i am OTHER: StereoTypes – “Ratchetness”
Hip-hip has long been an incubator for pop culture; what becomes trendy in this music-driven world eventually spews into the mainstream to die an agonizing death in suburban America. Think of the icy denomination ‘bling-bling.’ How often have you heard soccer moms or corporate colleagues throw the Cash Money-coined term around as if they just spent a ‘band’ on a piece of Ben Baller’s jewelry? I’d bet it was more than once. The latest term facing this unfortunate epidemic is the word ‘ratchet.’ Whether if you seen it on Beyonce’s Instagram, nodded your head to Juicy J proclaiming his love for women of this social sect, or overheard your mom using this word to describe Miley Cyrus, ratchet is everywhere. But what does it really mean? Is it good or bad? Should we embrace it or leave it for the ‘culture vultures’ as Mr. West so aggressively put it? To help define this word and the stereotypes that surround it, Ryan Hall of i am OTHER took to the streets of New York to talk to our peers.