19 year old rising rap star Lil Nas X has found himself in the center of a most recent controversy in Country Music, a genre that provides little space for female artists and black artists.
Most recently, the country rap song, “Old Town Road” was pulled off of the Country Music billboard list claiming:
” …it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
There is so much cross over in the music industry, and in fact many white male country artists incorporate rap and hip-hop into their music. Several articles and interviews are looking at this story to bring attention to the double standard when a black rapper crossed over to country.
Rolling Stone MAgazine comments on the larger issue of race and music genres:
Expelling Lil Nas X’s single from Hot Country Songs points to a complicated racial dynamic. The music industry still relies heavily on old-fashioned definitions of genre, which have always mapped on race — Billboard’s R&B chart, for example, was originally titled “race music,” while the Latin songs chart lumps together a myriad of genres and languages under one ethnic umbrella.
For years it had been difficult for Indigenous People living on reservations to participate in the election of our government officials. It is not uncommon for polling places to be a great distance ( as much as a 5 hour journey!) from the reservations.
This election season will be the first in which voters in North Dakota must show an ID with a street address (no PO Boxes accepted.) This new reality will clearly prevent Native Americans from participating in their most fundamental rights as citizens.
Old habits die hard, but ever so slowly, cities are beginning to acknowledge the true “discoverers” of America, the Native Indians. Just as southern states continue to work on addressing the pain brought by honoring historical figures that caused so much suffering and racism, so too must all of us address the realities of Christopher Columbus.
We must continue to work on the racism that works at an institutional level. Whether removing iconic monuments, renaming schools or renaming and refocusing our pride in holidays, we must continue to move forward.
For additional coverage on Indigenous People’s day, click here.
Scott Dunn (Director of Nature Place Day Camp) The experience with the water protectors at The Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota. He will talk about the different people who chose to gather there, the organization, teaching, actions and prayers that he took part in.
Reverend Janet Weber (Cross-cultural/Interfaith Minister, Indigenous Elders Assistant & Advocate, working with Lakota, Cheyenne & Ramapough-Lenape) “Sacred Activism: Standing Rock to Ramapo–the frontline comes home” Information about the Water Walk for Life and the Ramapo Split Rock camp. Bringing the spiritual together with activism.
Chuck Stead (Doctor of Environmental Studies, Adjunct Professor Ramapo College, Senior Program Assistant Town of Ramapo, Storyteller) “Traditional Knowledge in the 21st Century” – the role that traditional native pathways plays in dealing with a society addicted to commodification.