Kiesza and the Hideaway video’s cultural gentrification

Maybe I’m fanning the flames of unnecessary data but the conversation would probably amuse me.


I like her music video with the choreographed dancing. And the graff. And the high-tops. And the graffiti. I don’t generally like pop music but I’d dance to that (ghetto-card revoked.) So the vibe was kinda old skool HBut in the words of DMX “everything starts from the streets.” That is street culture in a pop video. From b-boying to the graff that’s Hip-Hop culture.

So how do we feel about that? Should urban culture be proud that it’s mainstream (and has been for several years, don’t get me wrong.) The Michael Jackson Bad video was urban culture in a pop video decades ago and you can see the MJ influence in the direction.

We don’t have to feel any way about any of it really, it is what it is. Half the people buying the record won’t know about street culture, we could assume that half the people involved in the making of the video won’t care about street culture but we might be wrong, Hip-Hop has influenced the most middle class by now. Maybe we’ll assume that most of the people buying the record will probably credit the artist for the direction rather than the label, the video director and/or the stylists. I’m not saying a mainstream artist has no power over these things, I’m saying I don’t know, we don’t know.

It’s like when Lady Gaga came out looking bat-poo crazy and everybody said she was an avant garde genius. Was she? Or did she do what her label told her to. Maybe she is a genius, I don’t know, we don’t know. So maybe they love street culture, graffiti, skateboarding and b-boying. Maybe they don’t care but street culture sells.

Maybe those of us who love street culture should just be happy that it sells. Cos apparently in the late 70s when b-boying, graffiti and Addidas tracksuits were fresh the owners of those record labels called Hip-Hop culture a fad that would be over in a few years.

I don’t know anything else about Kiesza other than that music video, I don’t know squat about mainstream culture usually. But the video was dope and it made me think about Hip-Hop culture which I dare say I know and love, it raised some questions that have no answers but may encourage healthy debate.

But you know, I could have had a similar debate when PJ and Duncan rapped Let’s Get Ready To Rumble, I don’t know why I’ve started now…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s