All the most important moments in hip-hop history are included in a timeline that charts a potential whitewashing of an artform that was once urgently political. Did major labels and corporate interests make rap a family-friendly music genre?
While Thump charted the disastrous corporatization of Beatport and Pitchfork investigated a community of vinyl-only labels defying industry interests, MTV News contributed its own compelling look into the interface between business and music.
In “A Condensed History Of White Rappers“, Carvell Wallace charts a timeline from the first rap verse to appear on MTV in 1981 to the rise of major label white hip-hop acts like the Beastie Boys, Eminem and Macklemore. His piece raises interesting questions about the scrutiny white artists face in hip-hop to do with authenticity, social justice and systemic advantages in the industry. But at its heart, it challenges the reader to consider whether rap and hip-hop are undergoing a transformation from artistic expression by a marginalized black community to a whitewashed and canonized form of white dad music.
Our only remaining question is: what does all this mean for German rap music’s white heroes, like Sido?