Hip-hop is a cultural touchstone both misunderstood and rightly held to task for misogyny, homophobia and sexism, but are the problems of hip-hop reflective of issues in society at large and what space is there for queerness in hip-hop? Today, I’m joined by Peter “PJ” Johnson, more widely known as the Repeat Beat Poet, for a discussion exploring hip-hop’s radical roots, the queering of the genre and how hip-hop has allowed, in the past and the present, a confrontation with expressions of Blackness that have historically been (and continue to be) policed. We explore where and how PJ finds inclusivity in hip-hop, reckoning with the many valid criticisms of the genre, the capitalist interest fuelling the continued and remarkable growth of the art form, hip-hop’s political importance and finding freedom for people to speak. We also explore poetry as a vehicle of investigation and archiving, echo chambers and moving away from an implicit heterosexuality.
Peter “PJ” Johnson is the Repeat Beat Poet, a hip-hop poet who confronts, queers and investigates hip-hop's evolving and ever-important role as an expression of a vast and varied Blackness.
This episode includes PJ reading What Does Black Power Mean? and Barbershop Cuts, as well as a clip from Deep Dickollective’s "For Coloured Boys".
@_busybeingblack is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. If you like what you hear, please take a moment to rate, review and subscribe; doing so let's other likes us hear the voices amplified here.
New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival, New Fest, is coming up from October 23-29. The festival features over 160 films from more than 30 countries and promises to be a week of queer cinematic excellence. Busy Being Black listeners get discounted tickets on all screenings. Head to newest.org/festival and use the code NFCP19.
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