Vampire Weekend Called Out for Being WASPy

When is a Jewish kid from the Upper West Side actually an Ivy League White Anglo-Saxon Protestant? Apparently when the Chicago Reader decides that they don’t like the band Vampire Weekend. Music critic Jessica Hopper called out the band, fronted by the very Jewish Ezra Koenig, last week in an article that accused the band of being a bunch of privileged white kids.

Music critic and sometime writer for Pitchfork, Nitsuh Abebe wrote a series of posts (here, here, and here) on his tumblr blog that found a wide audience in the blogosphere and were linked to by Koenig himself on his twitter page.

In his first post, titled, “Jessica Hopper Should Be Sort of Ashamed of Herself, In My Opinion,” he writes that Hopper was being disingenuous and that, “what we are looking at here is a (so far as I know) white woman selectively misquoting/mischaracterizing a statement of two people’s identity so that she can cast it as some kind of bragging, or some kind of defensiveness which the clever white critic is here to debunk.”

The Chicago Reader, in response, changed some of Hopper’s article, including a new section that reads:

This week I wrote about Jewish artists and afropop and I argue that the relationship between Jewish artists and African music is a fertile trend going back to Paul Simon’s trip to South Africa in the 1980s and beyond.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Vampire Weekend Called Out for Being WASPy

Thank you!

This article has been sent!