It Ain’t Trickin’ if You Got It – Sexual Politics in Contested Spaces.
(Oh-The Money – Oh Oh The Money – I Wanna Get Paid)
The work stemmed from an obsession with trends in contemporary pop and hip-hop music – particularly the re-writing of social narrative through song. In 2008 a phrase caught on, and soon many male protagonists would croon this statement: “It Ain’t Trickin’ If You Got It.” The phrase is peculiar and problematic for several reasons. It acts as an exoneration of the male buyer in heterosexual prostitution. The phrase’s proliferation was rapid. I’m interested in the performative utterance – its ability to enact change, and how in this case, the impact of repetitive speech in changing the attitudes toward gender and class in prostitution. It portrays an older, more conservative subject/object paradigm that stigmatizes the woman soley. They want to make it clear that they have not been tricked out of money in exchange for sex. Rather, it is an entitlement inherent to fame and wealth.
I made my own versions of these songs – queering them. I began to think about the Hip-Hop/Pop aesthetics as seen in promotional techniques across different media – considering how they might translate, or mistranslate, when applied to a local subculture. I chose a park known for gay cruising and public sex, where anonymity is stressed between older men, many of whom are married. The Fruitloop.
The role of media in the proliferation of homogenous culture has been well-charted by Mcluhan. Contemporary Pop / Hip-Hop and one of its most emblematic promotional tools: the basic synthesis of music and video. The fast-paced evolution of the genre lends itself tracing developments within colloquial speech.
The music of radio, the people of television, and others swept up in a mythos of fame – as individuals – interest me little. I’m more excited by how emerging vernacular trends are impacted by the homogeneity of American media – television appearing the cornerstone of our collective consciousness – popular music, department stores..