What Would Your #RapShirtForWhitePeople Say?

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by Leandra Medine
May 20, 2014
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One of the greatest pleasures of writing Man Repeller is tethered to the element of discovery that comes with accruing new friends. Sure, they’re not brick and mortar friends — these relationships exist exclusively over the Internet — but that doesn’t detract from the sentimentality and more importantly, newfangled wisdom that is attached to them.

Case in point: another chip off the old Tumblr block in the form of a new site called #RapShirtsForWhitePeople – hashtag and all. A reader passed along the URL in an e-mail last night and after a quick scroll through the mock t-shirts, which include such manipulated lyrics as, “You’s a Fine Venture Capitalist Won’t You Back My Startup” (do you think the song still invites listeners to “Call me big daddy?”), and, “It Was All a Dream, I Used to Read Highlights Magazine,” I spent a lot of time coming up with my own versions of the shirt.

Charlotte also brilliantly brought to my attention that most of Kanye’s lyrics don’t even need to change. (See: “hurry up with my damn croissant,” “I am a god.”)

This concept is hardly novel; are the sweeping, sometimes offensive but almost always comical cultural stereotypes that define whiteness not precisely what such popular digital entities as Stuff White People Like and White Girls Problems have been built upon?

Maybe this just comes to show that making fun of yourself never gets old. Or that I have a terrible concept of what is funny, which is the more likely opinion. Still, in the interest of appeasing me, I have to know: what would your #RapShirtForWhitePeople say?

In the event you’re wondering (and for the sake of fairness), mine would say, “Now I ain’t sayin’ she a kale digga, but she ain’t messin with no twizzla eata.”

Amelia says it’s hard to relate because she doesn’t really feel white but I managed to beat a lyric out of her. It is this: “This could be us but you’re not gluten-free.” (As you can probably surmise based on the provided lyric, my beating her affected the amount of oxygen going to her brain thus impairing her ability to use it wisely.)

You’re up.

– Leandra Medine

[Rap Shirts for White People]

REPLIES
  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    “Girl, you look good, won’t you back that Prius up.”

  • Lola

    3,6,9, pass the wine.

  • Tor

    “Real G’s roll in Silence like Lasagna”

    • Deeloveli

      Real G’s roll in Silence like Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc if you prefer.

    • Stella

      Trying it out.

  • Dionnnn

    ‘I’m so good I’m who a star fucks, you’re so basic you’re like Starbucks.’ My anthem now tbh.

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I find this #WhitePeople phenomenon so interesting. Over acai bowls the other morning my white-as-can-be redheaded friend and I were talking about the concept of the White Girl that has been sweeping through our school population. Girls are constantly chalking up their actions and outfits throughout the school day to being a #WhiteGirl.

    (Ex: girl late to class because the line at Starbucks was long: “ugh, #WhiteGirl Tardy”)

    Last week I was taking an AP U.S. Government test and I showed up to the testing center in Birkenstocks, a Patagonia jacket, and those little shin-length exercise leggings. The Patagonia and Birkenstocks are both integral parts of my wardrobe, but my wearing leggings in public (meaning aside from track/XC practice) seemed to totally throw people for a loop. Friends came up and inquired as to the state of my mental health, to which I responded that I was fine. Then a friend comes up, points with wide eyes toward my outfit and shouts “AHHHHAHAHAHAH, Emma, YOU LOOK SO WHITE!”

    And, that’s exactly what it was. The outfit was so basic and so white. I think wearing “cute” workout clothes and not working out is the paragon of #WhiteGirl.

    As for my shirt, I don’t know. I really like the Compton-cum-Compost one above. Mine would probably be something about having, in the words of The Weeknd/Drake an “ass so [un]-Spanish” because I don’t eat red meat and have an affinity for quinoa. Maybe I’m even too white to attempt putting that concept into a rap lyric format.

  • Dominique

    hahaha so funny!

    xxx

    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

  • loulee

    “Thinkin of a master cleanse”

  • Amelia Diamond

    Birthdays were the best days, cuz we sip rosé when we thirstay.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Why am I so bad at this game?!?

    • Amelia Diamond

      We’re spending most our lives livin in a vegan paradise

  • http://www.msmagpiewrites.com/ Ms. Magpie

    “I walked in the crib, got no kids / And my anonymous sperm donation shipment late (uh oh! uh oh! uh oh!)”

  • Quinn Halman

    “The year’s 94 and my kale is raw, the vitamix blender is the mother fuckin law”

    • Quinn Halman

      “1, 2, 3 and to tha 4, me and my undergraduate degree coming knocking at my dad’s office doors”

    • Quinn Halman

      I don’t pop advil, I rock natural and herbal remedies

      • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

        thats a good one

      • http://channelspirits.bandcamp.com/ Josie Fillat

        That one. It’s gold. Bravo.

      • EAH

        Yours are amazing!

    • soups

      oh god- I almost spat out my supermodel crust pizza

  • Virgil Kent

    !!!

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    “My name is douchebag,
    and I own the second floor”

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    CONSIDERED A FOOL ‘CAUSE I DROPPED OUTTA SKI SKOOL

  • Hayley Clark

    To the window, to the wall. Till the prices at J. Crew fall.

  • swag

    This is racist bullshit and it makes me want to throw up – this is human repeller

    • Chish Malata

      ‘Racism is when intolerance in government laws, attitudes and ideals of a society are ingrained in a culture to the point where patterns of discrimination towards a certain race are institutionalized asnormal. If you keep this in mind, you’ll understand that reverse racism doesn’t- and can’t- exist.’ Food for thought

  • Hannah

    Am I the only one angered by this??? My heart is heavy. This is a bunch of narrow minded bull shit. Why is there such a conscious attempt at continually trying to increase already vast, separated barriers??

    Additionally, since when has kale, wine, and Whole Foods been exclusively “white” ventures. I am mixed raced and although I appreciate the above 3 things, I am not pretentious enough to declare my admiration in the form of a racist t-shirt. This sort of idea creates more separation not more awareness. So, essentially, it is making commentary on being a part of a higher economic status? Do ‘we’ want to keep it this way? Do ‘we’ like it? Is it considered superior? Elitist?

    Dear whoever created these t-shirts: please remove the stick that is up your ass.

    • Really

      Sometimes I can’t believe the comments I read on this website.
      It’s funny you think the people who created this are the ones who are uptight. The t-shirt line is just jokes and making fun of dumb stereotypes. It’s acknowledging them and making them look stupid. If you can’t see the humor in this and your heart is seriously heavy over this then I don’t know what to say except wow.

      The concept of the shirts is funny to me but if I were going to get annoyed about anything it’d probably be the fact that it’s called rapshirtsforwhitepeople because these stereotypes are more about social class than race. So in my opinion the name of the website is more racist than anything on the shirts.

    • Khan Ashik

      Chill wit da SAT words, you sound mad basic rite now, who is this ‘we’ you keep talking about, you, ur latte and mumford n sons? chill

    • Really

      Also, let’s note the fact that you’re commenting on a website that’s all about luxury and let’s face it– is pretty damn pretentious. Picking and choosing what style of clothing you wanna wear is a luxury. Writing about and wearing designer clothes and trends in a frivolous manner can be considered superior and elitist and can only be done if you’re apart of a higher social class. You’re on a website where the founder easily spends half a grand on her outfit. Do you not see the irony of your comment?

      • Really

        And let me just add my contribution:

        “Single white female addicted to retail.” boom.

        • RachelYouAreDoingTooMuch

          Rachel

          How dare you. To call someone “uptight” for pointing out discriminatory T-Shirts is probably indicative of you either not knowing what that means–or just being disgusting enough to actually believe that things thats discriminate against entire groups of people are justified. I really fail to see it any other way. It seems as though you FAIL to separate the idea of “luxury” and “pretentious” from white. And for the record, people can comment and say whatever the hell they want about the t-shirts, if you read the blog every week, you would know that. They don’t state “please praise this item”, they state “THOUGHTS?” See that question mark??? Or nah???

          As a black woman, law student, from an middle-upperclass family, who ate kale for dinner tonight, listens to rap music in just as much- if not in a MORE satirical way than MANY white people who can probably relate to the poverty, lack of opportunities, and interest expressed in rap music WAY more than myself– I’m told that this t-shirt is for white people?? Despite me fitting the description in every damn way except the color of my skin?? YES I’m offended, and if you don’t think I should state my mind after someone asks ‘THOUGHTS?’ because of the website or that I should be, then you obviously need to get over your ‘retail addiction’ and start actually utilizing your brain.

          The T-shirt by itself would honestly be fine- except for the ‘for white people’ part.

          Wake up, no one thinks your hipster racism is cute or amusing.

          • OopsTypo

            *Really — oops I read the name wrong.

          • Really

            “It seems as though you FAIL to separate the idea of “luxury” and “pretentious” from white…As a black woman, law student, from an middle-upperclass family, who ate kale for dinner tonight, listens to rap music in just as much- if not in a MORE satirical way than MANY white people who can probably relate to the poverty, lack of opportunities, and interest expressed in rap music WAY more than myself– I’m told that this t-shirt is for white people??
            _________________________________________________________

            Oh, here we go…
            Huh?? Did you not read what I wrote? Let me explain what I wrote because you clearly missed the meaning. I said the concept of the shirts is actually making fun of stereotypes of SOCIAL CLASSES but the title of this line is where it’s racist because let’s not act like the middle class is only filled with white people or that there aren’t any white people living in poverty.
            They should’ve called it #rapshirtsforpeopleofthemiddlesclass or something like that. I can see you’re angry but you should take you’re anger out on the people who made the shirts and not someone who can see the problem with this scenario. And if you really are a law student, I worry about your level of reading comprehension.

            And just a side note: The tone of your comment is interesting. Let’s not play the “I understand discrimination more then you” game here.

          • Really

            *more THAN (not then) you.

          • Leni

            but isn’t that part of the supposed irony? like the center of the stereotype? that rappers are traditionally black and traditionally with some street credibility, and then to see how it would be if an uptight conservative white person would create a lyric. so the #rapshirtsforpeopleofthemiddlesclass would mabye miss that point a bit… i actually think it could feel ignorant and narrow minded, but i also think it can just be a joke and that’s all, i believe the lyrics on the shirts are funny social commentary.

          • CallItHowISeeIt

            “I understand discrimination more then you” game here.” I didn’t realize this was a game or a competition. I don’t pretend to fully understand your experience – but I do know the seriousness of my own. And that as a black person I DO face discrimination -I won’t deny that to make you feel better(or whatever your motive is for attempting to make this a competition or “game”, as you put it) — and the title of this line clearly discriminates against me. Not sure where you read that I knew it “more” than you.

            What I will say is — to the the your comment on the shirts being a “joke” and the title of the tshirt line–which is difficult to separate because they are presented as ONE entity- I didn’t realize that being accused of having self respect (think about what the latter is implying) or eating healthy(ONCE AGAIN) was a “dumb stereotype” as you call it. It sounds like a compliment to me, and as a way of saying subtly that those that don’t belong to this group do not possess these characteristics. If this is your example of the discrimination you face, I suggest you just..watch a documentary or something. Review the Trayvon Martin case.

            My comment was also directed at “Sometimes I can’t believe the comments I read on this website. It’s funny you think the people who created this are the ones who are uptight. ”

            Oh and my favorite, the line that shows how much of an emphatic individual you are ‘If you can’t see the humor in this and your heart is seriously heavy over this then I don’t know what to say except wow.’

            And last, your comment on this being a luxury website. As if that excuses any behavior. News flash: It isn’t. Yes, self expression is exercised in fashion all of the time, as it should be, but I think we can all agree that there are certain boundaries that should not be crossed. The title of this line is undoubtedly crossing the line, and arguably the t-shirts, given the context.

            I appreciate you acknowledging that the hashtag was offensive, and that shows that you are at least trying to understand another perspective. But Hannah was not wrong in stating that she found the shirts and the hashtag offensive, nor was she wrong to post her opinion here- and I found it insulting that you felt the need to bash someone for that.

          • Really

            First, let me apologize for the insult in my first comment to Hannah because that’s where I was wrong.

            Second, the “I understand discrimination more than you game” comment was made because the discrimination you face in your life is serious just as all discrimination anyone faces is serious. I felt as though you needing to state your gender and race was you trying to authenticate your experience with discrimination over others. If you’re suggesting I need to review the Trayvon Martin case to understand discrimination, then I’m insulted at the level of intelligence you think I have. You must think I’m really thick. I see discrimination when it happens in everyday scenarios. Discrimination to me, others– I see it all the time. I don’t need to review one of the most recent worst cases of discrimination to understand the concept. But thanks for your suggestion.

            Third, I don’t see stating that one person has more self-respect over someone else as a compliment. The joke is supposed to be that the white person is stating they have self-respect because the people who created the original lyrics don’t have any. I called the stereotypes dumb because they are and who actually believes blanket statements like that. It means I don’t believe in them. Why do you have a problem with me calling them dumb? Would you like me to believe the stereotypes? If I did, THEN we’d have a problem.

            Fourth, the luxury comment was made because Hannah made a comment about how the t-shirts were wrong because they were making commentary on being part of a higher socioeconomic status which is pretty much this website does. Her comment is ironic when made on a website like this.

            And lastly, don’t patronize me saying “at least you are trying to understand another perspective.” I understood the other perspective from the get go and like you stated, you don’t understand my experience.

          • Elia

            Oh my gah girl, chill. Why so serious? How are these shirts not funny? I’m black and I would easily wear a few of these, because they are hilarious. Who cares if it says “for white people?” I am so loving people adding in their funny lyrics, I only wish I was inventive enough to come up with one of my own!
            If kale salads being considered white is something you have serious time to put thought into then damn girl you got it good. Let me live that life.

  • Guest

    “Oh he so hungry, yeah, he wants two pho”

  • therealdp

    LOL

  • Joseph Pineda

    “Oh he so hungry, yeah, he wants two pho.”

  • Joseph Pineda

    “Chicken Soup for the Soul and Kombucha on the side”

  • Elena

    “Couldn’t afford the shoe, so she named her dog Jimmy Choo”

    • http://www.EatStylePlay.com/ Eat.Style.Play

      O_O

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    “If I’d done it for the money, I’d have been a fuckin’ lawyer.”

    Pretty sure that’s every teacher’s mantra. :-)

  • sarcil

    this is stupid and i’m so disappointed with the turn man repeller has taken. like thanks for being casually racist.

  • Diane Young

    Leandra – what are you thinking?

  • Lindsay

    That awkward moment when you realize your favorite blogger is racist scum.

    • Lindsay

      …And all those who comment (who are white, that’s not a coincidence) and encourage this behavior are amazingly unaware. Talk about privileged! Lol.

  • Louise

    Wow, what a surprise! You deleted my comment!

    I love being white. My Prius and expensive wine. I only shop at Whole Foods. I stereotype people of color and laugh about it. Do you the way I use the n slur? Well, it’s no big deal. Everyone says it these days, right? Don’t you know, black people don’t drink wine! Also, black people have NO self-respect! Is that a black person… In a Whole Foods? I’m so privileged, I don’t even know it! Someone called me a white person. How racist!

  • Trente Chic

    Nobody can have any fun anymore, it’s 2014 ppl!!!!! someone always pulls the race card….yeah that’s a fact

  • Alice

    Man, I don’t think I can do this. I don’t know enough words to rap songs :( . Why didn’t I pay more attention to them all my life?!?

  • Ashley Laramie

    Love this! The milkshake one really killed me.

    Ash
    http//www.vogueanatomy.blogspot.com

  • ICant

    my self-respect brings all the boys to the yard? So black/latina/asian women have no self respect now? I got 99 problems but getting a cab ain’t one? Since when has that been funny? That some people are discriminated against daily? HHAHA..???

  • Rach

    Morons: this is satire. It’s taking the piss out of the millions of privileged people who listen to rap and hip hop, behaving as if the lyrics resonate with them. It’s tongue in cheek. Aside from the website name, it has not much to do with race. I’m not the biggest fan of the “#whitepersonXYZ” phenomenon or how “white person” has become short hand for privilege: I think we can all agree that there are overpriveledged brats from every race, but no: the website isn’t saying non-white people can’t wear these tees. It’s just using existing shorthand, a little wink, capitalising on the #whitepeople phenomenon. Calm down.

    • Really

      You’re gonna have to explain satire to people.

    • Leni

      that’s exactly what i think.

  • Mattie

    “What you doing in Starbucks on a Thursday?
    She say she only here for her grande skim milk soy latte.”- my effort

    My friend combat’s with “Crossfit’s so hard fat people wana fine me” and “I got tattoos on my body, owls and feathers are my hobby”

  • jean

    MJG bitch i got rice balls

  • Asha Saint

    Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but these t-shirts could easily be called #RapShirtsForMontrealers or #RapShirtsForTheUpperMiddleClass. I’m going meta here, but I’m thinking of starting #RapShirtsWhitePeopleConsiderParodic. Can I get an lol?

  • Kristy

    I think the critical comments don’t understand that this is is self-deprecation, rather than self-aggrandizement, like “dancing like a white boy” But the “white” modifier in this case does give me a twinge of sadness, because it is more food-related than mere taste-related ( indie folk vs r&b), it shows the socio-economic gap is race related. Quinoa, kale, chia pudding? Why are these all white people foods? Because of the people that can afford to eat like this are white :(.

    White people is a state of mind, though, based on tastes. I know Asian, Black, and Indian “white people.” Then again, to say that their tastes are “white” is problematic, I guess. It kinda implies like if a black person hates rap and likes Taylor Swift or an Asian person doesn’t like Anime, that they’re inauthentic or something

  • f*ck you leandra

    Last time visiting man repeller. You guys SUCK.

  • Briana

    I read Man Repeller because as a woman I’m impressed with idea of dressing for myself. I love the creative aspects of fashion and the visions of creative people like the late Alexander McQueen and the young Simone Rocha to the ever brilliant Rei Kawakubo. I liked this blog because it gave women a place in which to make up their own stories about strength and artistry via their clothes. And because it bucked the oppressive patriarchal notions of what defines beauty for women In such a positive way as to give women back their courage to be as unique and beautiful as they want to see themselves. But I must say, whether this post was to highlight the tongue in cheek nature of these rap shirts for white people, or just to highlight whatever foolishness happens in pop culture, but it’s such a let down that this was even posted to your blog. To any non white person, and some white people I’m sure, it’s just so irritating to have to make people understand how non jokey this is for many non white people. The ever expanding misappropriation of the “good” qualities of people only being bestowed upon white people, this is nothing new, but at some point the conversation has to get bigger than “it’s 2014, why can’t we all just laugh about it” . It’s just as bad when you propagate these ideals by asking your readers what their “what would your rap shirt for white people say?”

    It’s trivial and doesn’t in any way reflect the man repelling ethos that you have spent many years of your young adult life pursuing. I understand, at this point maybe you just report what you see in pop culture or on the web and in no way want to have the bigger conversation that stems from the idiocy (albeit young in cheek to some people who miss the point completely) that this tumblr reflects or do you want to make it a point of social commentary but you really should consider the weight of such ignorance. No disrespect but I’m a long time reader (against many of my friends wishes) and supporter of the man repeller as a liberated woman from the male ideals of beauty but I am also a bi-racial woman who considers herself a feminist thereby making myself conscious of the underlying conversation happening in the world today. It’s just not funny nor cute to me and many people who are unfortunate enough, yet beautifully fortunate, to see the issues that weigh heavy on the minds of many still dealing with oppression and racism in this country.

    A few months ago a very beautiful, and hard, conversation/ debate happened between two brilliant writers (the Atlantic’s Te-Nehisi Coates and the NY Mag’s Jon Chait) about the very core of what is bothersome about this blog post and many of your readers’ inability to grasp the larger issue at hand.

    Below is a link (this op-ed
    From the Dish blog about the exchange and includes links to each article and rebuttal) . I encourage you, even if only you Leandra, read the exchanges which are included in the article. It’s eloquent, engaging, and moving. Most importantly IT’S real and maybe once you see how unfunny the larger issue is maybe you will be a bit more careful in the content you want to associate yourself with.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/03/28/a-nation-defined-by-white-supremacy/

    I read Man Repeller because as a woman I’m impressed with idea of dressing for myself. I love the creative aspects of fashion and the visions of creative people like the late Alexander McQueen and the young Simone Rocha to the ever brilliant Rei Kawakubo. I liked this blog because it gave women a place in which to make up their own stories about strength and artistry via their clothes. And because it bucked the oppressive patriarchal notions of what defines beauty for women In such a positive way as to give women back their courage to be as unique and beautiful as they want to see themselves. But I must say, whether this post was to highlight the tongue in cheek nature of these rap shirts for white people, or just to highlight whatever foolishness happens in pop culture, but it’s such a let down that this was even posted to your blog. To any non white person, and some white people I’m sure, it’s just so irritating to have to make people understand how non jokey this is for many non white people. The ever expanding misappropriation of the “good” qualities of people only being bestowed upon white people, this is nothing new, but at some point the conversation has to get bigger than “it’s 2014, why can’t we all just laugh about it” . It’s just as bad when you propagate these ideals by asking your readers what their “what would your rap shirt for white people say?”

    It’s trivial and doesn’t in any way reflect the man repelling ethos that you have spent many years of your young adult life pursuing. I understand, at this point maybe you just report what you see in pop culture or on the web and in no way want to have the bigger conversation that stems from the idiocy (albeit young in cheek to some people who miss the point completely) that this tumblr reflects or do you want to make it a point of social commentary but you really should consider the weight of such ignorance. No disrespect but I’m a long time reader (against many of my friends wishes) and supporter of the man repeller as a liberated woman from the male ideals of beauty but I am also a bi-racial woman who considers herself a feminist thereby making myself conscious of the underlying conversation happening in the world today. It’s just not funny nor cute to me and many people who are unfortunate enough, yet beautifully fortunate, to see the issues that weigh heavy on the minds of many still dealing with oppression and racism in this country.

    A few months ago a very beautiful, and hard, conversation/ debate happened between two brilliant writers (the Atlantic’s Te-Nehisi Coates and the NY Mag’s Jon Chait) about the very core of what is bothersome about this blog post and many of your readers’ inability to grasp the larger issue at hand.

    Below is a link (this op-ed
    From the Dish blog about the exchange and includes links to each article and rebuttal) . I encourage you, even if only you Leandra, read the exchanges which are included in the article. It’s eloquent, engaging, and moving. Most importantly IT’S real and maybe once you see how unfunny the larger issue is maybe you will be a bit more careful in the content you want to associate yourself with.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/03/28/a-nation-defined-by-white-supremacy/

    • Leandra Medine

      Hey Briana – thanks for passing this along and sharing your thoughts. It is wonderful to find that we have been able to accrue such smart and respectful opinions from readers. I really, really apologize for having offended you and meant no disrespect at all when I wrote this post. I anticipated taking nothing but the piss out of the blog and I suppose ignorantly didn’t consider the prejudicial undertones so I feel terrible about it. Especially because as a writer and a reader and an observer, it is absolutely never my intention to extrapolate anything but a sense of empowerment and humor from popular culture. Lesson learned, though, I didn’t think through this as thoroughly as I should have.

      • Briana

        Hey Leandra, thanks for the response. I appreciate that as young intelligent women in the world today we can have these conversations in a non hostile way. It’s so easy to want to beast on people when they miss the point completely, so I just want to say thanks for hearing me. It speaks volumes about your character and how cool you are as well that you could receive the criticism as you did. I still love what you do, but I will forever , FOREVER blame you for introducing me to my Sasquatch sized unicorn: the Carven Woolen Fawn Print Coat. Hehe. Real? Or Is mind playing tricks on me?

        Keep doing what you doing Girl.

  • Otto von Bismarck

    “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of inefficiency”

  • Jamie

    “Sippin’ on Organic Ginger Juice, Laid Back”

    http://inspirationlush.com/

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    blablablabla

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