The average White American adult’s understanding of hip-hop culture is significantly behind the culture’s actual status. A White news anchor or television host might still lament about the evils of “gangster rap” these days as if it’s still in the mainstream. But every once in a while, the perspective of a White American in their 30s or 40s is insightful and funny. Mostly funny, but whatever.
Gladly, we have foolish White male teenagers more than willing to hurl street rappers into the face of their mothers with absolutely no context or real intent to educate.
Welcome to the ‘Mom reacts to…’ series brought to you by the YouTube account CUFBOYS. According to a commenter, the kid’s name is Cameron. The purpose of the series is evident in the title: we watch Cameron’s mom react to rappers and hip-hop artists his viewers suggest to him.
Cameron’s mom is not the spokesperson for all middle-class White parents, but many of CUFBOYS’ viewers look to these videos as representative of how many middle-class White parents view hip-hop culture.
Here are a list of observations and quotes from several videos in this series including, ‘Mom reacts to Chance the Rapper’, ‘Kodak Black’, ‘ASAP Rocky’, and ‘Drake’:
- “And I don’t really give a crap that people think that I don’t like the n-word,” (‘Kodak Black’).
- Cameron’s mother claims to take offense at the word ‘nigga’ in almost every video in this series. It is strange, and Cameron knows it, hence reactions like, “Alright, that’s all you’re saying about that,” (Kodak Black).
- To take offense to the use of the word ‘nigga’ as a White American is odd because you have to believe one of two things: 1. That you sympathize with non-White people and this racial slur is harmful to them, or 2. Any racial slur said in any context by any person is bad, and it makes you uncomfortable. Either way, Cameron’s mom, like many White people who get “offended” by the word ‘nigga’ are policing the use of the word out of their own discomfort with issues of race. Unfortunately, much like Cameron instinctively knows but can’t seem to explain, the social contexts in which Black people and hip-hop artists use the word are not up for a White adult to decide. The fluidity of social and cultural context when it comes to the word ‘nigga’ was looked at in my article about White guys using the word.
- Standards for lyrical and video censorship are pretty high-strung. Unless the artist’s sound was more pop-friendly (i.e. Chance and Drake), Cameron’s mom reacted strongly to sexually explicit lyrics and images in music videos.
- Even White mothers love Chance!
- It doesn’t take much of an understanding of hip-hop culture to pick out a nice flow or melody. “I like it, but I don’t like the words,” (ASAP Rocky) was a common sentiment throughout my viewing of this series.
- These videos do not reverse the hilarious stereotype of White children being too comfortable with their parents—to the point where this kid can call his mom a “grimy ass” and laugh it off free of harm (ASAP Rocky video).
I thought these videos were enjoyable. Nothing about Cameron or watching his mom react to 21 Savage is a conclusive statement on White America’s relationship with hip-hop, but it’s a good peek into it.
If you feel inclined to take a look at some more of these videos, other popular videos include reactions to Young Thug, Chief Keef, and Kendrick Lamar.