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“Gentrification: The displacement of poor women and people of color. The raising of rents and the eradification of single, poor and working-class women from neighborhoods once considered unsavory by people who didn't live there. The demolition of housing projects. A money-driven process in which landowners and developers push people (in this case, many of them single mothers) out of their homes without thinking about where they will go. Gentrification is a premeditated process in which an imaginary bleach is poured on a community and the only remaining color left in that community is white ...”—Taigi Smith, “What Happens When Your Hood is the Last Stop on the White Flight Express?”
“The gentrification of the song is important, even if it just seems like more “SMH white people” craziness. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote something about why the dance subgenre of “trap” differs from trap-rap enough that no one could mix up the two. That's still true, but the web success of Baauer's “Harlem Shake” does illustrate how having the right resources can Google-bomb something else out of existence. Try searching “Harlem Shake,” even with a telling, early 2000s-related second term and the result will be overwhelmingly skewed towards Baauer. Even “original Harlem Shake” yields videos from the early days of this campaign. This is not the co-opting of a style or dance the way that say, New Orleans bounce, Baltimore club, or even trap-as-EDM (which retains the elements of trap-rap and just rearranges them) have penetrated hipster enclaves. What's happening here is one kind of thing being turned into another thing entirely. “Gentrification” almost feels too kind here. This feels more nefarious, even if it is being enacted by people who don't seem to know any better. One way to maybe feel a bit less depressed about this is to consider this tweet from user Gordon Voidwell: “The evolution of the harlem shake is the evolution of harlem, nyc, itself." So, Baauer's “Harlem Shake” reflects the unavoidable shift and evolution of hip-hop culture and its elements, particularly in a whitening, increasingly cozy New York. While we're at it, here's one more important “Harlem Shake”-related tweet from Atlanta producer DJ Burn One: "To truly get the full experience of cracker trap make sure you listen while making a mayonnaise sandwich or kissing your dog in the mouth.”—Brandon Soderberg, ”Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’: Gentrification Goes Viral.“
Shhh. Your privilege is showing
There are people without cars.
There are people without cars who only have bodegas and Korean mini marts in their neighborhood with limited options.
There are people who don’t make very much money and have to go hard with budgeting their food money.
So shut the fuck up with your self righteous, judgmental, “I can’t believe all people don’t eat organic” rants.
If you’re not building food co-ops in poor neighborhoods (ya know, the non gentrified ones. Food Co-Ops always pop up in gentrified zones after the brown folks leave)… if you’re not giving rides from poor neighborhoods to Whole Foods or Trader Joes (neither store sets up shop in poor neighborhoods)….. then shut the fuck up and enjoy your privilege.
Someone who overheard two privileged people walking out of a Food Co-Op judging people who don’t eat organic whole foods.