as pieces of the work of art as a whole, and being acquainted with a cultural presumption of the relevance of the phrasing..

Therefore, a rapper who mentions "descendant from Kings and Queens" can only do so with effect if the meaning of that expression resounds in the experience of the listener. This can only be done if the expression does in fact pre-exist, as something his listeners can utilize in their interpretation of the lyric with a relevant historical and cultural connotation.
So, are you basically saying that there has to be some truth within the art in order to have impact, effect or relevance? I ask this because even if you look at how history has been taught in schools, there has been some inaccuracies and miseducation involved. Christopher Columbus comes to mind immediately and even if you view "America" as the Americas/Western Hemisphere, how can people claim his discovery given the information in regards to the Norseman around 1000? Yet, we are taught that Columbus discovered "America". So, even things that we are taught to be true aren't necessarily so in the Real World, for lack of a better term.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
So, are you basically saying that there has to be some truth within the art in order to have impact, effect or relevance? I ask this because even if you look at how history has been taught in schools, there has been some inaccuracies and miseducation involved. Christopher Columbus comes to mind immediately and even if you view "America" as the Americas/Western Hemisphere, how can people claim his discovery given the information in regards to the Norseman around 1000? Yet, we are taught that Columbus discovered "America". So, even things that we are taught to be true aren't necessarily so in the Real World, for lack of a better term.
When we say "Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity", does that imply to you that nobody before him had ever seen lightning? The word "discover" implies a practical application and description for the thing discovered, and Columbus was the fist explorer to do that, opening the way for colonization of the western continent that quite a few people already suspected, but didn't think it extended very much further south then Greenland or Newfoundland. It is not "false" that Columbus discovered America, it only implies a conflict in definitions of the historical use of the word "discover"

Man6y of the chemical elements were not "discovered" until long after their existence was interpolated from the blank squares on the periodic table
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:51 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,431 posts, read 22,344,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakerfreak View Post
No but black Africans did build the pyramids and this cannot be disputed.

Look, would it be more "historically accurate" if black American rappers emphasized that they descended from Timbuktu, Sahel, Ghana, and the other great kingdoms of West and Central Africa? Yes.

Does a rapper emphasizing that black Americans descended from the same people that built the pyramids make it untrue? Yes if you approach it from a regional/tribal standpoint but no if you approach it from a purely racial standpoint.

Most of those conscious rappers knew that historically AA's didn't originate from East Africa but they also knew that the people who built the pyramids looked like them and so I believe this point was emphasized to counter the belief that black history began with slavery. Public school history books tell you that blacks were brought here as slaves but they never mention who we were in Africa prior to becoming slaves.
Not sure where you went to school but I learned about he kingdoms of west Africa in public schools. What I also learned in school and life in general is that any people who romanticize their history are doing themselves a great disservice. looking at things as a race as you put it comes with a lot of baggage. Yes, there were blacks who helped build the pyramids. There are also many black Africans who were savage genocidal maniacs who also were not west African so why isn't that side being told more often since we're talking about "the race"? Africa is a huge continent, the Sahara Desert alone could swallow up the continental US.

It's been suggested in this thread that rappers knew the history of our ancestors. That claim goes right out the window when you hear them, and those who listen to them refer to themselves and other Black Americans as Nubians Nubians come from Sudan and Southern Egypt which is not...um...West Africa. Maybe this is good enough for you but for me, I'd rather know the true history about the people I really come from in Africa as personally I believe that the Black American Pan-African attitude borders on delusional psychosis, as mentioned before, cognitive dissonance at the very least.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:05 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
When we say "Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity", does that imply to you that nobody before him had ever seen lightning? The word "discover" implies a practical application and description for the thing discovered, and Columbus was the fist explorer to do that, opening the way for colonization of the western continent that quite a few people already suspected, but didn't think it extended very much further south then Greenland or Newfoundland. It is not "false" that Columbus discovered America, it only implies a conflict in definitions of the historical use of the word "discover"

Man6y of the chemical elements were not "discovered" until long after their existence was interpolated from the blank squares on the periodic table
Not meaning to get too far off of the topic, but are you saying that the Norseman didn't discover anything while in the Americas or that their discovery wasn't as practical?

To get back to the topic, are you then saying that when a rapper references Kings and Queens in this context that there is some truth to what they are referring to?
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:31 PM
 
6,551 posts, read 9,065,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakerfreak View Post
No but black Africans did build the pyramids and this cannot be disputed.
How would you convince some Egyptian Copts of that? They believe that they are the descendants of the ancient Egyptians.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Not meaning to get too far off of the topic, but are you saying that the Norseman didn't discover anything while in the Americas or that their discovery wasn't as practical?

To get back to the topic, are you then saying that when a rapper references Kings and Queens in this context that there is some truth to what they are referring to?
The Noresmen obviously knew that there was more land across the Atlantic But they had no idea that there was anything there besides Greenland and Labrador, which to this day remain virtually unpopulated and undeveloped, so that "discovery" has no real relevance in the sweep if history, and is applied as a discovery with an ongoing process that makes it relevant.

The rapper was not the first person who coined the phrase "descendants of kings and queens". This was well established lore among descendants of slaves, and he only repeated what he had heard. If the rapper had mentioned George Washington, would the rapper's dearth of historical credentials lead you to argue that there was no such person as George Washington?
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:56 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The Noresmen obviously knew that there was more land across the Atlantic But they had no idea that there was anything there besides Greenland and Labrador, which to this day remain virtually unpopulated and undeveloped, so that "discovery" has no real relevance in the sweep if history, and is applied as a discovery with an ongoing process that makes it relevant.

The rapper was not the first person who coined the phrase "descendants of kings and queens". This was well established lore among descendants of slaves, and he only repeated what he had heard. If the rapper had mentioned George Washington, would the rapper's dearth of historical credentials lead you to argue that there was no such person as George Washington?
I don't have a problem with the mentioning of Kings and Queens, as there may be some truth to it and it was done to uplift from the usual stereotypical images given in regards to Black people.

As for George Washington, it may be a matter of what he/she is referring to in regards to him.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
How would you convince some Egyptian Copts of that? They believe that they are the descendants of the ancient Egyptians.
Copts don't actually look any darker than Muslim Egyptians, which shows the Arab invasions of Egypt didn't dramatically change the ethnic balance.





That said, there were substantial interchanges between Europe, the Levant and North Africa even before the Arab invasions. Modern genetic studies suggest something on the order of 1/3rd of the Egyptian genome is of European origin (something not shared with peninsular Arabs), suggesting there was a lot of ethnic intermixing through the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine times, if not even earlier. That the liturgical language of the Copts is a direct descendant of ancient Egyptian suggests some continuity however. It would be unusual in world history to have a "race" replaced but the language remain intact (the reverse happens quite often however).

Every serious scientific study I've seen on the matter, however, concludes that the "whitening" from Europe and the Near East was basically canceled out by other groups coming into Egypt later from the south - most notably and recently the trans-Saharan slave trade. Egypt clearly originally sprung from the intermingling of Africa and the Middle East, however, speaking an African language, but having the agricultural package which was first developed in the fertile crescent.

I think the question of "race" is silly, as it brings in modern ideology. People didn't think about race as we did in antiquity. Hell, they didn't 300 years ago. I have no doubt some dynastic Egyptians would have passed as black in the U.S. sense. However, depictions showing them as dark as modern-day people from South Sudan don't have any more historical reasoning behind them than ones intimating the the Egyptians were Aryans. Egypt is clearly an African civilization, and that should be enough.
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