10 Ways Everybody Else Has Benefitted from Minority Culture

Love her or hate her, rapper Iggy Azalea owned the pop charts in 2014. Now, lets focus on the hate. Why so much hate? Well, because hip-hop purists were baffled at an Australian rapper sounding more southern than OutKast and UGK combined. Look deeper and it’s a matter of race. Critics will say it’s another white artist using black culture to make herself wealthy. But it’s not only black culture, our country has a long history of musicians benefitting from minority culture—we are a nation of immigrants after all.

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1. Elvis Presley

The “King of Rock n’ Roll” clearly was influenced by black soul music. His voice, his moves—a straight jack of black gospel singers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Rufus Thomas, etc. How does a portion of black artists feel about Elvis? To quote Chuck D of Public Enemy, “Elvis was a hero to most/ But he never meant shit to me you see/ Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain.”

2. Eminem

Fast forward decades later to the Great White Hope of Rap: Slim Shady. The difference between Em and Elvis: the amount of respect he showed to black culture. Em is an extremely talented MC (one of the best most rap fans will attest) but even he admits it: “I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley/To do black music so selfishly And used it to get myself wealthy,”—“Without Me”

3. Miley Cyrus/Twerking

Oh Miley. Last year, the former Disney queen transformed into a rapper-loving, grill-sporting, twerking pop singer.  PS: You didn’t invent twerking, Miley. Twerking for blacks and Latinos is just dancing—it’s the way we intuitively move to the beat. We got sabor, we got soul.

4. Curvy Women

Iris Chacon. Jennifer Lopez. Nicki Minaj. Beyoncé. Before Jennifer Lopez became Jennifer Lopez in the late ‘90s, the mainstream viewed curvaceous women as fat. La Lopez’s cheeks changed everything. Think about it: this allegedly was the year of the butt. African Americans and Latinos’ response: #ByeFelicia!

5. Taco Bell

Mexican food is one of the most delicious and diverse cuisines in the world. Taco Bell took it and made it into a fast food joint which serves an Americanized version of Mexican food—no bueno. Dorito-hard shelled tacos aren’t served anywhere in Mexico.  

6. Dancing with the Stars

Salsa, merengue, any Latin dance you name, DWTS has taken it and reduced it to minutes of mainstream TV junk. 

7. Dia de los Muertos

Have you tried the new Dia de los Muertos-inspired donut? Don’t because you’ll be contributing to the degradation of a holy, fun day in Mexican culture. 

8. Christopher Columbus

The original hater! Whether you call him a bold explorer, a cruel pillager or both, this guy needs a closer look. 

9. Hipsters

Taco trucks, secondhand clothes, not cutting your hair—all things you do when you’re a poor minority or a hipster living in Williamsburg. We think Edgar from FX’s You’re the Worst put it best, “Fun hipster shit is just poor Latino shit from 10 years ago.”