Comic Relief in Rap Culture FilmsThe African American Film culture is littered with movies that depict the black Society as a society immersed in Crime and Drugs. While the Hip Hop world has mainly embraced this notion, it is not entirely the sole theme in African American Film culture. Of all the themes in the world of hip hop movies, Comic Relief has been overlooked to a great extent. While hip hop films mostly depict a rough neighborhood, comic relief can be used to lighten things up. It is a great way to make people laugh and distract them from all the negativity portrayed in the hip hop films. When analysed,comic relief can be looked at in a different angle of the hip hop culture and appreciated as being pretty much part of a style of living just as films that depict drugs,sex and major crime. In this paper, I will analyze different films that run the comic relief theme such as House Party and Friday. In comparison, I shall look at films with drugs and violence such as Menace II Society.House Party is an African American film released in 1990.It resonated well with the youth in the African American Community. House Party was new age film and part of the pop culture. The film depicted an urban neighborhood instead of a run down ghettoscape as it is called. Though the movie contains obscenities it captures the aspect of comedy in a film.
House Party is a welcome sight, after scores of hip hop films depict the African American film culture ridden in drugs, sex and crime. The plot of the film is about a typical kid alias Kid who must sneak past his dad and encounter several obstacles to get to and from a party. The situations and characters are however positively black. Unlike the urban ghettoscape that depicts “black neighborhood” in films, House Party is set in a residential community where the characters live in houses and drive snazzy cars. This is a contrast so most of hip hop films that represents black neighborhoods as “rough” neighborhoods. House Party is a male movie from the beginning, with numerous worn obscenities, leering takes on women and references to bad breaths masquerading as punch lines. The battle of wills between Kid and his father is untampered by a mother figure (who is dead) and once Kid takes off to the party it’s only a matter of time before his Dad disciplines Kid and restores order in the household. While at the party, Kid is faced with a dilemma: He must choose between the two hottest girls in school. Because he ends with the nice girl and doesn’t have sex with her, he is presented as the beacon of enlightenment compared with Play, who is contemptuous of Kid’s reasoning for backing off. Still, Kid is merely a convenient foil for the film to take a stand against unsafe sex.
Comic relief in rap culture film was amplified by the individual works of pioneers of the African American culture of comedy. Famous comedians implemented their own styles of comedy into successful shows such as the Def Comedy Jam which showed all the undergrown comics at that time. It showcased comics who were pioneers of the African American culture of comedy. Comedians for instance, enjoyed implementing jokes that had to do with racial progression, because at that time the race war was at full swing. Meanwhile in the present day, an overwhelming number of race literature suggests that the society has entered an era of colourblindness.Comic relief in standup comedy challenges acceptable racial discourse, placing race in the forefront. Comedy persists as a facet of popular culture where racial difference is made apparent, yet ironically the art of comedy is overlooked as a style of living in the hip hop film culture. Through analysis and focus groups, racial and ethnic comedy serves to both reinforce and wane racial and ethnic stereotypes, similarities and differences. Comic relief therefore serves as one of the few openly racialized facets of popular culture as well as uncovering some of the ways in which race works within the culture of a self-proclaimed colorblind society.