When it comes to music I have a visceral reaction to the songs that are chosen by broadcast stations, the songs chosen by these stations degrade black women, and hearing these lyrics tear me apart. I want it to be known that degrading black girls should never be a trend in any type of art. Not only do black women internalize the messages in the music, but hip hop artists get the message that this is the only way to become a successful rapper. For example, when hip hop artists use terms like “bitch” and “nigga”, they are unaware of how these words are used to oppress groups of people and promote internalized self hatred. This is my time to speak out about the normalization of degrading Black women and Black people in music aired on the radio. The clear vinyl jackets represent the transparent nature of how we listen to the lyrics and don’t pay attention to their meaning. In the exhibit that these jackets were showcased in, I used negative lyrics of songs from the radio and projected  them on the wall, taking them out of context in order for the audience to focus on how heinous the words really are. I used the music with a positive message that I took from Kendrick Lamar’s song I and his song Complexion ft Rapsody and sewed them on the jackets. These lyrics counter the lyrics on the wall to showcase the other hip hop artists and songs that the radio stations could give airtime to. This project highlights hidden ways that music degrades black women and the project allows people to reflect on their own media intake.

Photography by: Maya Young

Models: Tehya Ruiz, Kamrea, Uthman Shareef

4 Replies to “VINYL”

  1. Ohhh Nyah, thank you so much for following up with these powerful and exciting examples of your mission and creativity! I look forward to staying in touch and somehow sharing these and more with our young people – and with my son. Please stay in touch via my email address, and I’ll also send you our program’s facebook next week. I’m moved and fired up yet again. Thank You, thank you, thank you👌🏽👍🏽👌🏽

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