Monday, April 03, 2006

Advanced African Americans

An old friend of mine asked me if there are Advanced African Americans. The short answer is Yes. Prince comes to mind most readily. Michael Jackson was, but as I've said before, I think he's just slipped into mental illness (though maybe he just unbelievably Advanced). I'm at a bit of a disadvantage when trying to parse hip-hop and r&b becuase I came to it late in the game and don't quite get the subtleties that are required to declare something Overt or Advanced. But I would say Public Enemy in their heyday were Overt (remember, Overt doesn't mean bad, it just means openly revolutionary or innovative), whereas Chuck D. has become Advanced because he has embraced the institutions he decried as a young man. Flavor Flav is not truly Advanced, he just wants to stay famous or needs money. Unless, of course, I have him all wrong and he is Super Advanced.

I would be interested in hearing anything someone more knowledgable than I has to say.

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