weekend links: Twin Cities hip-hop, McAllen punk, Texas lit

Karl Marx
Karl Marx

Still from a Chinese hip-hop video celebrating Karl Marx. Courtesy of Billboard.

Authors Andrew Altschul and Mark Slouka have put together a petition decrying the candidacy of Donald Trump for President, a peculiar effort that nonetheless has attracted a large number of well-known signatories, including Jennifer Egan, Junot Diaz, James Wood, Rivka Galchen, Nick Flynn, Charles Bernstein, Celeste Ng, and many, many more. Not sure what this will accomplish, but hey, now we know where all of these authors live. [Lit Hub]

In news that will surprise nobody, apparently the Twin Cities are very, very white. What you may not know, however, is that they maintain a vibrant hip-hop scene (unlike some other very white U.S. metropolitan areas). The tensions between Black artists working in a historically Black music scene and a mostly white audience are explored in this fascinating article, which also serves as a great introduction to Twin Cities rap. [Twin Cities Daily Planet]

Speaking of rap, check out this sweet, totally-not-propaganda video of Chinese rappers extolling the virtues of Karl Marx. It doesn’t get much weirder than this. [Billboard]

Last month, Texas Monthly wrote a great article about the thriving punk scene in McAllen, Texas. Now that scene is being threatened by a new law that would prohibit outdoor music in the city’s entertainment district and ban those under 21 from attending shows at venues that serve alcohol. Mayor Jim Darling is deliberating on whether or not to sign the new bill into law. Help persuade him not to by signing this petition. [The Monitor]

In more Texas news, Issue 5 featured author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho recently put together a list of 10 books that capture the best of Texas literature. We recommend starting with Texas: The Great Theft, by Carmen Boullosa. [Electric Literature]

And congratulations to the 2015-16 Austin Critics Table Award winners! We could not be more excited to see grayDUCK Gallery take the award for Best Body of Work and Seth Orion Schwaiger win for Best Solo Gallery Exhibition, for his work, Complex 1, at pump project earlier this year. Kudos! [Austin 360]

—Sean Redmond