The Representational Tactics of Mine a comprehensive essay written by Marcia Ales Adkins, provides a concrete, insightful examination of the strategy and tactics used by a Caucasian artist to integrate himself into the predominantly African-American and Latino dominated sub culture of hip-hop. The purpose of this document is to illuminate the methods utilized by what Adkins calls the Other to seamlessly sneak Into a racially charged social group and gain acceptance amongst Its critics and audiences. This Is someone who would otherwise be labeled as an outcast from the point of view of Its patrons.
Such methods draw from Michel De Carter’s stages of cultural navigation, which Adkins makes use of to support the analysis. The focus of this analysis is of course Amine’s conscious and effective employment of these three stages: appropriation, “spatial acting out of the place” and allocation, in order to represent himself as a talented artist. The significance of Adkins paper Lies In its clear and concise ability to communicate with other spectators and critics of hip-hop and In doing so offer Insight as to why others haven’t been able to mimic the same path Mine has taken to be successful in the art form.
The general idea inferred from this article is that of the sameness and otherness, which is believed to be a large component of America’s racially divided entertainment industry. Adkins therefore refers to this concept continually as the underlining argument to reinforce her analysis of Amine’s representational tactics. The author explicitly gives credit to Mine (In conjunction with his management and record label) for his conscious Implications of De Carter’s three stages of cultural navigation.
Beginning with appropriation, the author states that Mine is able to adopt the hip-hop vernacular and formula required to establish himself as an innovative white rapper as opposed to Just another discredited emcee. Adkins compares his appropriation to that of The Beastie Boys, the first successful white hip- hop group. The author also points out the failure of Vanilla Ice, from which Mine learned that creating a facade or false Image would ultimately destroy the career of a rap artist In a short time. Amine’s race Is of obvious concern when regarding his appropriation.
The concept of sameness/otherness resurfaces when Mine is arced to confront and industry dominated by minorities. In order to secure his appropriation he affiliates himself with African-American practitioners of the art form and in doing so not only is he accepted and deemed authentic but he Is also able to spur his career. Thus, Adkins ascertains that Mine came to the realization that authenticity and honesty to his audience would serve to gain their respect and adulation, “hip-hop’s absorption by suburban middle- class white youths hankering for “authenticity’ is the latest phase of a complicated history of transversal entertainment. Adkins, 467) This is a valid argument that can be applied to most sub cultures, because in order to first be welcomed into any culture something must first prove its worth. Therefore this idea of appropriation can be applied to another genre of music or a new product. Adkins following argument focuses on the “aura” embodies is a singularity, a unique trait attributed to that person alone. When applied to Mine the “aura” is personified through his multiple personae. The purpose of the “aura” is to distance Amine’s art from his audience thus rendering it inaccessible and indestructible.
In regard to De Carter’s paradigm, Adkins states that the “aura” serves as a clever marketing ploy in where Mine clearly distinguishes himself as the Other. Mine uses his alter egos Slim Shady or Marshall Matters to address an insane, zany, outrageous topic or a serious, sentimental tone respectively. This creates a certain mystique about Mine which only further reinforces and reaffirms his status as a talented emcee. The idea of the “aura” works in unison with mechanical reproduction, a way for Mine to represent and distribute himself in different methods to his audience.
Like the M&M candy, he is packaged and colored differently on the surface depending on the expectations of his intended audiences. “(Adkins, 472) The final argument and last stage put forth by Adkins is that of allocation, when referring back to thesis is the notion that the same and Other can co-exist. No longer divided by racial boundaries, in Amine’s case being a white rapper in an ethnic genre, he no longer has to walk the line of blackness/whiteness. His outlook, impressions and creed are shared with the rest of the members of the sub culture.
The arguments Adkins presents are compelling and for the most part the evidence to support them are very solid. Are the sources reliable however? The answer is a resounding yes; Adkins utilizes a number of sources from a variety of academic scholars and reputable writers. The basis on which Marcia Alaskan Adkins develops her thesis is directly from Michel De Carter’s The Practice of Everyday Life. Michel De Accurate was a scholar of social sciences and therefore his studies and findings outlined in The Practice of Everyday Life are a sound platform to draw and develop ideas from.
Furthermore, his ideologies of the three stages of cultural navigation are logical, well-grounded and strong therefore making them hard to dispute. With this as the framework used to establish and further the author’s arguments there is no possible way we can discard Adkins’ stance from the beginning. In defending the arguments Adkins brings to the forefront sound reasoning and many examples and analogies are offered. For instance to support her claim of Amine’s successful appropriation into hip-hop, Adkins gives concrete evidence that reinforce that he was indeed a success from he beginning, “Since his underground debut in 1996 Mine… Old over 33 million records, won Grammar Awards and an Academy Award, developed a clothing line called Shady Ltd” (Adkins, 466) This is irrefutable evidence of Amine’s successful appropriation into the sub culture. In addition, Adkins has a comprehensive list of sources that share her same opinion in some respect or another. Drawing information from the opinions and analyses of other critics, Journalists and writers, the author is able to develop her own examples of how Mine indeed maneuvered is way into hip-hop consciously using the three stages.
Regarding the second stage which deals with the “aura” and the idea of re-inventing oneself in the form of a persona or an alter-ego, is reinforced not only by Amine’s alter-egos but that of his propg Curtis “Fifty Cent” Jackson. This example is highlighted by a specific video in where this second stage is clearly visible, the “breakout single, “In Dad Club. ” In this three distinct settings: in the laboratory, in a nightclub in and in the recording studio” (Adkins, 472) Therefore it is a safe and fair assumption to say this article engrossed a large accumulation of research of reliable information.
Adkins analysis entitled Close to the Edge: The Representational Tactics of Mine is a thorough account of the tactics used by Marshall Matters in order to assimilate himself into the hip-hop social group, using the cultural navigation stages devised from Michel De Accurate. This paper makes a point of creating theoretical assumptions that this feat is especially difficult for Mine who struggles finding his place in the aforementioned social group because he is of Caucasian decent and Hereford it is harder for him to be accepted by ethnic artists and audiences.
This theory is that of sameness/otherness or blackness/whiteness when applied to Mine. Although the analysis is valid the author states that this is an experience exclusive to Mine and this is a false assumption. “By taking on multiple personalities, or flavors, in music videos and lyrics to make audiences forget that there is only one of him he closes the door for other transversal artists and preserves inequality’ (Adkins, 480) This quotation suggest that no other rapper either than of African-American or Latino decent can saturate the medium such as Mine has.
This is invalid, in fact due largely in part to Amine’s success other rappers, namely Caucasian have been able to gain acceptance in the sub culture. Paul Wall a “down south” white American rapper has experienced notable success in the hip-hop world. Releasing singles such as “Still Tipping” and “Break Me Off’ and since establishing himself as a talented white rapper. Similarly Collie Buddy a white reggae artist has also gained access into the reggae culture which is also predominantly black and mom would argue more difficult to infiltrate then rap music itself.
Therefore the maneuvering of Mine is not exclusive to him alone. It has now become a trend to almost encourage the idea of transversal artistry. The text written by Adkins outlines the struggles and difficulties taken for any craft or product to first overcome obstacles and gain acceptance, and subsequently maintain popularity through the use of re-invention, or a certain mystique, or by branding or by representation. This can be applied to all aspects of popular culture.