White Hipsters + Twerking = Sky’s Falling

Wow, what an amazing piece by Katie Ryder in TheSalon.com on the blandness of “White Music”. In a nutshell the uber hipster group ImageThe Postal Service (ironically I saw them on the Colbert Report  a few backs and Spotify’d there catalog) had a hip hop group called Big Freedia opening up for them. Big Freedia set included a lot of twerking and booty bouncing {note: There based out of New Orleans, birthplace of the classic “Back That Azz UP” by Juvenile}. Needless to say the booty shaking annoyed and somewhat scared the ultra white Post Office fan base.:

Within the context of the white twerk trend, the Postal Service fan reaction seems disturbing: We’d like our booty shaking, but when we ask for it, and also when we do it ourselves. An uninvited performance by a raw, aggressive MC like Big Freedia, on white music-goers’ home turf, and not on their own terms, was received as a whole different game: a confrontation.


The depth and clarity of this piece is a gem- she even dedicates the Molly Cyrus twerking phenom–>Twitter user @CorettaReine aptly remarks: “Black girls twerk and they’re ghetto.  Miley Cyrus twerks and it’s entertainment.  I don’t understand.”  When a white audience sees a black woman twerking, they have a heavy stack of cultural assumptions to back up however they interpret her. Cyrus performs in an all-white room in the video for “Can’t Stop” appropriately: She gets a blank slate.  She doesn’t use it very well, but there it is: her cultural inheritance and privilege made material.

Whistle While You Twerk



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