Several American rappers have criticised Chris Lilley for his character S.mouse on Angry Boys.
Entertainment website The Vine asked several hip hop artists in the US music industry to give their thoughts on the character.
Here are some of the reactions:
Zilla Rocca, MC – 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers (Philadelphia)
The S.mouse stuff is crossing lines of comfort, decency, and racial boundaries rather flippantly. Strike one is having a white person say the ‘n’ word multiple times. It’s not like blackface hasn’t been done in the recent past—Ice Cube did a whole show called Black. White. where a black family was made white and a white family was made black to see how the world treats them. Fred Armisen, a white guy, portrays Barack Obama on SNL, the same way Darrell Hammond, another white guy, portrayed Jesse Jackson. Either way, blackface has been used to stir up either hard-fought political and racial truths we tend to believe don’t exist anymore in America, or it’s done in a lavishly ridiculous and playful manner while tiptoeing carefully around outright exploitation.
Kool A.D., MC – Das Racist (New York City)
This is dumb. I had to turn it off a couple minutes in. His accent is bad, which makes the blackface worse. The only time I’ve seen blackface used in a way that actually made me “think more critically about race” is [the Spike Lee film]Bamboozled. Ice Cube Presents: Black. White. was pretty dumb but I watched every episode. Hoodoo Possession by Guillermo Gomez-Pena had its heart in the right place but was too ‘avant-garde’ which is French for “white people seem to eat it up.” I only saw a few minutes of Tropic Thunder [in which the white Robert Downey Jr. plays a black man] but it was annoying in that “let’s see if we can innocuously pull off something traditionally understood to be racist as an ‘edgy statement’ of how we’re over it” way. This show seems like it’s similarly whack but I have even less patience for that type of thing now. I would go into great detail and use a bunch of college words but I don’t have the time to do that anymore unless someone wants to pay me. Maybe Australians would call this ‘cheeky’, or something. As for how it would go in America: who knows what the kids want, am I right?
Open Mike Eagle, MC (Los Angeles)
Hell yeah it’s offensive. Blackface is not the kind of thing that just becomes acceptable one day. I don’t give a damn how ‘meta’ this cat thinks he is, it doesn’t give him a pass to exploit the history of race relations for a cheap laugh. The worst part was that the blackface was unnecessary. It didn’t add a damned thing to the presentation of the comedy. He could have done the same thing as a white rapper and stepped around the minefield. Instead, I couldn’t relax enough to find any of it funny. All I could think about is how big of an idiot this guy had to be to think that this was something to be done. Rap-wise it wasn’t offensive. It was uninspired and not at all creative, but it wasn’t offensive in its portrayal of the art or the industry.
Source: The Vine