Derrick Carter Speaks On The “Cultural Smudging” Of House Music

The house legend says he’s grateful to Azealia Banks for starting a dialogue on an issue that affects more genres than hip-hop.

December 24, 2014

Over the last few days, the world has been talking about "cultural smudging," since the term was used by Azealia Banks in her viral Hot 97 interview. Speaking on the industry's treatment of Iggy Azalea, Banks said: "A cultural smudging is what I see. And when they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is like 'Oh yeah, you're great, you're amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to.' And it says to black kids 'You don't have shit, you don't own shit, not even the shit you created for yourself.'"

House legend Derrick Carter decided to join the conversation via his Facebook page last night, explaining that he sees this "smudging" taking place from within house too, another genre of black origin. With a link to a Telegraph article about the Azalea versus Azealia dispute, Carter wrote:

"I'ma start some shit today...and by 'shit' I mean dialogue and debate.

"So, this really jumped on my radar yesterday thanks to the power outage we had on my block and the need to pass some time while in the dark (no pun intended). With Almond Brown's post of the Hot 97 interview & James Allen's post of this article it got me thinking about how I often draw similar conclusions to the commodification of house music. Something that started as a gay black/Latino club music and is now sold, shuffled, and packaged as having very little to do with either. [Resident Advisor] top 100, [DJ Mag] top 100, hell ANY top me the gay brown faces—Shit! Show me EITHER the gay or brown faces—and then discuss 'cultural smudging.'

"Now, I'm definitely not being disparaging against anyone else's journey, tastes, ambitions, or preferences. We are all entitled to be who or what we want to be and do what we feel, regardless of skin color or sexual proclivities. It often seems to be the case that some types of people receive preferential treatment in certain matters. And it's not normally the ones with a cultural disadvantage."

To catch up on the hip-hop-centric debate so far, read J. Cole on why hip-hop will be white in 20 years, Q-Tip's lesson on the socio-political roots of hip-hop for Iggy Azalea, and Matthew Trammell's look at what it takes to be a black woman in pop today.

Derrick Carter Speaks On The “Cultural Smudging” Of House Music