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“Trapping Ecosystems: Apeshit’s Politics of Post/coloniality

Carlos Garrido Castellano and J. Griffith Rollefson

Companion Site to the article on Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the Louvre: click here

On 16 June 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released “Apeshit”—a trap-styled hip hop track featuring a chorus of “I can’t believe we made it / Have you ever seen the crowd going apeshit?” The much-commented on music video for the track was framed as a hip hop takeover of the world’s most visited art institution—Paris’s Louvre—featuring pop’s reigning power couple, marketed as “The Carters,” making themselves at home in the museum with a collection of dancers in flesh-colored black, brown, and beige bodysuits. The video was generally received as either a cutting decolonial takedown of this monument to Western civilization or simply the ultimate in money-flaunting bling spectacle. As reportage about the filming and the video’s intimate scenes make clear, the museum was turned into a domestic space that night. Indeed, following the success of the video, AirBnB ran a contest whereby “two lucky people now have the chance to spend the night inside the Paris museum.”


A Video Introduction to the Book (from the SMI Summer Lecture Series)


Check out Simran Singh’s amazing article on conspicuous consumption and excess in Ugandan hip hop:

“The Ugandan hip-hop image: the uses of activism and excess in fragile sites”


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