The CHA Journal Prize ( The best article from #1 and #2 issues)
Francesca D’Amico, “‘The Mic Is My Piece’: Canadian Rap, the Gendered “Cool Pose” and Music Industry Racialization and Regulation.” (Volume 1, 2015).
This article examines how in the 1980s and 1990s Black Canadian Rap artists — many of whom are the children of Caribbean-born immigrants — employed the hyper-racialized and hyper-gendered “Cool Pose” to interrupt conversations about citizenship, space, and anti-blackness. Their counter-narratives confronted their own sense of exclusion from a nation that has consistently imagined itself as White. Black Canadian musicians have used Rap as a discursive and dialogical space to insert Black Canadians into the national imagination, critique multiculturalism, and remind audiences of the deeply masculinized and racialized nature of Canadian iconography. In the process, state exclusionary practices impeded a Black music infrastructure and tried to block Canadian Rap’s political and cultural intervention. This fresh and exciting article engages with a broad range of theories, original research, and deft analysis that is well-written, convincingly argued, and provocative. By drawing together cultural histories of Canadian rap and hip hop with critical literature on masculinity and the racialized nation state, D’Amico make an original contribution to Canadian political and cultural history.