A note to Miley Cyrus and all cultural tourists

by Chris Burton

What’s beef?

Beef is when I see you making a mockery of the culture, I know you can do so because somebody gave you a pass.

I have no doubt that if hip-hop does die, it will be its own doing because those of us who purport to love this culture and value blackness stand by and do nothing as raiders of this last art make a mockery of it.

I refuse to let hip-hop become jazz, the blues, rock or funk.

How many genres must die before black people and all people who value blackness and black expression stand at the proverbial gate and say,

“No! You cannot rape my culture.

This may just be a phase for you but this is my lifestyle.”

My music is sacred.

My dance has meaning.

You cannot boil blackness down to its most ignorant, shocking dregs then parade these cheap tokens as key elements of the culture.

My taboos are not your souvenirs.