SB @browningout ?active 11 months, 2 weeks ago
SB commented on the blog post The Wednesday Weigh-In: Beef, respect, and male crews edition 11 months, 2 weeks ago · View
I just started reading Feministing after watching the TedTalks by Courtney Martin- this shit is rad. Thank you all… In response to the Weigh In- I don’t even know where to begin… I have been both a musician and a singer for the majority of my life. The first time I got into the studio, [...]
I just started reading Feministing after watching the TedTalks by Courtney Martin- this shit is rad. Thank you all…
In response to the Weigh In- I don’t even know where to begin…
I have been both a musician and a singer for the majority of my life. The first time I got into the studio, unofficially, was around the age of 18. I started recording for my friends all male and white hip hop crew. We made some music, had some ups and downs- but then I was pursued by others. As I got further and further into a microcosmic version of the platinum lifestyle, I learned a lot about hip hop, activism, racism, sexism, and the novelty of women. I have written, recorded, toured, and rocked a vast amount of music in my 6 years of unofficial recording- and the shit coming down on nicki on the macro is no different on the micro.
I was once told by a male studio manager- not even engineer, that I needed to write hooks more like Cassie; a model, and a mediocre singer, who has music written for her. No thank you.
I have been asked to dress differently, write less freely, basically- don’t make waves, just be consumed by them.
I have been told by male producers that I don’t even know how my sexual desire could be fulfilled by them- and my boyfriend at the time, a DJ and fellow producer and friend of theirs not stepping up and telling them to back the fuck off, but rather telling me that he didn’t want to fuck with the politics and didn’t want to get involved. I had to shelf the record because I refused to work with the producer ever again.
I dated a punk musician that disrespected me on multiple levels(cheated on me, lied to me, insulted me to high heaven) and all was overlooked by a community that I though would support me- but because of his clout of having a label, booking shows, having a prominent band, I withdrew from a community in which I had been active far before I had met him. I eventually made a response to this by photographing and interviewing women in the punk and metal scene in my town. It is now a book called Living Ashes: Portraits of Women in Punk: Pittsburgh.
I have shelved entire records because I felt disrespected by the people I have worked with because I would not continue working with them under the potential for discomfort from objectification.
This shit is rampant- in every community, in every musical genre- fuck, even as a classically trained violinist, I dealt with composers, orchestral, and chamber players who couldn’t get past the fact that I played and wrote on their level.
What I have learned from all of these experiences is that if you are not creating, negotiating, and restructuring on your terms, then it will always be co-opted by those who want something from you- no one ever wants something for you, unless something is in it for them…especially the ”male crew”.
I finally have a band that I work well with because they are secure in their musicianship. They are men, and they support me, they don’t ”let me” make choices, we all bring decisions to the table and through various forms of communication and restructuring. We make choices together, based on experiences- independent and collective. We trust one another.
To this day I have written, recorded, and performed in umbrella genres of hip hop, pop, folk, americana, blues, jazz, metal, classical, and indie rock. I realized that after working with so many people that were willing to take advantage on me because of my bright eyes, bushy tail, and ”super fine ass” I needed to REQUIRE respect and interest in my work based on my resume and portfolio, work ethic, and understanding of music and showing people that this is in FACT the base level on which I operate, and that ultimately, I don’t need approval to create something. I already have a hold of it. Male crew support or not.
And that’s my weigh in.