Jazmin Ontiveros

Black and Brown in the Bay: Solidarity Through the Lens of Black-N-Brown Entertainment

As collaborative projects between Black and Brown male artists, Black-N-Brown Entertainment’s three compilation
albums–17 Reasons, 18 Wit a Bullet, and 34 Reasons–give voice to more than just the realities of urban males living in the Bay Area. Since the Black Panther’s support of the United Farm Workers’ grape protests in the early 1970’s, there have been unique alliances between Black and Brown communities specific to the Bay Area. Historically situating Black-N-Brown Entertainment’s three compilation albums, how were the collaborative albums influenced by a deeply rooted and historical Black and Brown alliance geographically specific to the Bay Area? What historical events allowed these compilations to foster? How do the lyrics voice the shared experiences and living conditions of Black and Brown males in the Bay Area? Using a decolonial framework, I will not simply discuss these albums as cultural products of the Bay Area, but as valid critiques and moments of resistance to greater power structures executed by the State, capitalism, and the police. As a Xicana scholar and a native to the Bay Area, I want to complicate feminist critiques of gangsta rap music and show how the masculinity portrayed in Black-N-Brown Entertainment’s compilation albums is a reaction to the Western capitalist patriarchy sustained by over 500 years of colonialism.