Beats, Rhymes & Strife

The Power Struggles of A Tribe Called Quest


Way to name drop Foucault and then diminish your own supposed application of his philosophies to ATCQ by saying that Phife was simply into sports, not rapping. Your Renaissance-man schtick is tired, man.
I was hoping Larry was going to be the author of this.
@2 me too
hey scrubede, stop pretending you know anything about hip hop, you mark ass lame!
Mr. Mudede your insistence on interpreting everything you review through the lens of critical theory/marxism has rendered you myopic and your articles - well, tired. schtick indeed.
@5: The Marxist lens boils everything down to economic class relations - Charles frequently includes race and sometimes gender, so you're off there. Given the frequent use of Foucault, I'd say he fits better in Postcolonial Theory.

Anyway (drawing on the same theoretical tradition), everything humans do is power-inflected and therefore political. An active, acknowledged awareness of this fact and analysis of texts though a compatible lens doesn't make something "schtick" and is exactly not myopia, though it might well make it something you don't want to read. So stop.
I would wager that Foucault was more concerned with a wider frame of reference when speaking about power - as not something resident in specific bodies or held by abstractly understood classes of people - but a network of relationships that can change (on the level of the individual) as one moves between network to network.... (yadayadayada).

So though it's cool that Charles gives the bald man a shout-out in reference to ATCQ, I wonder if F Dawg would try to apply his views on the social character of power as a means of interpreting the personal dynamics of given band.

To John's point, I can certainly understand that fans of hip-hop (or UFC for that matter) may wish to forego a theory-based critique of a film, a band, or a genre, but dismissing such a practice as a pointless "schtick" tells me you can't hang.
"To understand this deep split, we must briefly turn to Michel Foucault, the theorist of power relations."

I'm afraid we mustn't. Do you need Foucault to explain that Tip always carried more leverage in that relationship? No, you do not.