Best Unused Opportunity for Swagger-Jacking

DJ Kool
Last year’s debate over “swagger-jacking” around U Street NW focused mostly on the ethical and socioeconomic implications of business owners looking to signify coolness, usually by appropriating black-history touchstones. Wherever you come down in the thorny debate, though, it’s hard to deny that the problematic practice increases awareness of allegedly swagger-jacked figures like Donald Byrd, Marvin Gaye, Zora Neale Hurston, Cool “Disco” Dan, and Langston Hughes. Who else deserves a mini-revival driven by an external controversy? Let’s go with DJ Kool, the D.C. hip-hop/go-go performer whose ’90s hit “Let Me Clear My Throat” is now a classic. You could open, say, a Kool Karaoke Café, where people could clear their throats. Be sure to ask Kool if it’s cool, though, OK? In your favor: Like so many things in hip-hop, the song was a bit of a swagger-jack, anyway—it’s built on a sample of “The 900 Number” by DJ Mark the 45 King, who in turn sampled Marva Whitney’s “Unwind Yourself.”
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