So. I enjoyed next gen, Netflix’s better version of big hero 6. The story was an interesting rebellious and strangely violent twist on the genre of boy and his xxx.
One thing that always got to me when I watched it, however, was the line from the title of this post. Black culture gets appropriated in many ways in society, and one of the ways I find discussed the least in every aspect in culture is this specific comedic bit: using lingo used to represent hyper masculine black identity to seem funny.
(he makes the joke at 0:44)
See, thats the whole joke. When the robot says this in next gen, he’s not doing it to read black. He’s not a black robot. He does it as a joke for the audience, “hey isn’t this turn of phrase that usually frightens us [because it reads black and intimidating] funny when it’s NOT done in this fashion?” the issue, like most issues of appropriation, isn’t that people who aren’t black are adopting black lingo. The issue is that it’s done so in a society that actively dislikes when black people “talk black” and “not proper” and yet freely enjoys using the lingo as shorthand for old people/non black people trying to seem cool or tough. Maybe I’m reiterating and old point but I encounter this so much I actually can’t even remmeber acknowledging it. Have you noticed this sort of thing in modern media and gaming? I know disney and nicks live tv shows are insanely guilt of using it. They literally think its a totally family friendly way to be funny.