White rappers

Thank you for crystalizing that for me. Beautiful.

Well said. And there is almost zero possibility of punk actually inspiring any popular movements in America. Hip hop seems to potentially have much more power in this regard here.

Punk was the Dada of music; reject the old, start from scratch, rapidly find yourself back in a critique of what came before.

I used to go to punk nights wearing day-glo raver gear, because hey, what could be more punk than that?

Didn’t work. Black Flag t-shirts or GTFO.


you were too much punk for punk.


Another white rapper that deserves mention is Abdominal, who often records with DJ Format. Man’s got skills.


A colleague of mine put it pretty succinctly… while punk started out as little scenes, when the mass media started to fret over punk, it drew in lots of new kids from the suburbs, which had 2 effects. First, since the way punk was reflected on TV was violent, the new kids acted that out. Second, the older members started to use violence as a means of enforcing their territory and “policing the subcultural borders.” But hardcore is postpunk, in a sense.

I think punk was dada, but later the popular image of punk became the hardcore scene and that’s the punk that tends to be in people’s minds today when it comes up, rightly or wrongly.

I see it as actually existing in these debates…

I do think that’s true. hip hop often speaks to a fundamental truth about America, that it’s deeply, deeply racist and that this has a material effect on people and their lives. Punk had some of that, sometimes, but it’s such a diverse genre, if you think about it, as @Wanderfound points out, that it never really gels in the same way. But that’s because it’s based on something that’s harder to pin down, I think. I do think Greil Marcus had some interesting things to say on it… you should read Lipstick Traces, if you haven’t.


You would have been accepted in my scene back in the day. We had an anarchist tea house/venue that was about as close as it got to an ideologically functional anarchist punk utopia. It made Gilman look like the Gap. It really was wonderful. Very inclusive and welcoming to everyone. Until it became the alleged meeting place (no comment) of Earth First activists during the ‘Eco Terror’ hysteria of the 90’s, and became a target of spook surveillance. It’s touched on in the film "If a Tree Falls’ There was, briefly, a beautiful, vibrant, and inclusive ‘punk’ moment in the 90’s, here in the Pacific Northwest at least. Aaron Elliot wrote a great piece about it that he never published. I have it somewhere. He said he was going to kick my ass if he ever saw me again.

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It’s worth keeping in mind that Punk contained legions.

Pistols-style UK punk was working class, full of raw energy, but not very politically subtle. Dead Kennedys-style SF punk was middle-class lefty complexity.

But then you have The Clash and The Ramones who reverse those simplistic geographical categories.

As I said, legions.


Yep. I’m aware, given it’s a topic of research interest for me. The ongoing discourse found in zines around what’s really punk attests to that.

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Saw a self-styled “punk rock” comedian once. He was pretty funny, though he no longer really looked punk per se.

Anyway, one of his best jokes was:

“My brother is way more punk than me. One time he caught his foot tapping to country music, and he cut it off.”

ETA - holy shit, just looked him up and he died not that long ago… damn…




If I could find a YouTube clip of the Punkarella episode of The Goodies, now would be the time to post it.

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I’d heard that before, and it makes sense – I’m trying to remember if it was in Love & Rockets, or Jaime Hernandez talking about L&R. The people at Black Flag gigs (for example) weren’t that violent, but when it happened to turn violent, it attracted assholes that were.

I have a lot of Pacific Northwest connections from the mid-80’s to current, if that would ever be useful to you. Kelly Halliburton is an absolute treasure trove of Pac Northwest punk lore. He has played with anyone and everyone, from Cluster Bomb Unit, Resist, Defiance, Severed Head of State, Poison Idea, Pierced Arrows (Fred & Toody of Dead Moon), etc and operates ‘Doomtown’, a Portland label and distro. He literally knows and has played with pretty much everyone (and toured through Europe an infinity buttload) in the PNW over the last few decades and is one of the sweetest most helpful guys ever.

Hey folks… I’m going to fork this to a new thread, as I don’t want to derail talking about white rappers…

Wait… how do I do that?

I was just about to note that a discussion of rap had instantly turned into a debate around one of the whitest musical genres of all time.


Yeah, sorry, my bad I need to go to bed instead of rambling anyways.

Not terribly! Ed got (very!) busy and decided to stop posting a page every few days, AFAIK. Ed’s basically got the keys to the castle, was under no obligations, could post whenever, etc.


I don’t know what that is.

I like only few bands really considered punk. I guess some Sex Pistols, some Ramones. Bad Religion and The Offspring are probably what I enjoy most, though they aren’t really considered Punk by hard core enthusiasts.

Sorry, I am derailing again, haha.

Hey, you know what though, I am going to stick up for Vanilla Ice. Yeah, yeah, it was really sweet, campy schlock. No it wasn’t culturally important or progressive. But the most popular songs rarely are. It was still entertaining at the time.

Actually what I think I miss most about hip hop and rap is the early 90s stuff. Maybe I am just old and stuck in the past, but there were a lot of fun stuff that hit the mainstream. Bust a Move, OPP, Whomp There It Is, Lucas with the Lid Off, I Wish, Hip Hop Horray, Summer Time, Insane in the Brain, Tennessee, etc. I dunno, it just seems more fun and carefree than what it evolved into.

Granted I like some of the “harder/more real” stuff, especially when it was new and refreshing, but it seems like when so much of it has gotten into a rut (you can say that about other genres as well, especially country). As Ninja said, “Nowadays all these rappers sound exactly the same.” I admit I like some of Macklemores, stuff, but honestly it is because it is different and good (IMHO). And probably why I gravitate to UK rap and hip hop like MF Doom.

So if things come down we can look forward to moar? I hope so!

ah, good, good. thanks for clearing that up. he told me in an email that he was coming back; then you two were very chummy in that video but that was the last time he was on here so i just mentally made up an explanation.

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60’s/70’s comedy show that was basically the children’s version of Monty Python.

The Punkarella episode was a Cinderalla pisstake that featured assorted people chopping off their limbs in order to establish their punk credentials.