Michael Eric Dyson Upset Over Drake’s Black Identity Dismissal in Rap Battle

Michael Eric Dyson Upset Over Drake's Black Identity Dismissal in Rap Battle

On Sunday (May 19), sports journalist Stephen A. Smith shared a video segment from his talk show, featuring an interview with cultural critic and author Michael Eric Dyson. The discussion centered on Dyson’s recent think piece in The Philadelphia Citizen, published on May 15, which examined the well-known lyrical feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake as a reflection of broader societal issues.

Dyson was particularly upset about how Drake’s Black identity was disregarded during the feud, with some even labeling him a colonizer. He pointed out that although Drake is Jewish, he is also Black, and ignoring this aspect of his identity is misleading.

“The astonishing and deflating speed with which Drake was tarred and feathered as inauthentically Black says less about him and more about the reactionary nativism of cults of pure identity that police the boundaries of Blackness like a rogue and racist cop,” Dyson wrote. “In a single spurious stroke of Kendrick’s claustrophobic Blackness, Drake went from a brilliant embodiment of rap’s genius to a cultural carpetbagger who must prove that he deserves to be called Black when a white supremacist culture sees him as little else.”

In his conversation with Smith, Dyson expanded on his editorial’s points.

“I’m pissed that Drake gets dismissed, off the scene, when he’s been Drake for 15 years and you act like you didn’t know that, now he’s not really Black?” Dyson questioned.

“Challenging his racial identity saying he’s a culture vulture when he’s a Black man—’he’s from Canada he ain’t real’—Idris Elba is from the UK, people still love him on The Wire,” he continued. “So why is it that being outside of our geography, outside of our nationality, raises suspicions about Drake?”

Dyson emphasized that what Drake has done to broaden the scope of hip-hop is often undervalued, both artistically and culturally. He called for a broader, more inclusive understanding of Blackness.

“We have to stop this narrow, punishing, pernicious, limited viewpoint about Blackness,” he added. “The kind of ad hominem remarks as opposed to a full-on embrace of the rhetorical diversity and splendor that is Drake—that would be a fairer fight. Then we could make an estimation of what’s going on.”

Dyson believes that instead of questioning Drake’s Blackness, the emphasis should be on evaluating his lyrical prowess and comparing it to that of Kendrick Lamar.

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Pooja Chauhan

Pooja Chauhan: Your Source for Entertainment and Box Office News Pooja Chauhan is a passionate writer and dedicated journalist specializing in delivering the latest updates and insights from the world of entertainment and box office. With a keen eye for detail and a deep love for cinema, Pooja brings her readers accurate and engaging coverage of all things related to movies, celebrities, and the dynamic world of showbiz. Her commitment to keeping her audience well-informed and entertained makes her a valuable voice in the realm of entertainment journalism. When she's not busy uncovering the latest scoops, Pooja enjoys exploring classic films and indulging in creative writing." Contact us: admin@bollywoodfever.co.in

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