Different Mediums to Parody Wokeness: The Furious SJW Album Review
As many probably realize, there has been a cultural frenzy that’s festered for far too long. We are now forced to cope with the product it has wrought: a society that is so shamelessly impervious to rationality it has putrefied our capacity to think. Wokeness is, indeed, a neurosis and a perilously infectious one at that. When one can get past all the negative consequences of the rhapsodizing about the straight white man and the need for a new, virtuous form of racial apartheid, we can at least have fun with it. Comedy might very well be one of the best insurances against it.
The genre of “woke parody” has risen to showcase how hopelessly ridiculous wokeness is. Each contribution has been successful in showing how blurred the lines are between reality and parody. Moreover, it has adequately demonstrated how religious wokeness is in its aesthetic and feel. The doctrines of wokeness that lay out how one must crusade against racism appear to be as rigid as some of the strictest demands of the Quran. Andrew Doyle, aka Titania McGrath, has set the gold standard for this with the book, Woke: A Guide to Social Justice.
Since wokeness has unfortunately become almost sacrosanct in the academy, parodies have been effective in the form of books, political manifestos and mock-academic studies. But there is the prospect of parodying this pseudo-intellectualism through other mediums, such as music.
In the spring of 2017, a student at Harvard, Obasi Shaw submitted his senior thesis in the form of a hip-hop album. Inspired by Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, Obasi decided to deviate from the traditional thesis guidelines and produce an album that commented on social justice issues. The raps were fluid and likely followed the criterion set by the austere woke scolds.
Following his lead, we have The Furious SJW, who has recently released their hip-hop thesis. Fervid, refulgent, obstreperous, and a dogmatist hell-bent on deracinating the Western patriarchy, The Furious SJW is the proto-typical foot soldier in the woke infantry. Written before the malignancy of SJWism crystallized with the rise of Jordan Peterson, the thesis was put together with the intent of showing how white people don’t understand intersectionality and the implications of their very existence. The opening track #rapyourthesis lays this out quite lucidly.
The rest of the album proceeds in this matter, outlining The Furious SJW’s frustrations with white society’s malfeasance. The album references many of the infamous cultural events of the last few years — -evincing extensive research — — and succeeds in translating the mindset of the SJW professor, politician, or Hollywood actor.
With melancholic instrumentals that are coupled with evident dexterity when it comes to rhyming, the highlights of the album are three tracks: #rapyourthesis, #allAboardtheAllyship, and #thePriceofEquality.
#allAboardtheAllyship ruminates on the Black Lives Matter movement and the dangers of white allies since they may try to “hijack” their movement. The Furious SJW’s ramblings provide a nice commentary on how the SJW presence on social media encapsulates how one’s quest to have their “virtue” validated by the masses is tantamount to a pursuit of euphoric highs. While #thePriceofEquality perfectly captures the SJW opposition to free speech and the mirage that free speech crusaders are “problematic bigots”; thus, they’re an obstacle to the pursuit of “equality,” and the woke scolds’ utopic cornucopia of diversity. To rid such an obstacle, SJWs must trample free speech rights. It’s best summed up in this line: “We have to construct diversity spaces where there aren’t any white men trying to talk to me/ I’m crying constantly with their microaggressions piling on top of me.”
This line is reflective of professors who feel empowered to degrade whiteness while insisting that they’re paragons of morality and anti-racism. Through their worthless careers as “scholars,” they bestow intellectual legitimacy upon this new bigotry. Everything in their eyes is a manifestation of problematic whiteness, and they feel as if complete dismantlement of the system is the only way to expunge it.
The album is a worthy effort to mordantly portray this inane set of thoughts. However, it might be encumbered by its format to some degree. Constrained by the rapper’s need to excogitate interesting rhyme patterns, the format of a hip-hop album may have limited the ways they could do a sarcastic deep-dive into SJW thought — thereby reducing the writing to a collection of SJW clichés in some sections.
But this isn’t to fault The Furious SJW. The album is proof that there is potential in parodies that aren’t the typical spoofs of academic wokeness. They are quite welcome in the form of a hip-hop album or movies and TV since those in Hollywood, or the music industry will likely never produce them since they confine themselves to the ideological colonnade that wokeness has erected around them.