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Beyonce, Sampling and how Americans see Africa.

Posted on 26 July 2011 by Marflix

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Some food for thought: This article on talks about the Beyonce’s single and video “Who runs the world” which is, as you might know, more like a mashup with some tropical-exotic lametta. Racialicous analyses the “sampled” elements (like the dance crew Tofo Tofo from Mozambique or the Nigerian hyena men), talks about race issues and girl power. Altough if you might not agree to all arguments, this article is a highly recommended read.

While some critics are rightly noting the confusing and inaccurate message of Beyoncé’s new single “Run The World (Girls)” in the context of a world controlled by patriarchy, her song/video also raises the issue of how peoples, artists, and cultures from the global south are referenced and represented by artists from the first world. Several layers of referencing go on within this song/video, which makes this discussion a lot more complicated, lengthy and, at the same time, all the more necessary.

Please bear with me. This is an important conversation to have because of the ways in which this kind of sampling reinforces disparities of privilege and power. Furthermore, its important to note the ways that the profits and opportunities produced from this referencing are disproportionately transferred to people with white privilege or benefiting from larger structures of white supremacy.

Article on

Video: Beyonce: Who run the world (girls)

via Max Le Daron’s Google+